48 Hours in Oakland, California

Fox Theater Oakland
Eric Rorer

Affectionately referred to as "the Town" by residents, Oakland has a surprisingly communal vibe despite being home to some 400,000 people. Diversity is one of the port city's strengths, as evidenced in its stellar international cuisine, eclectic local bands and vibrant arts scene.

Each month, thousands of folks celebrate this cultural creativity at First Friday, essentially an evening street fair with food trucks, artists' booths, a classic car show and seemingly impromptu performances by musicians, DJs and dancers.