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Living in Oakland

Oakland isn’t the Bay Area’s second city anymore. With its stunning location on the shores of Lake Merritt and proximity to Silicon Valley employers, it’s come into its own. The ethnically diverse population makes it a cultural playground for food, art, music, and more.

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and a well connected bus line make Oakland accessible from San Francisco, the East and South Bay. Want cred? The NRDC ranked Oakland as a sustainable city, recognizing Fruitvale as an icon of walkable and transit friendly living.

Nearby Apartments

Walk Score of Oakland, CA

Oakland is Somewhat Walkable

Some errands can be accomplished on foot.

Walk Score Map

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Photo of Fairyland in Oakland

Fairyland

Photo of Pasta Shop Wholesale in Oakland

Pasta Shop Wholesale

Oakland is the 9th most walkable large city in the US with 390,724 residents.

Oakland has good public transportation and is somewhat bikeable.

Find apartments in Oakland's most walkable neighborhoods: Civic Center, Chinatown and Downtown.

Oakland Neighborhoods

Rank

#

Name

Walk Score

Transit Score

Bike Score

Population

1Civic Center9884851,500
2Chinatown9785802,950
3Downtown9782821,636
4Lakewide9683904,813
5Waverly957394797
6Northgate9575951,850
7San Pablo Gateway9581812,943
8Old City9483742,552
9Piedmont Avenue9354706,292
10Pill Hill9170891,813
11Fruitvale Station9072671,598
12Hawthorne9070572,158
13Temescal9067864,418
14Shafter8963843,470
15St. Elizabeth8870596,294
16Produce & Waterfront8880832,771
17Merritt8868864,371
18Mosswood8771872,257
19Lake Merritt876590660
20Fairview Park8763823,625
21Rockridge8659703,375
22Oakland Ave/Harrison St8562805,776
23Bushrod8463826,343
24Grand Lake8351674,418
25Golden Gate8350731,995
26Oak Tree8367564,680
27Adams Point8261837,973
28Laurel8250581,541
29Dimond8254581,796
30East Peralta8158782,080
31Hoover/Foster8171904,188
32Sausal Creek8158512,316
33Cleveland Heights8160747,068
34Lakeshore8048584,636
35Gaskill8056811,888
36Peralta Hacienda8059521,691
37Patten8057492,750
38Clinton7958647,583
39Acorn7972862,787
40Santa Fe7959853,457
41Ralph Bunche7868831,982
42School7855542,007
43Oak Center7871813,209
44North Kennedy Tract786774956
45Ivy Hill7760613,359
46McClymonds7764872,840
47Paradise Park7755762,317
48Longfellow7768875,994
49South Kennedy Tract7667841,352
50Fremont7555535,292
51Rancho San Antonio7456585,391
52Durant Manor7349551,861
53Melrose7356521,848
54Glenview7253525,511
55Clawson7259793,069
56Frick7254563,254
57Upper Dimond7251506,370
58Havenscourt7157606,781
59Meadow Brook7160485,625
60Harrington7158533,913
61Woodland7154482,260
62North Stonehurst7147474,329
63Hegenberger7059581,791
64Trestle Glen7052463,300
65Bella Vista7056521,506
66Upper Peralta Creek6953552,545
67Iveywood6953563,558
68Lynn6954591,421
69Arroyo Viejo6957605,062
70Wentworth Holland6952562,236
71Allendale6949544,785
72Highland6849472,511
73Highland Park6855461,151
74Bartlett6751541,908
75Prescott6662884,689
76Las Palmas6651582,337
77Jefferson6658493,822
78Fitchburg6661492,388
79Elmhurst Park6648472,694
80Webster6553565,531
81Foothill Square6448411,316
82Eastmont6455603,466
83Reservoir Hill6356441,355
84Seminary6356555,584
85Lockwood Tevis6362492,422
86Cox6252573,575
87Fairfax6251422,178
88South Prescott626486764
89Highland Terrace6156444,293
90Redwood Heights6145378,948
91Coliseum5966463,172
92Maxwell Park5850385,505
93Tuxedo5855472,487
94Sheffield Village573242753
95Columbia Gardens5739531,140
96Coliseum Industrial5756452,185
97Brookfield Village5638464,185
98South Stonehurst5544431,041
99Millsmont5552304,597
100Castlemont5352543,620
101Mountain View Cemetery524648950
102Toler Heights5149291,966
103Mills College494927888
104Montclair4528304,213
105Eastmont Hills4449203,551
106Lincoln Highlands4344271,817
107Crocker Highland4246251,218
108Sobrante Park4138423,293
109Oakmore4141232,236
110Upper Rockridge3837386,078
111Crestmont3132111,257
112Leona Heights3039131,112
113Glen Highlands3021251,769
114Woodminster2732121,270
115Oak Knoll-Golf Links2643111,850
116Shepherd Canyon2418241,804
117Merriwood2317173,266
118Sequoyah191994,403
119Piedmont Pines1820123,135
120Claremont1821182,348
121Chabot Park1821102,959
122Hiller Highlands111918739
123Caballo Hills113062,074
124Forestland74131,690
125Skyline - Hillcrest Estates31841,151

Eating & Drinking

There are about 1,235 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Oakland.

