36 hours in Oakland: NBA finals edition


shooting at the walls of heartache, bang bang, I am the warrior

When I was living in Northern California, I went to Oakland all the time.  But I’ll admit, most of those excursions had been to attend the Alameda Flea Market.

What? This should be no surprise, I’m ancient.

I have, however, attended games at the Oracle Arena and Oakland Coliseum, so in light of the Warriors hosting another Finals appearance starting with Game 1 tonight, here’s some tips for those heading to the games.  See, I had to be equal to Cleveland — I’m Switzerland in this battle, I’m just here for good basketball.  Of course, it may be cheaper to literally buy a game ticket, plane ticket, hotel and rent a car to go and see the NBA Finals in Cleveland…because tickets to see Steph and Co. at home are, as they say in NorCal, hella pricey.

Oakland definitely in the house…

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know before you go: Oakland (OAK)


This is not my favorite airport.  I actually don’t care for either SFO or OAK, but at least SFO has a decent international terminal.  Oakland is an older airport that has limited amenities and dining options.  If you are stuck here as I was on a delay, it can be painful.

The airport itself is located about 10 miles from Downtown, and is very close to San Leandro.  There’s two terminals, T1 and T2, with 17 and 12 gates respectively.  T1 serves Alaska, Allegiant, American, British Airways, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Norwegian, Southwest, Spirit and Volaris.  T2 is exclusively Southwest.  The terminals are connected by a walkway and it’s a small airport, so it’s not too much of a hike from one end to another.

The thing it has going for it is that the BART station is very convenient to get to Oakland or SF.  I used to fly into Oakland to get to SF to avoid SFO.  And if there’s delays for SFO, usually you can hop on a flight to Oakland that may get you to the Bay earlier.  Of the NorCal airports, San Jose and Sacramento are better, but for convenience sake, Oakland just edges SFO out in my experience.

Remember: ✈️ = basket case to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = time of your life

Convenience to the city: ✈️✈️✈️ (BART and amtrak stations; freeway access can be real crowded at rush hour)

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️✈️ (not too big of an airport)

Convenience of check in/security lines: ✈️✈️ (the check in area is small and the security lines can be long and slow)

Dining: ✈️✈️ (T1 there’s a chili’s to go and the Silver Dragon chinese isn’t bad.  They also have blue bottle coffee cartons, which is a plus for the bay area.  T2 has more options in typically airport fare: vino volo, gordon biersch, CPK and Fenton’s ice cream)

Bathrooms: ✈️  (I would literally give it negative planes if I could–the toilets are old and missing porcelain–every toilet is like this)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️ (free wifi available, could have more charging areas)

Amenities: ✈️ (very few shops including Raiders store and an Escape Lounge)