Travel Guide to California

2017 Travel Guide to California

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22 2 0 1 7 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A Surprising Cities California's smaller towns offer big attractions BY DAVID ARMSTRONG OAKLAND The Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland, above, opened in 1926 with vaudeville shows and silent movies, then with the arrival of talkies, focused exclusively on the new film medium, which it does to this day. California's golden cities—Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego—are celebrated around the world, and rightly so. But the Golden State boasts an engaging range of things to see and do in less-well-known locales, as well. In cities ranging in size from 5,000 inhabitants to nearly 400,000, a surprising, eclectic menu of food and drink, art and architecture, history and sports is available to visitors. OAKLAND: Overshadowed No More Few California cities are as surprising as Oak- land. Long in the shadow of glamorous San Francisco, the East Bay city of 391,000 has a mix of vibrancy, energy and diversity all its own. The recent influx of technology compa- nies and tech workers from Silicon Valley and San Francisco is helping to turbocharge Oakland. Jack London Square is a hive of restaurants, shops and bay ferries and home to premier jazz club and Japanese restaurant Yoshi's. Right nearby, Ninth Street's lovingly renovated Victorian buildings are destina- tions for food, independent retailers and vintage architecture. City center's Lake Mer- ritt offers boating, waterside walking and jogging and a cluster of cafés, bars and shops, plus the engaging Oakland Museum of Cali- fornia and gloriously old-school Grand Lake Theatre movie palace. For nightlife, head to the Uptown district's colony of restaurants and bars, the gorgeously restored 1928 Middle Eastern fantasia the Fox Theatre and 1932 Art Deco Paramount Theatre, which book headline performers. More great cui- sine can be found in foodie favorite Rockridge at accomplished eateries such as Wood Tavern, and in the Rockridge Market Hall in North Oakland, near Berkeley. CITIES

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