Why You Should Take a Flight to Oakland
Oakland used to be overshadowed by San Francisco 10 miles to the east, but today this up-and-coming city is holding its own against its bigger brother on the other side of the bay.
Once a gritty blue collar town, Oakland is incredibly diverse and has maintained its strong sense of identity and community while embracing a dynamic and creative ethos. It has a thriving art scene, great shopping, dining and nightlife and an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy from the ocean to the forests of the east.
When to Book Flights to Oakland
The city has a mild climate all year round and the temperatures never get out of hand, peaking in the mid 70s in summer and rarely dropping below 50°F in winter. Winters can be wet and the summers are dry, although fog often rolls in off the sea.
Summer is high season and there is high demand for Oakland flights over the holidays from Thanksgiving to New Year.
Oakland hosts events and festivals throughout the year. May is Art Month and the city’s Art + Soul festival takes place in July. October’s Black Cowboy Parade celebrates the role of black people in settling the West.
Fall may be the best time to visit Oakland, as the crowds have gone and the weather is still warm and dry.
How to Find the Best Flight Deals to Oakland
With flights to Oakland from all over the US there are plenty of ways to find a cheap flight when you book with Orbitz.
Flexibility is key and you can use the ‘Nearby airports’ button under your chosen departure and arrival points to compare prices to and from different departure and arrival points. Oakland is so close to San Francisco that it makes sense to look for alternative flights that land there.
The ‘Show flexible dates’ option allows you to find the best deals for Oakland flights on different days.
You can sort your results on the left-hand side of the screen and by using the ‘Show options’ drop-down. This allows you to filter results by airline and ticket type, explore direct or connecting flights and search for flights at certain times of the day.
US Departures to Oakland
Optimal flight times from US cities to Oakland include:
Main Airports in Oakland
Oakland International Airport (OAK) is around approximately 10 miles south of downtown Oakland overlooking the water. There are flights to US cities and beyond and 13 million passengers use the airport each year.
It is connected to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train system, which can take you to Oakland in minutes. There are also buses and taxis available at the airport. Shuttle buses ferry passengers to the airport’s car rental center where there is a choice of ten firms.
San Francisco International Airport is located on the other side of the bay and handles more than 50 million passengers a year. From here you can take the BART to Oakland.
Which Airlines Fly to Oakland?
Among the airlines flying from US cities to Oakland are:
- Alaska Airlines
- Allegiant Air
- Delta Air Lines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
How to Get to and Around Oakland
The BART train network runs from both Oakland and San Francisco airports to central Oakland and is a great way to get around. There are also ferries across the bay and an Amtrak station.
The free Broadway Shuttle runs regularly from Jack London Square to Lake Merritt in central Oakland and the AC Transit bus network serves much of the city. You will need the exact change or a Clipper card.
Hiring a car is a good way to explore Oakland and the surrounding areas. There are many car rental options at the airport.
What Are the Must-Sees in Oakland?
Lake Merritt lies just east of the downtown area and is an oasis of calm in the center of the city. It has a bird sanctuary, an amusement park that inspired Disneyland, walking trails, botanical gardens and lights that encircle the water. The Oakland Museum of California is just next door.
Jack London Square overlooks the harbor and hosts many of Oakland’s biggest cultural events. The author it is named after spent much of his childhood in the area. The trendy bars and restaurants around the square are well worth a visit.
The USS Potomac, the ‘Floating White House’ as it was known by Franklin D. Roosevelt, is moored close to the ferry terminal. There are dockside tours and regular cruises around San Francisco Bay, but you must book well in advance.
Tips and Tricks for Traveling in Oakland
Oakland is a great base from which to explore the Bay Area and beyond, you can easily get to San Francisco and there are tours to Yosemite and Napa Valley.
Oakland is wildly diverse, and has a particularly proud African American heritage, so embrace the different cultures and dive into the city’s vibrant nightlife.