Located across the bridge from San Francisco, Oakland, California, or “the East Bay,” is one of the most diverse cities in the country. It’s also one of the largest port cities in the country. Oakland is known for its Earth-friendly practices, its history of political activism, and recent cultural renaissance, making it a great destination to visit and live.
What Makes Oakland Great
- Sports: The city is home to the Oakland Raiders (football); Oakland Athletics, or A’s (baseball); and the Golden State Warriors (basketball)
- Walkability: Downtown Oakland has a walk score of 72
- Weather: Oakland has a Mediterranean-like climate
- Food: The city has an amazing food scene
- Wine: Oakland has an urban wine trail, and Napa Valley is only an hour away
- Green spaces: Find some of the world’s tallest trees at Muir Woods, Redwood Regional Park, and Joaquin Miller Park
Oakland boasts an average of 260 days of sun and a warm-summer Mediterranean climate. Summers are warm and dry. Winters are mild and damp.
Oakland’s 50 distinct neighborhoods are as diverse as its population. When choosing a neighborhood in this busy city, it’s important to consider noise levels, your dependence on a car, and crime levels. Other considerations include:
- Schools: The Lamorinda (Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda) area is known to have excellent schools
- Green spaces and a higher-end feel: Neighborhoods in the hills (e.g., Forestland, Claremont Hills and Montclair) are more affluent than other areas of town and have a history of being safer than lower-rent areas
- City life: Downtown Oakland offers a great city vibe
- Public transport: Downtown and Rockridge have the best access to BART stations
- Dog friendliness: Piedmont, Elmwood, and Rockridge are among the most pet-welcoming neighborhoods
Average Housing Costs
At the time of publication, Oakland has a healthy real estate market. With housing prices increasing by 11 percent over the last year, the home value in 2018 is around $754,000. The median rent price is around $3,000 per month.
Things to Do in Oakland
- Take in the arts: Oakland has the highest percentage of artists per capita than any other U.S. city. You’ll find the highest concentration of galleries in the Uptown area.
- Live music: Oakland is a historical focal point of West Coast blues and jazz scenes. Musicians also represent a variety of music genres, from gospel to heavy metal to hip-hop.
- Participate in a walking tour: The city offers free walking tours of attractions such as Old Oakland, Chinatown, City Center, Uptown to Lake Merritt, Preservation Park, Waterfront, Churches and Temples, and areas impacted by African American leaders.
- Visit museums: Oakland has a variety of museums, including the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland Aviation Museum, Oakland Museum of California, and Peralta Hacienda Historical Park.
- Nightlife: Downtown has a variety of bars and nightclubs. Catch headlining musical tours and productions at the Paramount Theater. Listen to a variety of musical genres at the Fox Oakland Theatre. On the first Friday of the month, check out live performances, an assortment of food, and art displayed at more than 30 galleries and venues at the Oakland Art Murmur event in Uptown. The Oakland First Friday Street Festival in the KONO district also occurs at the beginning of the month.
Considering moving to Oakland? Check out the employment opportunities at Solairus.