While attending a travel conference in San Francisco I had the opportunity to take the ferry across the bay to Jack London Square and enjoy an evening of wine and tapas on the water. It was delightful.

The rest of Oakland has been growing as a tourist destination, in many ways competing with its more famous neighbor San Francisco. It always presents an alternative only a short ferry ride away.

Here are the first 25 “things to do” in Oakland from a list of 100. Each activity has a link to the experience website. Looking at this list, one might plan an entire vacation on the East Bay.

    1. Reach for the stars at the Chabot Space and Science Center
    2. Hug a really big tree at Redwood Regional Park
    3. Catch the America’s Cup spirit by honing your sailing skills at J World Performance Sailing at Jack London Square
    4. Sample some great wines and get some exercise by joining a cycling trip with East Bay Winery Bicycle Tours
    5. Rediscover the glamour of Hollywood with a classic movie at the Paramount Theatre
    6. Bite into a ripe peach at one of Oakland’s Farmers Markets
    7. Sip tasty teas at the Tea Garden at Numi Tea
    8. Board a yacht at Strictly Sail boat show in Jack London Square
    9. Stretch your neck with the giraffes at the Oakland Zoo
    10. Captain a kayak on the Oakland Estuary
    11. Toast to Jack London with a beer at Heinhold’s First & Last Chance Saloon
    12. Cheer for the home team at an Oakland A’s game
    13. Relive a moment from the movie UP! with a cone at Fenton’s Creamery
    14. Enjoy the sounds of music at Woodminster Amphitheatre
    15. Discover a rare treasure at THE FIND Vintage Fair in Jack London Square
    16. Shop ’til you drop along Piedmont Avenue
    17. Groove with the jazz at Yoshi’s Oakland
    18. Learn to honor your elders at Dias de Los Muertos at the Oakland Museum of California
    19. Become a kid again at Children’s Fairyland
    20. Rock your socks off during a concert at the ORACLE Arena
    21. Travel presidential style with a cruise on the USS Potomac
    22. Retrace Amelia Earhart’s flight route at the Oakland Aviation Museum
    23. See the sun set over San Francisco with a cocktail on the top deck of the Alameda/Oakland ferry
    24. Catch the latest sounds at the Fox Oakland
    25. Dance with the sugarplum fairies at the Nutcracker

There are 75 more at http://www.visitoakland.org/visiting_100_things_to_do.cfm

Photo: Oakland by Leocha