Best Rooftop Respite

Kaiser Roof Garden

When you're seeking some peace and quiet in the city, sometimes the best place to go is up. More specifically: up to the top of the five-story parking garage adjacent to Oakland's Kaiser Center buildings. That's where you'll find a vast tree- and pond-speckled garden located high above the city's streets and (what can feel like) worlds away from the stresses of everyday life. Though the 3.5-acre oasis is sometimes host to summer concerts, weddings, and other special events, the most magical time to visit is during quiet hours — when you can enjoy a book and a bag lunch and sit peacefully among Kaiser Center tenants and employees and anyone else who relies on the rooftop garden for a little respite. It should also be noted that the garden is a free and ingenious place to bring and subsequently impress visiting out-of-towners or even soon-to-be sweethearts on a first date.

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