Welcome to Oakland
The colorful urban center of East Bay.
Tucked into the East Bay Area and anchored by the metropolis cities of San Francisco and San Jose, the city of Oakland offers residents and visitors a vibrant urban landscape ensconced by stunning natural views. The area on which Oakland rests was initially inhabited by the Ohlone Native Americans who were present when the Spanish arrived in the late 1700s. Incorporated in 1854 and named by Horace W. Carpentier after its abundant oak trees sprawling over the grassy plains, the city of Oakland has since grown into a lively city center and the seat of Alameda County. Its population of over 400,000 is made of very diverse residents who vary in age, ethnicity, employment, and lifestyle.
Culturally rich, this area has 131 residential neighborhoods and plenty of variety to suit all needs. From updated Craftsman and bungalow styles that feature incredible amenities, historic homes in Spanish Colonial Revival styles that radiate with luxury, to new contemporary builds with sparkling views of the bay—Oakland has it all. In addition to its residential homes, Oakland also has an abundance of high-end apartments and condos, perfect for starting on your new adventure.
What to Love
- Family fun at the Oakland Zoo
- Access to San Francisco Bay and multiple regional parks
- Mediterranean climate and gorgeous vistas
People & Lifestyle
Oakland’s economy, like its population, is highly diversified and consequently well suited to a variety of careers. The city is also devoted to promoting the arts and has a deep respect for culture and education that’s exemplified by the many museums, theatres, science centers, and more. With its excellent school system, Oakland is a great place for families as well.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
In Oakland, the dining is impeccable. With so many delicious choices, it’s hard to know what to try first, but the key is to make sure you eventually get to sample everything. At Pizzaiolo
, you’ll want to devour everything off of their menu of delicious Italian classics—all of it homemade with love. Boasting a reputation for being one of Oakland’s greatest neighborhood spots, Wood Tavern
is an American brasserie that specializes in rustic fare with a contemporary vibe. Their menu offers a bevy of spirits and satisfying plates to choose from, and the warm, welcoming environment will have you lingering long after your meal is gone.
Shoppers can peruse unique retail locations and incredible boutique stores, all set in the vibrant urban landscape. Atomic Garden
is the place to go for all of your personal care needs, and their well-stocked store of luxury, specialty beauty, and relaxation products will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Celebrate the beauty of home life at Maison d’Étre
, a store dedicated to providing useful, quality, and aesthetically pleasing products to make your home beautiful and practical.
Things to Do
There’s never a shortage of activity offerings in Oakland. Whether you prefer to spend your days exploring the great outdoors, diving into festivals, or partaking in exciting entertainment with friends, Oakland has the spot for you.
Visit the ever-bustling Jack London Square
, a one-of-a-kind, mixed-use marina and waterfront that has everything from dining and retail to water activities and live entertainment. This historic center is an homage to the city’s deep history as a seaport and was the residence of writer Jack London. Looking for a celebration like no other? The Eat Real Festival
—hosted annually in Jack London Square—combines street food, a state fair atmosphere, and community closeness to create a party you won’t want to miss. Admission is free, the food is local and sustainably sourced, the live entertainment is phenomenal, and the scenery is stunning.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Oakland not only has waterfront sports and recreation on the bay—it also has Lake Merritt. A tidal lagoon, Lake Merritt
is the spot for a unique urban nature development that features a three-mile shoreline, gardens, exquisite gardens, a nature center, and much more. If you’re looking to get out of the city, visit the Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park
, and take advantage of the 1,833 acres of redwood groves, grasslands, and many trails. You’ll be able to view endangered species like the golden eagle on your hikes while enjoying the fresh air.
Oakland is home to many excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- Chabot Elementary School, K-5, well-rated public school
- Hillcrest Elementary, K-8, well-rated public elementary school
- Oakland Technical High School, 9-12, well-rated public high school
- Park Day School, K-8, well-rated private school
- Redwood Day School, K-8, well-rated private school
- St. Paul’s Episcopal School, K-8, well-rated private school
- Head-Royce, K-12, one of the top-rated private schools in the state
- The College Preparatory School, 9-12, a top private high school in the state