Oakland, California is packed with things to do, but prices often get high, and especially with summer inching closer day by day, and with the vaccine becoming readily available, the idea of spending a whole day outside has become less bizarre. This is a collection of 10 fantastic places to visit, some cost whereas some don't! Spend a day at Lake Merritt, grab some food from an assortment of shops and trucks, and chill in the Morcom Rose Garden, anything to keep calm in this rapid world. Now more than ever it is important to have inexpensive, free, and low priced places to congregate in the summertime. Of course for those that are ready to indulge in the finer cuisines and beverages have a place as well, it's very important to know just a few places to getaway in nature! It makes for a much smoother ride in this urban transition. 


Morning Health Food Smoothie at Super Juiced

Super Juiced is a one stop shop for all your smoothie, juice, tonic shot, and assorted bowl needs. The entire menu is gluten free, organic and seasonal! Whether it be a Dragon Fruit Bowl or the highly recommended immunity shot, you are sure to find something you and your body will be thankful for! 

Breakfast of Champions at Peppels Donut Farm 

This organic vegan donut shop is not to be played with! They’ve got the eats, the sweets, the drinks, and the super cute merch! This laid back old school style dining room paired with new school vegan donut recipes makes for a fantastic brunch spot. Founded in 2006 with three store fronts, this shop is definitely one for the books! Bringing a buzzing old school vibe to the bay area!  

Dinner & Drinks at Sobre Mesa

With indoor dining now open, Sobre Mesa is a go to dinner and drinks destination. Lowkey neon vibes matched with the tropical decor makes for a chill ladies night out or even a spontaneous first date, located not too far from lake merritt it makes for a perfect night out. Enjoy sweet treats, oysters by the half shell, and after dinner cocktails from 5pm to midnight at Sobre Mesa!

Indulge your Sweet Tooth with Desert at Viridian

Looking for an extremely beautiful and chill vibe to immerse yourself in for the evening or afternoon, look no further! Viridian in Oakland comes through with the desserts, the drinks, the small plates, the colorful walls, and of course the ceramic tableware! Try the mango mouse, or if your looking for something bizarre, maybe the thai tea boba bowl? Lose yourself in this dreamy vibe. 

Find the Light within at Queen Hippie Gypsy

Queen Hippie Gypsy is Oakland's first black owned crystal botanica! A soon as you step through the doors the aroma of dry incense as well as burning sticks fills the space. Stones and crystals on display in tall glass cabinets, with books, art, jewelry and other accessories line the walls. The feeling of hope and comfort lingers in spaces such as these, where love and protection are the main focuses. The vibe overall is nothing shy of dreamy solidarity!

Experience Bay Area Vibes at Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt might just be the most frequented spot in Oakland right now! It seems like every weekend there is an assortment of booths to explore and vibes to get lost in. Live music performances located all around the lake, skate spots for skateboarders and roller skaters alike, food trucks, and so much more! You would have thought the fair was in town if you saw stop go traffic and pedestrians all over, but nope, that's just Oakland pride! A beautiful spot to take a morning run, lay in the sun all afternoon, and party at night! It's all here with a Buzzing Solidarity vibe! 

Chill and Sip at Portal Oakland 

Portal is now open for patio seating! Offering a wide variety of foods and drinks for weekend brunch, weekday brunch, and dinner. Quench your cravings with Chicken Fried Ribs or Burgers and Beer! Sip beer on tap and enjoy the Stuffed French Toast with a view of lake merritt! This laidback buzzing vibe is a must! 

Find yourself in Joaquin Miller Park

Quality time in nature could put those bones and muscles stiff from lounging for the past year to good use! Whether it be finding a beautiful lookout spot, or going down into the wooded creeks, Joaquin Miller provides the perfect space to get real with yourself. It is not always the easiest to have a one on one in a city, but this dose of nature provides just enough solitude matched with wonder to have an amazingly productive time with this quiet energy vibe!  

Flashback to the past at Pretty Lady Diner

Pretty Lady is a classic diner located in West Oakland, with outside seating and the largest serving of tater tots this diner cant go wrong. Serving breakfast all day, lunch, and happy hour, with an assortment of drinks both alcoholic and otherwise. This community classic was established in 1949 and the lines still show up everyday! A very chill old school vibe! 

Smells the flowers at Morcom Rose Garden

Looking for a quiet place to read a book, or simply a place to find solitude? The Morcom Rose Garden is packed with space to run off to, the pink and red and white roses scattered about the courtyard bring a sense of grace and calm, after all the Morcom Rose Garden is one of the grandest in the country. Similar to the Berkeley Rose Garden but much different in its own way! Just a quick walk from Lake Merritt!

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About the Author:

Kira Norwood

I enjoy long walks up steep hills in the early morning times with decently warm coffee. Writing is a passion of mine, and it has been since I was a freshman in high school, and once Covid-19 subsides, so will traveling .

My vibes are Buzzing, Dreamy, Solidarity, Togetherness.