Free Oakland Walking Tours

Fox Oakland Theater

Oakland Chinatown

Downtown Oakland has undergone a renaissance that has captured national media attention, with Uptown emerging as a premier arts and entertainment destination. Local residents and visitors can glimpse both today’s happening scene and landmarks from Oakland’s past during the 2013 Oakland Tours season. Free 90-minute walking tours of downtown Oakland will be offered every Wednesday and Saturday starting May 1 and continuing through October. The six-month long tour season ensures ample opportunity to take in each of the eight different tour itineraries. Each tour, led by a volunteer guide, begins at 10 a.m. from various starting locations depending on the itinerary. Reservations are recommended by leaving a message on the Tours’ 24-hour hotline at (510) 238-3234 or via email to The tour brochure, itinerary descriptions, dates and starting locations are available at Tour 1 – Old Oakland: This tour explores the 1870s business district where carefully restored brick commercial buildings now house offices, galleries and eateries. Tour 2 – City Center: Explore the upbeat style of modern City Center, alongside restored historic landmarks like the Tribune Tower, the Rotunda Building and City Hall. Tour 3 – Uptown to the Lake: Nestled among the many new restaurants and clubs, Oakland’s vibrant art deco-era landmarks, including the Fox Oakland Theater, the Paramount Theatre and the jazzy blue and silver Floral Depot Building, are the focus of this tour. Tour 4 – Preservation Park: On this tour, view fine details of the Victorian architecture of several 19th century houses that have been relocated and restored as a nonprofit office and meeting complex in a tranquil setting. Tour 5 – Oakland Chinatown: Explore this multi-ethnic downtown district packed with shops, restaurants and cultural institutions and learn about the contributions made by Chinese and other Asian immigrants. Tour 6 – Jack London Waterfront: Follow the footsteps of Oakland’s famous literary son Jack London and see some of his favorite haunts. Tour 7 – Churches and Temples: Visit historic places of worship and learn about their influence on the history of Oakland. Tour 8 – New Era/New Politics: This tour highlights African-American leaders who have made their mark on Oakland. Learn how Lionel Wilson, Delilah Beasley, Robert Maynard and Byron Rumford changed the city and the Bay Area.
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