Oakland Zoo Gondola

Get a different view of the Oakland zoo.

The latest addition to the Oakland Zoo’s California Trail expansion is the the soon-to-open Landing Café. The new, $13-million restaurant features 190 seats in a window-lined dining room, where guests can look out at the hills overlooking Bay Area, according to SFGate..

And one more thing: The restaurant is only accessible by a ride on an urban gondola.

In order to get to the gondolas, guests must purchase access to the Oakland Zoo, and the entry for each gondola will be near the giraffe habitat.

The gondolas themselves cost about $5 million, and each one takes about eight passengers at a time. The gondola route goes from the zoo to the restaurant, which is located at top floor of the Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center. About 25 percent of the $70-million expansion budget went to “restaurant-related work,” according to SFGate.

According to Lift Blog, which details the possible operation of the gondolas themselves, the slope length is about 1,780 feet with a vertical rise of 309 feet off the ground. The ride will be about four minutes.

Regardless of how you feel about the renovation, dinner and a gondola ride that overlooks a stunning view of this northern California vista sounds like a extraordinary experience.