Oakland on National Geographic's Top 28 best trip destinations list

The writer Gertrude Stein once wrote longingly in her autobiography of Oakland that "there is no there there.” But National Geographic Traveler Magazine disagrees.

In its current edition, it says Oakland has plenty there. The magazine has listed Oakland in its top 28 list of best trip destinations for 2019. Oakland is one of four U..S. Cities to even make the list.

One visitor from London says she isn't surprised.

"It's an interesting place. We've been to the historic part. And it seemed lovely," said Zoe Hunter.

Oakland made the magazine's list in the culture category.

"Phenomenally diverse communities within Oakland. We were just voted as one of the top food destinations in the U.S. So it's a hidden gem," said Mark Everton CEO of VisitOakland.

Among the areas the magazine recommended was Temescal Alley off Telegraph Avenue.

Those at the local barber shop hadn't yet heard the news, but were happy for their hometown and neighborhood.

"It is nice to have people acknowledge us for what we are. It's very cool," said barber Brad Roberts.

While still perhaps in the shadow of San Francisco and Silicon Valley, Oakland tourism is projected to be up 15 percent this year. That's on top of a 10  percent rise last year.

"We pride ourselves on our unique hidden parts of the city and our cool things you can't find in San Francisco and definitely not in Silicon Valley. It's the people, that's what makes Oakland," said Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner of Oakland.

For years Oakland had a reputation as being unsafe, dangerous and crime ridden. 

"I think we are past the crime moniker we acquired a number of years ago. The past few years we have seen a reduction in violent and property crimes," said Everton.

"It's been lovely so far," said the visitor from London.

Oakland  also has some big plans ahead. A new downtown ballpark could be coming. And the airport is considering building another terminal.