People in Oakland can walk to an average of 3 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in 5 minutes.

Photo of Jack London Square in Oakland

Jack London Square

Photo of Telegraph Beer Garden in Oakland

Telegraph Beer Garden

Restaurant ChoicesMap

= More Choices

thumbnail for FairylandFairyland has been a wonderful resource to the family-based community for as long as I can remember. In a Storybook-esque environment, Fairyland offers its patrons a whimsical experience. Plus they have adult nights once a year opening the park up to a 21 and up audience with adult beverages!

Sean Delizo
on Fairyland

Transit Score of Oakland, CA

Oakland has Good Transit

Many nearby public transportation options. Find Oakland apartments for rent near public transit.

Public Transit Routes

Oakland has good public transportation and about 46 bus, 4 rail and 5 subway lines.

Transit Time

The map above shows how far you can travel in 30 minutes from Oakland on public transit.

icon for car shares in Oakland

Oakland has about 116 car shares from City CarShare, RelayRides, Zipcar and Getaround.

Neighborhood Guides

Thinking of renting an apartment or buying in Oakland? Ask our neighborhood guides a question.

Photo of 9th and Washington, Oakland, CA 94607 in Oakland

9th and Washington, Oakland, CA 94607

Photo of Ratto's International Market in Oakland

Ratto's International Market

Photo of The Bookmark Bookstore in Oakland

The Bookmark Bookstore

Photo of canondill graffiti in Oakland

canondill graffiti

Photo of Jack London Square in Oakland

Jack London Square

Photo of Lake Merritt in Oakland

Lake Merritt

Learn how to become a Neighborhood Guide.

Bike Score of Oakland, CA

Oakland is Bikeable

Some bike infrastructure.

Bike
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Crime in Oakland

Each year in Oakland, 39 violent crimes and 78 property crimes occur per 1,000 people.

Use our crime maps to find an apartment for rent in a safe Oakland neighborhood.

Pick a neighborhood to see detailed crime maps and compare locations in Oakland.

What's It Like to Live in Oakland?

Photo of Oakland's Prettiest Crosswalk in Oakland

Oakland's Prettiest Crosswalk

Photo of Fox Theater in Oakland

Fox Theater

Photo of USS Potomac in Oakland

USS Potomac

Photo of Fitzgerald Park in Oakland

Fitzgerald Park

Overview

Oakland isn’t the Bay Area’s second city anymore. With its stunning location on the shores of Lake Merritt and proximity to Silicon Valley employers, it’s come into its own. The ethnically diverse population makes it a cultural playground for food, art, music, and more. While the city still struggles with its crime issues, it’s also working hard at remodeling itself around sustainable development principals. The NRDC ranked Oakland as a sustainable city, recognizing Fruitvale as an icon of walkable and transit friendly living.

Oakland is just six miles across the Bay from San Francisco and it’s close to academic Berkeley, the waterfront city of Emeryville where Pixar makes its home. Oakland was the end of the line for the Transcontinental Railway and remains a busy hub for shipping via land and sea – it’s the fifth most active port city in the United States.

Kaiser Permanente is here, insurance giant GEICO, Dreyer’s ice cream, and cleaning products company Clorox. The tech scene is growing – Pandora Radio, Ask.com, and more and more startups are eyeing Oakland as an alternative to pricy San Francisco. The city’s tax incentives to new businesses are attracting players in high tech and digital media.

It would be naive to ignore Oakland’s crime; you need a lock on your bike and a lock on your door. The city continues to invest in public safety and police services. Oakland is a city that is changing for the better, and people who choose to make their lives here love the diversity, the way it’s connected to the greater Bay Area, and its affordability.

