Ranked fifth in the New York Times’ 45 Places to Go in 2012, Oakland is gaining traction on it famous, foggy neighbor. Just six miles across the bay but a world away from San Francisco, Oakland graces its guests with about 260 sunny days a year and laid-back escapes like a 155-acre natural saltwater lake. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lists Oakland’s climate as the best among U.S. cities. Visitors will find no shortage of indoor and outdoor entertainment and top restaurants in Oakland.

Lake Merritt reflects a dynamic between freshwater creeks and saltwater tidal flows from San Francisco Bay. Its calm, slightly saline waters are perfect for sailing. Designated as the…

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