Known for it’s diversity, rich culture, and wide array of architectural styles and neighborhoods, Oakland has risen from the shadow of nearby San Francisco to become a destination in it’s own right. With renowned chefs opening restaurants and trendy shops popping up along commercial streets, Oakland seems to offer new delightful surprises every day. One of the more well known weekly cultural events in Oakland is the First Friday, hosted by Oakland Art Murmur, which has blossomed into a vibrant street fair with food trucks, seemingly spontaneous musical and other performances in the street, and of course, open art galleries. Oakland is now a growing tech center, logical given its proximity to Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
Oakland residents enjoy mild, sunny weather most of the year, and as a result many residents take advantage of many outdoor activities. From joyous social gatherings and barbecues, to tai chi and yoga classes, to running and walking groups, the green space around Lake Merritt is a wonderful mix of cultures and activities in and of itself. In the hills, many miles of hiking trails are peppered with runners, walkers with and without dogs, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.
Piedmont is a small residential city completely surrounded by Oakland. Incorporated in 1907, Piedmont was known as the “City of Millionaires” in the Roaring Twenties – at that time it had the most millionaires per capita in the united states. Many notables and magnates of the time built large and beautiful estates in the early part of the 20th Century.
Today, Piedmont is still one of the wealthiest and most beautiful communities in California. Known for it’s stately homes, tree lined streets, safety and exceptional public schools, Piedmont is an idyllic place to live and raise a family.
Berkeley is internationally known for it’s culture, diversity and academia – and the homes in Berkeley include a wide range of notable architectural styles. The University of California at Berkeley draws students, academics, researchers, performers, and activists from all over the world, blending a university town feel into the culture of the city. Renowned restaurants, abundant urban culture and the arts, and an interesting array of shops scattered around several commercial districts are some of the delights that residents enjoy.
From hilltop estates with staggering views of the San Francisco Bay and its iconic bridges, to bungalows just a few steps from quaint coffee shops and gourmet restaurants, Berkeley offers homes in a wide range of architectural styles, including Victorian era homes, period revival, many variations of the California Bungalow, and wooded retreats in the hills. Many homes were designed by famous architects, including John Hudson Thomas, Bernard Maybeck, and Julia Morgan.
Albany is a small town just north of Berkeley that is known for its tight knit community feel and outstanding schools. With grassy parks and playgrounds, and many other family friendly amenities, Albany is an ideal place to raise a family.
Solano Ave cuts through Albany, it’s restaurants and shops offering residents a variety of delights, within walking distance of much of the town. Many home seekers choose Albany for its small town feel, it’s cute Solano strip, and its excellent schools. Albany schools consistently score among the top schools in California, keeping the demand for homes here strong.
Alameda maintains a small town charm even as its popularity grows – families stroll and ride their bikes to the historical business districts for ice cream or Saturday brunch. Highly rated schools and a family friendly culture draw residents who want to enjoy the quaint charms of “island” living.
Queen Anne, craftsman bungalows and other period styles line the leafy streets of Alameda Island. Bayfarm, also known as HArbor Bay Isle, is home to newer planned communities, built in the 1980s and 1990s.
Piedmont Avenue – Wrapped around its fabulous and bustling commercial district, the homes of Piedmont Avenue include many stunning examples of bungalows and period revivals of a variety of shapes and sizes.
Glenview – Known for its tight knit feel, 1920s bungalows, and a cute little commercial strip on Park Boulevard, Glenview is a very desirable neighborhood.
Oakmore – A gem of a neighborhood, off the beaten path, private and delightful, with stunning views, good schools, and a serene feel.
Cleveland Heights/Haddon Hill – Bordering Lake Merritt, this neighborhood is home to winding tree lined streets and beautiful homes.
Maxwell Park – A tight knit community set over rolling landscape, adjacent to Mills College.
The Laurel – A bright neighborhood with a vibrant and diverse population.
The Dimond/Lincoln Highlands – A district on the upswing, the area has its roots as a cherry orchard and German Beer gardens, before Prohibition.
Redwood Heights – Known for a friendly neighborhood feel, a tight knit school community and pretty views of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding hills.
NOBE – Short for “North Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville,” NOBE is a hot neighborhood that has rapidly become popular among the younger generation.
West Oakland – With industrial roots that date back to the late 1800s, West Oakland has some of Oakland’s finest examples of Victorian era houses, and warehouses are being converted into hip, cutting edge live work communities and lofts.
Jack London Square – Warehouses-turned lofts and other newer, hip housing projects have transformed this industrial area into a trendy place to call home.
Emeryville – A small town on the Bay nestled between Oakland and Berkeley, Emeryville teems with an outdoor shopping mall and trendy newer condos, townhomes, and lofts.
El Cerrito – An enclave of relatively affordable homes that range from the flats up into the hills, just north of Berkeley.
Kensington – A serene, tree filled neighborhood in the hills along the northern edge of Berkeley. Known for it’s parks, dramatic Bay Views, and peace and quiet.