Are you a history buff stranded in Oakland with nothing to do? Are you a fanatic of arts and culture in California? There is no shortage of places in Oakland for you to feed your hunger for information on these topics. Keep reading this article for a list of our favorite museums in the historical city of Oakland.
Oakland Museum of California
The Oakland Museum of California is the most highly rated museum in Oakland (according to Yelp). This museum hosts a diverse and varying range of exhibitions for view. You can go and see exhibits such as the Dorothea Lange: Photography as Activism exhibit or the ongoing exhibit on U.S. Immigration: Who Is Let In, Who Is Kept Out? They also have many exhibits of Californian history dating back to indigenous cultures, art and natural sciences galleries, and a free garden open to public gatherings. OMCA even has a digital collection featuring photos and information about art and historical objects.
Admission is free for members of the museum and affordable for the rest of the public. You also have the option to book a group or school tour on the museum website. If you want a souvenir to bring home with you, you can stop at the museum’s store, or if you get hungry while sightseeing, the Town Fare café will service your needs.
- Location: 1000 Oak Street, Oakland, CA.
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday.
Oakland Aviation Museum
A dream come true for all flying lovers, the Oakland Aviation Museum is a rich collection of historical aircraft. Some of the featured aircraft include a Cessna O-2A used in the Vietnam War, a unique model of a Hiller Ten99 helicopter, and a rare Short Solent Mk. III Flying Boat was built for World War II and converted for brief commercial use afterwards, among many others. If you visit the museum on an “Open Cockpit Day,” you have the opportunity to speak to pilots and climb inside the planes on display to explore their interiors.
The Oakland Aviation Museum also partners with the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum to provide online learning resources and a wealth of digital experiences. Admission to the museum is $15 per person, with discounts for military, seniors, students, and children. You can also arrange a group tour, a field trip, or even host a private event, such as a wedding, inside the airplane hangar itself.
- Location: 8252 Earhart Rd, Oakland, CA.
- Hours: 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
Presidential Yacht Potomac
If you’re looking for a unique and memorable museum experience in Oakland, look no further than the Presidential Yacht Potomac. Built for the Coast Guard in 1934, this vessel was eventually commissioned as the presidential yacht of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was nicknamed the “Floating White House.” After his death, the ship passed through the hands of many owners, including Elvis Presley and a gang of drug dealers, until she was rescued and restored by the Port of Oakland.
Today the USS Potomac sits proudly in the harbor, offering reasonably-priced dockside tours, cruises, and charters for private events, which are all available for booking on the website. If the water is where you want to be during your time in Oakland, this historical ship is the perfect way to combine history with pleasure.
- Location: 540 Water Street Oakland, CA.
- Hours: check website for details.
Chabot Space and Science Center
The Chabot Space and Science Center states on their website that their mission is “to inspire and educate learners of all ages about the Universe and Planet Earth.” Nestled in the Redwood Regional Park, the center holds a large domed planetarium, a theater, the largest public observatory in the Western United States, and a multitude of hands-on exhibits. These include an observation deck, a “NASA Experience” showcase, and the “Touch the Sun” exhibition, which lets you learn about the features of the sun and the matter which composes it in an interactive and fun way.
Tickets are available for purchase on the center’s website, or you can get a membership for admission and other great benefits, like discounts and virtual classes. If you’re feeling generous, the museum also offers an option for donations to their work.
- Location: 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, CA.
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment
If gaming is one of your interests, then don’t pass up the chance to visit Oakland’s Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment. This unique museum brands itself as the only all-playable video game museum in the Bay area. Those behind this museum claim to “legitimize the preservation of video games as both a historical and artistic medium within the context of our time.” They strive to provide the full gamut of video game history in a legal and accessible way.
Inside the walls of the MADE, you’ll be able to play any of over 12,000 games, free with your admission fee. Or you can purchase a museum membership for free admission, plus other benefits. You can check out one of the numerous events the museum hosts, or sign up for one of the digital design classes hosted in the museum space. The museum also has a podcast on video game history available, called The MADECast.
- Location: 921 Washington St, Oakland, CA.
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Did you like these suggestions? Did we miss one of your favorite museums in the Oakland area? Get in touch with us at De Castroverde Criminal and Immigration Lawyers, and we’ll be sure to add it to this list. Don’t forget to hit us up if you’re in need of the best lawyers for your immigration or criminal case so that we can do the work while you enjoy Oakland history in these museums.