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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

74 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 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: Downtown, Koreatown-Northgate and Temescal.

Oakland Apartments for Rent

Oakland Neighborhoods

Rank

#

Name

Walk Score

Transit Score

Bike Score

Population

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

Eating & Drinking

There are about 1,509 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

56 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 57 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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