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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 Oakland Apartments on Redfin

75 Walk Score of Oakland, CA

Oakland is Very Walkable

Most 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 7th 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: Downtown, Koreatown-Northgate and Fruitvale Station.

Oakland Apartments for Rent

Oakland Neighborhoods

Rank

#

Name

Walk Score

Transit Score

Bike Score

Population

1 Downtown 98 82 90 16,449
2 Koreatown-Northgate 97 73 98 2,507
3 Fruitvale Station 95 70 85 1,559
4 Saint Elizabeth 95 69 79 6,226
5 Temescal 95 64 94 4,271
6 Hawthorne 94 68 79 3,140
7 Piedmont Avenue 94 55 68 8,635
8 Pill Hill 93 67 95 1,745
9 East Peralta 93 61 95 3,043
10 Merritt 93 70 96 2,723
11 Fairview Park 93 61 96 3,927
12 Shafter 93 61 86 3,433
13 Golden Gate 92 59 89 1,719
14 Bushrod 92 60 98 6,236
15 Produce and Waterfront 92 77 86 2,561
16 Oak Tree 90 65 77 3,207
17 Mosswood 90 67 97 2,301
18 Rockridge 90 57 76 3,447
19 Gaskill 90 60 97 1,838
20 Harrison St-Oakland Ave 89 62 76 3,891
21 Santa Fe 89 60 99 3,463
22 Lower Dimond 89 55 53 1,762
23 Cleveland Heights 89 61 72 7,231
24 Paradise Park 89 59 88 2,594
25 Longfellow 89 67 96 5,855
26 Adams Point 89 62 82 9,902
27 Rancho San Antonio 89 56 79 5,495
28 Hoover-Foster 89 68 98 4,296
29 McClymonds 89 63 97 2,888
30 Ralph Bunche 88 68 96 1,740
31 Grand Lake 88 53 66 3,605
32 Laurel 88 52 62 1,544
33 Fremont 88 55 66 5,236
34 Clinton 87 59 79 8,596
35 Ivy Hill 87 60 65 3,927
36 Melrose 87 53 77 1,479
37 Sausal Creek 86 58 70 2,366
38 Clawson 86 61 98 2,954
39 Wentworth Holland 86 52 65 2,270
40 Lakeshore 86 50 64 3,641
41 School 86 57 63 1,837
42 Jingletown 86 65 92 2,070
43 Oak Center 85 72 96 3,082
44 Patten 85 57 61 2,772
45 Acorn 85 72 96 1,268
46 Acorn Industrial 84 69 98 1,338
47 Upper Dimond 84 55 51 3,562
48 Glenview 83 53 57 5,398
49 Seminary 83 54 59 5,821
50 Meadow Brook 82 60 65 5,816
51 Cypress Village 81 60 99 741
52 Havenscourt 80 58 62 5,909
53 Frick 80 55 62 2,582
54 Jefferson 80 57 60 2,884
55 Durant Manor 80 56 75 1,247
56 South Prescott 79 58 95 1,399
57 Harrington 79 58 65 4,765
58 Peralta Hacienda 78 56 65 2,950
59 Allendale 78 51 67 4,872
60 Arroyo Viejo 78 59 68 4,961
61 Upper Laurel 78 50 54 5,234
62 Fairfax 77 51 44 2,310
63 Hegenberger 77 60 66 2,421
64 Woodland 76 58 65 2,117
65 Bartlett 76 54 57 3,025
66 Fitchburg 76 65 69 2,668
67 Webster 76 56 61 5,407
68 North Stonehurst 76 48 64 4,354
69 Prescott 75 56 92 4,251
70 Trestle Glen 75 53 57 3,515
71 Lockwood-Tevis 75 64 59 2,487
72 Las Palmas 75 57 74 1,914
73 Highland 75 52 59 2,883
74 Eastmont 75 58 63 3,323
75 Bella Vista 74 57 54 1,460
76 Cox 74 56 58 3,862
77 Reservoir Hill 74 57 62 1,331
78 Lynn 73 56 62 1,207
79 Iveywood 73 56 67 3,535
80 Claremont Elmwood 72 49 72 15,299
81 Coliseum 72 70 65 3,251
82 Highland Terrace 72 57 54 4,522
83 Foothill Square 72 55 65 1,196
84 Elmhurst Park 72 50 53 2,985
85 Tuxedo 71 57 64 1,725
86 Maxwell Park 70 51 45 5,706
87 Coliseum Industrial Complex 67 53 69 1,401
88 Castlemont 67 55 58 4,302
89 Highland Park 66 56 46 861
90 South Stonehurst 64 43 63 839
91 Toler Heights 62 53 41 2,388
92 Millsmont 60 52 38 5,112
93 Oakmore 59 45 30 3,674
94 Brookfield Village 57 41 59 4,045
95 Redwood Heights 55 45 34 4,624
96 Crocker Highlands 54 46 38 2,369
97 Mills College 52 48 52 730
98 Lincoln Highlands 51 45 28 2,283
99 Sheffield 49 41 32 703
100 Sobrante Park 47 40 52 3,136
101 Upper Rockridge 47 38 46 6,774
102 Columbia Gardens 47 42 64 1,237
103 Montclair 45 31 30 4,873
104 Eastmont Hills 44 51 28 3,491
105 Leona Heights 33 40 24 901
106 Oak Knoll Golf Links 32 46 21 1,550
107 Crestmont 27 36 19 1,065
108 Glen Highlands 26 27 31 1,357
109 Merriwood 25 24 20 3,996
110 Woodminster 22 35 19 1,560
111 Shepherd Canyon 15 12 25 1,330
112 Sequoyah 15 23 12 4,315
113 Chabot Park 14 29 18 2,916
114 Piedmont Pines 14 25 17 3,103
115 Caballo Hills 10 31 10 2,051
116 Forestland 6 8 19 1,484
117 Skyline-Hillcrest Estates 5 25 9 1,153

Eating & Drinking

There are about 1,373 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Oakland.

People in Oakland can walk to an average of 2 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in 5 minutes.

Photo of Fox Theater in Oakland

Fox Theater

Photo of Jack London Square in Oakland

Jack London Square

Restaurant Choices Map

= 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

57 Transit Score of Oakland, CA

Oakland has Good Transit

Many nearby public transportation options. Find Oakland apartments for rent on Redfin.

Public Transit Routes

Oakland has good public transportation and about 55 bus, 1 rail and 12 subway lines.

Transit Time

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

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 Preservation Park in Oakland

Preservation Park

Photo of Old Town Square Condos in Oakland

Old Town Square Condos

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

65 Bike Score of Oakland, CA

Oakland is Bikeable

Some bike infrastructure.

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What's It Like to Live in Oakland?

Photo of Oakland's Prettiest Crosswalk in Oakland

Oakland's Prettiest Crosswalk

Photo of USS Potomac in Oakland

USS Potomac

Photo of Fitzgerald Park in Oakland

Fitzgerald Park

Photo of Martin Luther King Super Stop in Oakland

Martin Luther King Super Stop

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, Junior Elementary School in Oakland

Martin Luther King, Junior Elementary School

Photo of Fentons Creamery in Oakland

Fentons Creamery

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 Getaround, Zipcar, and other car sharing companies operate 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 Ashby Av:Hillegass Av in Oakland

Ashby Av:Hillegass Av

Photo of canondill graffiti in Oakland

canondill graffiti

Photo of People Of Oakland: The Gardener in Oakland

People Of Oakland: The Gardener

Photo of Oakland Flower Market in Oakland

Oakland Flower Market

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 Jack London Square in Oakland

Jack London Square

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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