When the Fox Theater opened its doors in October 1928, 20,000 patrons thronged Oakland's newest movie palace to experience music on the Mighty Wurlitzer, a live stage show and one of the latest innovations, the "talkies" that were replacing silent films. But one of the biggest draws was the massive domed theater itself, an opulent and exotic mix of terra cotta tiles, dizzyingly detailed paintings and golden deities, reminiscent of a Brahmin Temple. The Fox closed its doors in 1966, but after over 40 silent years, the Fox Theater re-opened its doors in 2009 as a live music venue, arts school, and restaurant.
The USS Potomac has a lofty and well-earned nickname, the Floating White House. It is on this 165-foot sailboat that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was often found during presidential summers. Today, visitors can tour the ship to marvel at its opulence and walk the same corridors and decks as this famous political figure. No less important was FDR's wife, Eleanor, who celebrated her 57th birthday aboard the ship in 1941 Tours Dockside Tour: The Potomac is open for 45-minute docent-led dockside tours mid-January through mid-December. History Tour: May through November, two-hour cruises around San Francisco Bay with docents are available. Emphasis is placed on the impact Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration had upon the Bay Area and surrounding landmarks.
Oakland's Paramount Theatre is one of the finest remaining examples of Art Deco design in the United States. Originally designed as a movie house by renowned San Francisco architect Timothy L. Pflueger and completed in late 1931, the Paramount now serves all the arts. The Paramount Theatre is the home of the Oakland East Bay Symphony and, as one of the San Francisco Bay Area's premiere performing arts facilities, hosts a year-round schedule of popular music concerts, variety shows, theatre, and - of course - movies.
Founded in 1922 and established at its current site of Knowland Park in 1936, the Oakland Zoo is a Bay Area icon. The hundreds of animals range from Gila monsters to African elephants, and there's hardly a better way to enjoy a walk in Oakland than touring the zoo's expansive and educational grounds.
Lake Chalet might be Oakland's best place to dine outdoors. Dig into daily specials like margaritas and tacos on Tuesday nights or Lobster Fra Diavolo on Fridays. Dining over beautiful Lake Merritt on the Boathouse Dock is a feast for all the senses. After dinner, take a romantic gondola ride.
After working at Chez Panisse for over 20 years, Russell Moore opened this warm and rustic restaurant in the Grand Lake area of Oakland. Inspired by traditional home cooking in France, Italy and Spain most of the dishes served at the restaurant are cooked at the restaurant's prominent fireplace or wood burning oven. A small, decisive, daily changing menu reflects the seasons, the region and the restaurant's commitment to small farms. Camino offers a specialized cocktail menu using the same carefully sourced ingredients as the kitchen.
Oliveto Cafe & Restaurant offers seasonal cuisine in the Northern Italian tradition, including wild game, fresh pastas, wood fired pizzas and authentic vegetable and poultry dishes.
Flora is housed in an Art Deco architectural gem in the Uptown district of Oakland. They serve a selection of reinvented American classics accompanied by an extensive menu of prohibition-era cocktails.
Bocanova, located in Jack London Square, features Pan-American food in a lively and colorful setting. Available for all your dining needs, they offer intimate tables in the dining room, a number of communal dining tables for larger parties or if you're in the mood to meet new people, and counter seating up by the exhibition kitchen, when you're in the mood for a show.
Dona Tomas is a special restaurant where you almost feel like you're at a lively villa in Mexico enjoying fresh squeezed lime margaritas in the courtyard patio or dining on the authentic regional Mexican cuisine in the main room or the crimson red bar room. With the seasonally changing menu and a love and respect for Mexican food and culture, Dona Tomas strives to present a culinary experience highlighting the best dishes from Mexico.
Wood Tavern is nestled into a charming neighborhood shopping district on bustling College Avenue. Serving a hearty American Brasserie style menu. The contemporary loft- like space houses a dining room filled with "butcher block' tables, a comfy, copper topped bar and a chef's counter where you can dine watching the chef in action.