8 Most Popular Museums To Visit In Oakland (2022)
Oakland City may not be the ultimate Californian tourist destination, but if you are here in search of some great museums, you will definitely find an array of them. Museums here are richly diverse, from art & culture to history & heritage and from aviation to artificial science. Oakland is also home to a living ship museum which is also one of the only surviving lightships now.
While exploring the popular museums in Oakland, you can learn about science and space and how things on planets work. However, on the other side, you can unfold a treasure trove of experiences and learn a lot from the ancient artefacts. Hence for your next explorations in the city, mark our tops picks for the 8 Most popular museums to visit in Oakland. Have a look:
African American Museum and Library
A museum and a non-circulation library, the African American Museum and Library in Oakland is popular amongst all. Though the Museum initially (1946) began as a private collection but then later in 1960, it moved to serve as a public space for Oakland residents. The Museum is home to an extensive archival collection that includes periodicals, photos, correspondence, diaries, and pictures. At the same time, its library collection is famous for 12,000 volumes speaking the riches of history by or about African Americans. From Black Panther to Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, there are a lot of archives about several interesting and influential people of the state.
Address: 659 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612
Oakland Museum of California
One of the Best museums to explore in Oakland, the Oakland Museum of California, is a huge spread of multiple buildings housing more than 1.8 million objects. The Museum is famous for “telling the extraordinary story of California,” and thus, here you can learn all about Californian history, art, culture, religion, people, environment, destruction, and development. However, not only for the museum displays, but the reinforced concrete-and-glass buildings here are also famous for their 24,600-square-foot rooftop gardens. These gardens descend from north to south at three levels and are open for the local public to explore. The best time to visit OMC is either during special events/ expo or on Fridays when the place is lit with music, food trucks, and entertainment is at its best.
Address: 1000 Oak St, Oakland
Chabot Space and Science Centre
The Chabot Space and Science Center is a museum and an interactive learning centre in Oakland. It is located in Joaquin Miller Park and has been serving for educational and learning purposes since 1883. You can be a part of interactive exhibitions, a large screen theatre, have a close and personal look at the three powerful telescopes or visit the magnificent planetariums. The weekly shows presented at the planetariums are undoubtedly splendour, and if you are looking for some unique experience, do not miss them. The Chabot Space and Science Center is hands down one of the unique places in Oakland, and regardless of your interest in science and space, do pay a visit here.
Address: 10000 Skyline Blvd, Oakland
Oakland Aviation Museum
For aircraft enthusiast in Oakland, the Aviation Museum is one must-visit place. The Museum, though, seems very basic at the first look, but Oakland and aviation history here is one delight to know about. Today, it is home to over 30 vintage & modern aeroplanes (military & civilian), noted aviators & innovators, and a statue of Feng Ru, a Chinese aviation pioneer. Apart from viewing the aircraft, visitors here can learn about women in aviation, blacks in aviation including the Tuskegee Airmen, James Doolittle, and Amelia Earhart, via several interactive exhibits. The Museum is operational from Wednesday till Sunday every week, and admission here is free of cost. For an extraordinary experience, consider planning your trip during the Open Cockpit days.
Address: 8252 Earhart Rd, Oakland
The Dunsmuir House is 50 acres of the historical estate that dates back its story to the late 1800s. However, today it serves as an active museum and historical building admired by both locals and visitors. Dunsmuir House is famous for its neoclassical-revival architecture and extensive gardens. Apart from the mansion building, all you can explore here include a swimming pool with a Mission-style bathhouse, golf course, a glass conservatory with grotto, formal croquet court, tennis court, Japanese garden, a maze garden, and an elaborate aviary. Though, unlike regular museums, you won’t find artefactual displays, but the mansion and its exteriors in itself are enough to keep you engaged and entertain.
Address: 2960 Peralta Oaks Ct
Camron-Stanford House is a Victorian-style mansion and today an active museum surrounding the Lake Merritt. It is the last remaining Victorian home that was once considered as the most fashionable neighbourhood. The upper storey of the mansion has old law offices, whereas the lower storey has an exhibit gallery. It isn’t a huge museum with extensive display, but you can have a stroll in and around the building and look at the interesting history from close. Also, to grab a delightful view of Lake Merritt, make sure you take a walk at the gardens outside.
Address: 1418 Lakeside Dr, Oakland
Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment
The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment is also known for its short-form MADE. It is a unique and stylish museum dedicated to modern times. The collection here constitutes digital media concept art, great gaming systems, video games, and other objects related to digital art and gaming. Here you can learn a lot about the process of gaming creation along with science and technology. It is not just a museum but also an interesting sight where you can play games from Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and various others. Popular game tournaments, meet up with industrial people, and free classes for technological skills are some great interactive events to be a part of.
Address: 3400 Broadway, Oakland
United States lightship Relief (WLV-605) Ship Museum
The United States lightship Relief (WLV-605) is a museum ship that is also a Historic landmark in Oakland. It is floating at the Oakland Waterfront just west of the Ferry Terminal. The ship is noted as one of the very few surviving lightships and also amongst the ones that were specifically built for United States Coast Guard. Considering it is a rare part of history, the ship museum holds significant importance for Oakland city. The ship today is operational for educational, informational, and learning programs. You can take a tour inside the ship and grab an intimate and personal experience.
Address: Waterfront, Oakland, CA 94607