A quick hop to Oakland and San Francisco, Berkeley is the center of cultural life in the Bay Area, and it has the quaint streets and culinary chops to keep you loving its small-town charm year after year.
Parks, University, Quaint Downtown, Trees, Community
Technically a city, Berkeley has the attitude of a town, and a vibrant one at that. Locals are never lost for stimulating conversation, which is easy to be had over coffee at any of the cute cafes or bookstores in town or beneath old-growth oaks and redwoods.
Berkeley is home to one of the most prestigious universities in the country, which is just a stone’s throw from downtown, which makes this city the epicenter of cultural, intellectual and political life in the Bay Area.
Locals love the sweeping views of spacious Tilden park and the gorgeous weather that affords them so many sunny days to spend hiking, strolling the century-old streets or reading a book in an oak-shaded park.
Alice Water’s famed Chez Panisse was born here, and you won’t be hard pressed to find culinary innovation anywhere in town — everything from vegan bakeries to internationally-inspired restaurants to creative takes on “California cuisine.” In other words, you won’t go hungry.
Many Berkeley neighborhoods were established in the 1920s, which, today, means quiet, tree-lined streets, brown-shingled homes, and lushly landscaped yards, but there’s so much variety, too: homes here range from historical bungalows to hilltop mansions, with a median home price of $1.2 million.
Locals love all the charm of tree-lined streets and 1920s-style bungalows, preserved old-growth oak trees and the intellectual and cultural vibes that spill out beyond the borders of the university and into the shaded nooks of inviting, vibrant Berkeley.