Rediscovering Downtown Oakland: Where to Enjoy a Sunny Day Outside

13 May

As it draws nearer and nearer to summer, here in Oakland I see more and more people wearing skirts, sunglasses, and sandals. That means it’s time to start spending lunch breaks and warm evenings outside, and luckily there are many places to do this in downtown.

uptown park 2Uptown Park – Between 18th and 19th, Telegraph and San Pablo

This is a place that’s easy to miss, and that’s one of its best features because it’s always quiet. It’s nestled in between the Uptown apartments and the Fox Theater, behind the now infamous empty lot. There are many benches there to sit on and enjoy the day. Though there’s no grass, there are plenty of plants and trees, and as these trees grow in, there will be more shade in the park. But the best part is that in a few months, this park will be the perfect viewing spot for the large scale art that will fill the empty lot next door.

Kaiser Center Rooftop – 20th Street between Webster and Harrison

I have to admit that until very recently, I’d never been up to the Kaiser Center rooftop. Recently I got a glimpse of it though, and now I want to go back to eat a picnic lunch. It’s a very peaceful space with incredibly views of downtown. Check it out after tomorrow’s BART board meeting.

Frank Ogawa Plaza – Broadway between 14th and 15th

Frank Ogawa Plaza, the park in front of City Hall, is sadly underused but that’s not any fault of the space. There is tons of grass, lots of shade, several benches scattered around, and of course the concrete mini-amphitheater to sit in. It’s a perfect place to have lunch or just to collect your thoughts while drinking a cup of coffee from Awaken Cafe, which is half a block away. And as of last Tuesday, Oaklandish restarted its capture the flag games there. I’m not sure when their next game will be, but you can find out via their MySpace page.

Previously mentioned places:

Franklin Square Wine Bar – Broadway at 22nd
B Restaurant – Washington at 9th

Pacific Coast Brewery – Washington between 9th & 10th
Oasis – 12th between Madison & Oak

These restaurants and bars all have beautiful outdoor areas. Click on the links above to read full reviews of them.

One Response to “Rediscovering Downtown Oakland: Where to Enjoy a Sunny Day Outside”

  1. Jim T May 13, 2009 at 11:56 am #

    You forgot Lafayette Sq at 10th and Jefferson, in Old Oakland. There’s nice tables for playing chess or checkers, lovely trees and grass, and a small playground.

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