When my sister and I were in Northern California, her boyfriend suggested that we should visit Oakland and Santa Clara.
I’ve heard of Oakland before because one of my best friends is from there, so I was pretty excited to visit the city.
It took us about 45 minutes to get there. We went to the waterfront of Oakland and to be honest, we were a little nervous. We heard reviews of how bad the city was and how much crime there has been. We walked around the waterfront and noticed there weren’t too many people there. A lot of the shops were closed and we assumed it was because it was still winter. It’ll probably be packed once the weather was warmer, but as a first impression, we just thought it was a deadbeat area. We thought the area would be busy all year round but we were wrong. There were still a few shops that were open. My sister and I bought coffee from a local place and it was pretty good! Overall, we were only there for about half an hour. We sat down in the car and googled places to visit and things to do. And my sister made it a mission to see every monumental statue in Oakland and Santa Clara.
We drove through Chinatown and honestly, even though I wasn’t too fond of the city, I did fall in love with the art. There were graffiti in every block and it was just beautiful to see. I wish we stopped to take photos but I think we were too scared of something happening to our car.
The first place we visited was the Cathedral of Christ the Light. We took pictures inside of our car because we couldn’t find parking. We weren’t dressed appropriately either so we figured we would have stood out if we stepped inside. We just snapped a few shots and continued on our drive to find statues.
The drive to our first monumental statue was about 5-10 minutes away. We found parking right away but only put money for 10-15 minutes because we knew we weren’t going to stay long. This statue apparently is the most famous one in Oakland. It’s the Uptown Peace Statues. There were a bunch of kids there because it’s right inside a park and school was out too. I didn’t take pictures of the complete and entire statue just because there were kids playing and I didn’t want them in my shot (haha). The statues were huge and beautiful to look at. I wish we stayed longer but my sister gave us a time limit since we had quite a number of statues to see.
The next monumental statue was about a 20 minute drive away and it was located in Santa Clara. I was so tired from the night before that I rested during the entire drive. The statue was right next to a church. I wasn’t too surprised considering what the statue was for and what it stood for. Parking was easy to find and was free. We visited the Our Lady of Peace statue and it was HUGE. It was in an area with an open field so I’m assuming in the summer, it gets busy. We saw a couple kids running around so most likely, when it gets warmer, there will be tons of kids. There was another statue on the other side of the field. As we were walking the path, we realized that it was a “clock” because each point was labelled a time and each time had a quote and photo with it. The entire open field was a clock and I thought that was really cool and interesting.
The statue on the other side the the St. John Paul II statue. There are small plagues with information and quotes explaining each statue so if you’re a tourist like us and didn’t know what they stood for, there’s a little plague for you to read all about it. I saw a runner running the entire place. It’s a great place for people to jog and walk their dogs. I think to walk the entire field, it took about 15 minutes. You can also cut through and run on the grass if you don’t want to walk on the path.
The next statue we visited was about 15 minutes away. The statue was in a little waterfall pond but because of the drought, there was no water. It was just the statue. There was a sign saying that even though the water is off, we still can’t step inside for a photo with the statue, which was fine! I think we spent about 10 minutes there. I’m actually unsure of the name of the statue. All I know is that it’s in Santa Clara. It’s also in an area where people can hang out and walk their dogs. Street parking is available.
Our final destination was Santa Clara University where we got to see the Bronze Bronco statue. Visitors parking is available for just a day until you have to renew the parking pass the next day. The statue was close by to the parking lot. It was about a 5 minute walk. My sister and I pretended to be college students but the students knew we were tourists since we were taking pictures of the statue. I can’t believe my sister made us go on a statue-hunting-find but honestly, I did have fun. I was tired but it was nice to go on a little scavenger hunt.