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5 Reasons You Should Live in Oakland

Lake Merritt in Downtown Oakland

The Bay Area is regarded as one of the most interesting places in the world. While San Francisco is known for tourist attractions, Oakland is increasingly gaining attention as an ideal place to call home. Living in Oakland, California, has a lot of advantages, from a vibrant startup scene and welcoming weather to an array of outdoor and cultural activities. Here are five reasons why living in Oakland is so great.

1. Public Transportation

Oakland is part of the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), the public mass transit system that connects Oakland to the rest of the Bay Area, including San Francisco and Berkeley. This makes commuting, shopping, and day-tripping easy for city dwellers.

Other transportation options include AC transit, Oakland’s regional bus service. An extensive system of bus routes and ferries make it easy to bypass traffic, with buses running all day and night. Amtrak also stops in downtown’s Jack London Square, making it easy to travel up and down the coast.

2. Endless Activities

There’s always something fun to do or see in Oakland. Cultural and educational attractions range from visiting the African American Museum and Library to exploring the Chabot Space and Science Center. Take part in activities from Oakland Art Murmur, including the First Friday Art Walk held at ever-changing art venues and the famous Saturday Art Stroll, a self-guided tour of galleries that repeatedly ranks among the top things to do in Oakland.

In search of retail therapy? Oakland has terrific shopping and is well known as the place to go in the Bay Area for vintage consignment shops. Moreover, areas like Rockridge and Temescal Alley are shopping paradises.

3. Proximity to Nature
Oakland boasts amazing access to nature and outdoor areas, and situated in the East Bay with excellent weather and superior air quality, it’s the perfect place for year-round adventure. Take BART to Redwood Regional Park to explore the old-growth redwoods in the hills east of the city, launch a boat or kick back on the shores of Lake Merritt, or if golfing is your thing, check out the beautiful grounds at Lake Chabot Golf Course.

4. Great Neighborhoods

From Panoramic Hill on the border of Berkeley to the legendary neighborhood of Trestle Glen, Oakland has a plethora of neighborhoods with their own blend of charm, attractions, and character. For those looking to soak up all that downtown has to offer, the Warehouse District on Oakland’s Waterfront is an ideal place to call home, with plenty of options for luxury apartment living. A thriving neighborhood listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the district is situated in north Oakland close to downtown attractions and beautiful Lake Merritt.

5. Education & Beyond

Oakland is attracting new homeowners because of its reputation for education, with the city's Montclair neighborhood recognized for having some of the best schools in the nation. But educational excellence is evident throughout Oakland, with excellent schools in several other neighborhoods as well. For those looking to continue their education, Oakland has many options, including Mills College, Laney College, and Lincoln University.

Oakland is also an up-and-coming city for startups. More and more, these companies are striving to deliver quality of product/service to clients and quality of life to employees, which may be why startups like Broadly, Snapstrat, and Sparkart are calling Oakland home. For job seekers as well as those engaged in entrepreneurial pursuits, Oakland offers the ultimate balance.

Why Live in Oakland?

A better question to ask is _why not _? Oakland has all the advantages of a major metropolis, with San Francisco and Berkeley right next door. With one of the best transit systems in the world, you can get anywhere in the Bay Area—but you don't need to leave the city to find what you seek. Oakland has unmatched green spaces, libraries, and museums as well as a vibrant cultural scene. It's everything you could wish for in a home.