We may find little more iconically American than catching a baseball game during the late summer months. It is the stuff that kids and their parents have been doing together for years, and a trip out to the Oakland Coliseum to watch the Oakland Athletics play is an amazing way to enjoy a game with a little bit of West Coast flair.
The A's have been playing at the Oakland Coliseum, or more specifically, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, since in 1968. This was the year that the A's joined the Oakland Raiders in playing at the Coliseum, and this was the last dual-use football and baseball stadium in the country until the Raiders moved to Las Vegas before the 2020 NFL season.
The stadium sits at 7000 Coliseum Way in Oakland, and it has a capacity of over 46,000 for baseball games that can be expanded to just a shade under 56,000 if the A's are in hot pursuit of a playoff run.
One of the weirdest sights you might see at an A's game is their mascot Stomper, who is a white elephant. As far as we know, there are no wild elephants in Oakland, and the mascot instead came about after a comment about the A's being a bunch of "white elephants" when the team was still in Philadelphia in 1902.
Whatever the story behind the mascot origin, you can't go wrong when attending an Oakland A's game. The seats, whether in the form of a skybox, in the outfield bleachers, or behind home plate, are all perfect for taking in a game as part of a camping trip to California.
Take in the sights, the food, and the smells of a game, before heading out to some of the wonderful national and state parks in the NorCal region for a truly unforgettable vacation.
In recent seasons Oakland Athletics tickets have been found as cheap as $20 with an average price of around $90. This is all dependent on the level of service you are expecting at the game and the opponent that is in play. General admission tickets are usually the cheapest option, with games on weekday afternoons being the ones to look for if you are especially budget-conscious.
The Coliseum Complex is signposted from all directions. Most people will find their way to the Coliseum via I-880. This includes anyone traveling to the game from San Jose or San Francisco. This is a road that gets very, very busy during peak travel hours, so it might be a good idea to leave a large RV at the campsite and drive a towed vehicle or smaller campervan into what can be a very tricky region to navigate if you aren't used to a lot of traffic.
The Oakland Coliseum offers parking lots nearby in for those wanting to drive to the game. These lots have typically cost around $35 for cars and motorcycles in recent seasons. Parking an RV or bus has cost around $50 or so in recent years. Any vehicle larger than 20 feet long x 8 feet wide will be directed to the RV and Bus lot. Tailgating is allowed in the A, B, C, and D parking lots for A's games.
The best way to get to the Coliseum by public transportation is via the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART). This will allow you to explore the Bay Area at your leisure before getting to the Coliseum Complex via the BART Station/Coliseum ramp. Fans can also get a bus to the stadium from a variety of different locations via the AC Transit system. Both of these options will allow you to leave the RV on the outskirts of the city as opposed to battling Oakland and San Francisco traffic.
There are no campgrounds on the stadium property and RVs are not permitted to stay in the parking lots overnight. You may have better luck in some of the off stadium property parking lots, but this can be hit or miss depending on the time of year and what other events are happening at either the Coliseum or the Oracle Arena. Luckily, Oakland RV Parks and area campgrounds are not hard to find.
One of the best places to stay nearby in the Bay Area is the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. This is a site with four different campgrounds and is ideal if you would like to explore on the San Francisco side of the bay. Candlestick RV Park may also attract baseball RVers to stay near A's Stadium and within 25 miles.
Heading to the north and east away from Oakland campers will have plenty of RV Parks to stay at with amenities and facilities to make the trip memorable. Mount Diablo State Park is around thirty miles from the stadium and is an ideal place to base yourself for a longer stay in the region.
The A's have committed to having their stadium remain fully ADA accessible with everything from wheelchair-friendly seating to quiet rooms for those guests that need them. If you want to get around the area by bike, then the A's have a dedicated bicycle parking facility at the top of F Lot. There is also a designated driver program to promote one member of a party staying sober. This person will get free soda through the game and be entered into a raffle to win bigger prizes.
Your clothing needs will vary slightly based on the season you plan to attend an Oakland A's game. Temperatures may be in the 50s and 60s most of the year, reaching the 70s mid-season, so take layers to make sure your clothing can reflect what the weather is doing. Shoes you are comfortable walking in will be important, as will a baseball cap, especially if you are in a section of the stadium that receives direct sunlight.
Pack everything you need for your trip with an Oakland A's twist. Get online or head to stores in the Oakland area to buy the lawn chairs and tailgating games emblazoned with the A's logo. If the trip is going to include time at the ocean, then make sure to pack swimsuits, water gear, and sun protection, too. Consider having your gear fit into the green, gold, and white color scheme to make new friends on game day instantly!
Drinking water is important to stay hydrated while traveling. Sunscreen is essential; even if the sun doesn't feel particularly hot, there will be a threat of sunburn under the California sky. Also, remember to have a first-aid kit in the RV with band-aids and pain medication because accidents always happen.
Cooking on your road trip to the Bay Area can be as involved or as easy as you like. Make sure to take a grill of some kind with you, be it for tailgating or for cooking at the campsite. Weather in the Oakland area is usually perfect for cooking and eating outdoors. Prepare anything you can before your trip, so you can spend extra time exploring the area with your loved ones.
If you want to go into the city, then you may never run out of places to eat in Oakland. Sticking to chains might feel like the safest bet, but trips are a great way to step outside of your comfort zone and try foods and cuisines that you might not have near home. There is plenty of Asian influence in Oakland, so you might see unique dishes in Thai, Vietnamese, and fusion restaurants, along with all the seafood you would expect in a big, coastal city.
There is nothing quite like enjoying a baseball game while chowing down on a hot dog or some other All-American staple. Vendors at the Oakland Coliseum have this covered as they offer gourmet ballpark hot dogs, Philly cheesesteaks, and a number of other handheld stomach pleasers. There are vendors all around the field, and for those not wanting to move from their seats, there will be beer and food guys working the crowds. Food trucks are also located at Championship Plaza between the Coliseum and Oracle Arena that are accessible during the game.
Waiting in line for a bag search is a typical occurrence at sporting events, so plan for a line when entering the game. In recent seasons, bags have been required to be 16" x 16" x 8" or smaller to be allowed into the stadium. Prohibited items include everything from bubble machines to fireworks. Security staff inside A's Stadium will be within easy reach should you need to flag them down during a game.
The weather in the Oakland area is some of the best in the country during the summer months when the playoff chase starts to heat up in MLB. Expect temperatures in the 60s as a high for most of the year, with slight swings above and below that depending on the weather pattern. Lows are in the 40s and 50s usually, but there is always a chance of rain and storms, though a pretty low chance of severe weather. Always check your weather app before your trip to be prepared.
The A's have a team of medical staff both in the first-aid office and around the stadium who will be able to help with medical situations that occur when inside the Oakland Coliseum. One thing to consider at a baseball field is the possibility of being hit by a foul ball or even a bat slipping out of a player's hands. In that situation expect one of the Paramedics Plus, the medical provider for the team, to come to your seat to check for injuries.