Photo of Martin Luther King Super Stop in Oakland

Martin Luther King Super Stop

Photo of Martin Luther King, Junior Elementary School in Oakland

Martin Luther King, Junior Elementary School

Getting Around

Oakland’s international airport is a great alternative to SFO – flights often leave Oakland with no problem while SFO is cloaked in fog. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and a well connected bus line make Oakland accessible from San Francisco, Fremont, Richmond, and points East. BART allows bicycles on their trains, so a bike and public transit commute is very doable. BikeLink, a service that provides secure bike lockers, has services at most of the regional BART stations if you don’t want to take your bike with you. The region is hilly, so you’ll need strong legs to be a bike commuter. Oakland plans to lay down over 200 miles of designated bike lanes, so they’re serious about making it a good place for cyclists.

AC Transit operates bus service in Oakland and throughout the East Bay. There are express lines from Oakland to Berkeley and to Contra Costa College and TransBay bus lines will take you to San Francisco.

Trains run from Oakland south to San Jose or east to Sacramento from Oakland’s Amtrak station. For now, most residents moving to Oakland will probably want a car from time to time, but CityCar Share has hundreds of car share stations throughout the Bay Area, so you don’t really need to have your own.

thumbnail for Pasta Shop WholesaleThis farmers market is hosted by Phat Beets. Although small, the produce is great and plentiful. The restaurant is also open, so grab some food, enjoy the weather and your produce all in one go! #paradisepark

Julee Lee
on Pasta Shop Wholesale

Neighborhoods

Downtown Oakland is connected to everything you want – you can walk everywhere, you’re never far from transit, and there’s good street life – restaurants and cafes, shopping – here. You’ll find some nice condos in new buildings – studios up to two bedrooms, some of them in gated complexes or security buildings.

Close to downtown, surrounding Lake Merritt, you can find attractive remodeled apartments in smaller buildings, places with bay windows, hardwood floors, some of them with nice city views.

The award winning Fruitvale Village has one and two bedroom apartments in this intentionally developed community that’s right on the BART line. The area was developed with street level business and residential units from the second floor up.

If you’re willing to compromise on walkability, there are some lovely neighborhoods in the Oakland Hills; they’ve got a completely different vibe from the urban heart of the city. Piedmont has classic single family homes, you can find a four bedroom house with a fireplace, or a big craftsman style property with a stone patio and plenty of privacy.

A bit north, in Emeryville, is where you’ll find the brand new condos, green built complexes with gourmet kitchens, or loft like spaces with lots of shared amenities like onsite gyms or swimming pools. To the south, there are some newer complexes at Produce and Waterfront, located right near Oakland’s famous Jack London Square. And to the southwest, there’s Alameda, an island in the bay that’s got adorable little stucco duplexes, some attractive Spanish California style single family homes, and some spectacular waterfront palaces with remarkable views across the bay.

Photo of Fentons Creamery in Oakland

Fentons Creamery

Photo of Piedmont Grocery in Oakland

Piedmont Grocery

Photo of canondill graffiti in Oakland

canondill graffiti

Photo of People Of Oakland: The Gardener in Oakland

People Of Oakland: The Gardener

Piedmont Avenue, Temescal, and Rockridge are becoming Oakland’s hipster magnets, the kind of neighborhoods where you’ll find artisanal sandwiches next to organic coffee bars next to independent galleries next to comic book shops. Piedmont will cost you more than downtown, but you might find that perfect studio in an apartment with Spanish style tile detailing. There are dozens of restaurants, bars, and cafes in Temescal, all easy to walk to. Rockridge, in North Oakland, claims that the main drag, College Avenue, is home to the cities finest dining and wine bars. Rockridge is also one Oakland’s wealthier neighborhoods.

Understanding Oakland neighborhoods is, well, it’s complicated. There are beautiful historic mansions in the Oakland hills, warehouses converted into super chic new lofts along the water, and a gritty but exciting downtown. There are some tradeoffs around walkablity – some of the most walkable neighborhoods are those with the highest crime rates. But Oakland is evolving and those who choose to live there now may find they’re investing in the future of California’s next great city.

thumbnail for Oakland's Prettiest CrosswalkA decorated crosswalk in Oakland Chinatown that makes crossing the street feel special.

Jessica Pfeifer
on Oakland's Prettiest Crosswalk

Oakland is Talking About...

god oco coliseum raiders eating bart coffee fans food car drink play fox theater walk school sleep baseball party athletics bay song

Oakland is all about:

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Photo of Fox Theater in Oakland

Fox Theater

Photo of Oakland Flower Market in Oakland

Oakland Flower Market

Photo of Jack London Square in Oakland

Jack London Square

thumbnail for Fox TheaterAn Art Deco lover's dream live music venue. The architectural details inside this theater make seeing concerts here a memorable experience.

Jessica Pfeifer
on Fox Theater

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