California is the land that you never get bored of seeing, capable of offering the most diverse and contrasting landscapes, the land of the future, the heart of the new trends, a dream for many and a special journey for everyone.
Do you remember my first time in November 2015? The stops were Los Angeles and Palm Springs passing through the incredible desert of Joshua Tree.
After more than 2 years I can say that I almost completed the “puzzle” of this amazing state, scratching away from my scratch map the area of the north of Cali.
I have to thank the friends of Master Consulting who, in partnership with the Tourism Board of Oakland and San Francisco, has given me this fantastic opportunity to tell you about a destination so popular and to live travel pages to keep close to the heart.
I start my story from Oakland, a stone’s throw from San Francisco (about 15 minutes by car). But why choose Oakland?
I will explain it point by point.
1) Low cost flights from Rome with Norwegian
The first big reason is certainly the flight, with 12 hours of direct from Rome you will be in California. Norwegian is the first company in the world to make low cost intercontinental flights from Italy. It really opened new horizons.
And since there is no more the direct Milan – Los Angeles the only fast and cheap solution to get to California is the Rome Fiumicino – Oakland flight.
Me and my travel companions flew in Premium, this means a lot more legroom (you can stretch almost completely), food on board, personal screen and lounge access waiting for the flight, at half the cost of any other business of other airlines.
The planes of the fleet are brand new and the super friendly staff, for me it is very approved. If I only I could find a lasagna on board I think I would not get off anymore.
In addition to domestic flights (on long-haul flights it is still in beta), there is already wifi on board with free internet access.
2) 5-star hotel 20 minutes from San Francisco
In America you will soon realize that it is absolutely necessary to rent a car, usually the distances are large and does not exist in the local imagination “go on foot”. So opting for a decentralized hotel will not be a problem.
The Claremont Club & Spa in Berkeley (Oakland and Berkeley are almost the same town) was our “home” for the first three nights. We arrived when it was already dark, but from our castle at the beginning of the famous university town I could see the skyline of San Francisco and the bright bridges that connect it to the city.
In the morning, the first thing I did was to see behind the windows: I found the beautiful bay in front of my eyes.
San Francisco is a city of incredible beauty but at the same time very expensive. A 5 stars hotel decentralized gives the opportunity to live a truly luxurious experience without having to invest large amounts.
The Claremont belongs to the Fairmont group, among the most luxurious in the world, I felt like a princess and I found a lot of inspiration for my new home 🙂
3) Meet the “real” America
Until now I could not say I really met America of everyday life, the non-tourist one and outside the futuristic schemes.
Oakland is the city of “good vibes” where culture spurts from every pore (or better, window). A young city, thanks to the presence of the nearby Berkeley which houses one of the largest colleges in the world.
Do not miss to see in Oakland?
Surely Tescal Alley, a pedestrian street where you can find an exceptional vintage piece or toast at sunset under a thousand colored lights.
Street art is the masterpiece and dyes the streets of the city of a thousand colors and stories told by pieces of cement.
For a super breakfast in a typical diner do not miss: Sequoia Diner in the city center.
Jack London Square is instead the heart of the city, the main square, an American flag stands glorious in the sky.
4) Explore nearby San Francisco and the incredible surroundings
Napa and Sonoma Valley
Oakland and San Francisco are only 15 minutes away by car, but I will tell you more in detail in another post dedicated to the city of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Here instead I will tell you the story of a dream come true: visit and taste a glass of wine in the Napa and Sonoma Valley (about an hour’s drive from Oakland).
The view that opens before the eyes once arrived in the land of wine is those that are good for the heart. Infinite expanses of vineyards surrounded by fragrant flowers and wineries with the most diverse shapes and types.
We have opted for the Buenavista Winery, one of the oldest, an incredible sun has accompanied a perfume day.