A few shops, some minor historic sites, and a growing number of noteworthy restaurants (along with the well-estabished Yoshi's Jazz Club) line Jack London Square, which is named after the author of The Call of the Wild, The Sea Wolf, and other books. London, who was born in San Francisco, also lived in Oakland, where he spent many a day boozing and brawling in the waterfront area, most notably at the tiny, wonderful Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon
(48 Webster St., at Embarcadero W). The saloon has been serving since 1883, although it's a little worse for the wear since the 1906 earthquake. Next door is the Klondike cabin in which London spent a summer in the late 1890s. The cabin was moved from Alaska and reassembled here in 1970.
During the week, the square can feel desolate, albeit with great views. Weekends are much livelier, with diners filling the many outdoor patios, and shoppers perusing Sunday's farmers' market, which takes place from 9 am to 2 pm. The square is an obvious spot for tourists to visit, and it's worth a peek if you've arrived on the ferry that docks here; but to get a real feel for Oakland, you'll do better to check out downtown, Temescal, or at least Rockridge.