OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — In its “Best Trips For 2019” issue, National Geographic Magazine put out its list for the top “Must See” destinations in the world, and Oakland, California was on it.
It was one of only four U.S. cities on the list, which totaled 28 cities. The city is getting international attention for its diversity, art, food scene and nightlife.
The city was selected in the Culture category of the list. Other selected cities in this category were Cairo in Egypt, Hoang Lien Son in Vietnam, and Galway in Ireland.
To read National Geographic’s description of Oakland and to view the entire list of cities, click here.
“Every time you hear about Oakland, I think it’s playing second fiddle to San Francisco. It’s the city next to San Francisco and I think I was taken aback by how much is going on here,” said Adam Pittman, a visitor from Birmingham, Alabama.
Residents of Oakland said they were pleased that their home town was getting some love across the globe.
“We’ve got 125 languages spoken in our public schools, we’ve got an amazingly acceptable culture, largest LGBTQ community per capita in the country,” said Mark Everton, CEO of Visit Oakland.
“So it’s just a great place to raise kids, a great place to work, great place to grow up.”
Visit Oakland is a nonprofit group that markets the city as a travel destination. Everton noted that in the last three or four years, Oakland has seen a dramatic drop in both violent and property crime.
Oakland has been a primary center for accelerated gentrification in the Bay Area, but natives are proud that the city’s rich culture has persisted.
“I’m really glad that the culture we’ve had for a long time is getting appreciated, and I really hope that natives can keep participating and enjoying it,” said Elizabeth Brenum.
“It makes me happy that I’m seeing progression, because I’ve been here from the jump,” said Guillermo Verrier. “I’m only 23 and this is where I’ve been my whole life, and to see that going from bad and now it’s going up, makes me want to keep going.”
Visit Oakland says that in 2017, 3.7 million people visited the city, about a 10 percent jump from 2016. The group expects the trend to continue into 2019.