Welcome to Oakland, California
Oakland, founded in 1852, is today considered
a major Northern California city on the eastern
shore of the San Francisco Bay. To the north lies
Berkeley, home to the campus of the renowned University
of California. To the west, across the Bay Bridge,
stands San Francisco. Separated from the mainland
by an estuary to the southwest is the island city
of Alameda, while San Leandro lies to the southeast.
Along the hills which run northwest to southeast,
Oakland borders five of the East Bay Regional Parks.
In the center of Oakland, and completely surrounded
by it, is the prestigious city of Piedmont.
Oakland has experienced an increase of population
in the past decade, attributable to economic recovery,
along with Oakland's weather, location, hillside
neighborhoods with views of San Francisco and the
Bay, and a substantial offering of shopping districts
and restaurants representing a vast array of cuisines.
Oakland is the county seat of Alameda County. As
of 2006, the city's population was 411,755, making
it the third largest city in the San Francisco Bay
Area after San Jose and San Francisco.
The Oakland Tribune published its first newspaper
on February 21, 1874. The Tribune Tower is one of
Oaklands well-known landmarks. Oakland hosts
Oakland International Airport, which serves the
travelers market to and from the San Francisco
Bay Area. Major employers in Oakland include the
local, state and federal governments, United States
Postal Service, regional transportation and utility
authorities, Kaiser Permanente, Clorox, Zhone Technologies,
Dreyers Grand Ice Cream, carriers associated with
the Port, and commercial bakeries. Oaklands
climate offers features that are found in both nearby
San Francisco and San Jose. It is warmer than San
Francisco and cooler than San Jose. While it does
not abut the Pacific Ocean proper, its position
on San Francisco Bay directly across from the Golden
Gate means that the city gets significant cooling
maritime fog during the summer. It is far enough
inland, though, that the fog often burns off by
midday, allowing it to have stereotypically sunny
Official city website:oaklandnet.com
The city of Oakland
stretches from the San Francisco Bay up into the
East Bay Hills. The character of these neighborhoods
continues to change as waves of migrants from within
the United States and other countries relocate here.
Also, the changing economy lures more technically
skilled workers to Oakland.
The common large neighborhood divisions in the city
are Downtown Oakland, East Oakland,
North Oakland, and West Oakland.
East Oakland actually encompasses more than half
of Oaklands area, stretching from Lake Merritt
southeast to San Leandro. North Oakland encompasses
the neighborhoods spread between Downtown and Berkeley
and Emeryville. West Oakland is the area between
Downtown and the Bay, partially surrounded by the
Port of Oakland.
Another broad geographical distinction is between
The Hills and The Flatlands.
The Flatlands is located in the relatively flat
areas closer to San Francisco Bay, and the Hills
neighborhoods along the northeast side of the city.
This hills/flats division is not only a characteristic
of the City of Oakland, but extends beyond Oaklands
borders into neighboring communities in the East
Bays urban core. Downtown and West Oakland
are located entirely in the Flatlands, while North
and East Oakland incorporate both Hills and Flatlands
The Chinatown neighborhood
in Oakland is frequently referred to as Oakland
Chinatown in order to distinguish it from
nearby San Franciscos Chinatown. Oaklands
Chinatown is now a pan-Asian neighborhood which
reflects Oaklands diverse Asian American and
Pacific Islander community of Chinese, Vietnamese,
Korean, Filipino, Japanese, Cambodian, Laotian,
Mien, Thai and others.
Old Oakland is a historic district
in downtown Oakland, located on the northwest side
of Broadway, between the City Center complex and
the Jack London Square district, and across Broadway
from Chinatown. A farmers market, one of the
first neighborhood markets established in the 1980s,
is still held every Friday on 9th Street.
Center is a mixed use complex in
Downtown Oakland. It encompasses twelve city blocks,
between Broadway and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
City Center was a product of the urban renewal policies
of the mid to late twentieth century. A large section
of the center of Downtown Oakland was appropriated
by the city through the force of eminent domain
and demolished to make way for an enclosed shopping
mall, high-rise office buildings, a hotel, and a
multi-level, above ground parking structure.
The first high-rise
office building, at 14th and Broadway, opened in
December of 1973. The first skyscraper, the Clorox
Building, opened next door in 1976. Several new
buildings were completed in 1990, including the
retail complex, named City Square, and 1111 Broadway,
the new headquarters of American President Lines.
London Square is located at the south end
of Broadway, across the Oakland Estuary from Alameda
and is a popular attraction on the waterfront of
Oakland. Named after author Jack London, it is the
home of attractive stores, hotels, an Amtrak station,
the (re-located) cabin Jack London lived in, and
a movie complex. The farmers market is hosted
among the retail shops on Sunday mornings. The name
has also come to refer to the formerly industrial
neighborhood surrounding Jack London Square proper,
which has undergone a significant amount of loft
conversion and new construction over the last decade.
Adams Point is located on the
northern shore of Lake Merritt, adjacent to Downtown
Oakland and the Grand Lake district. Neighborhood
landmarks include the gorgeous art deco Belleview-Staten
Building and Lakeside Park, one of Oaklands
larger parks which also contains Childrens
name Adams Point comes from one of the Oaklands
early landowners, Edson Adams.
The Lakeside District is a
five-block area on the east side of Downtown Oakland,
next to Lake Merritt, which was designated by the
city as a historic neighborhood in the 1980s. This
area is graced by several historically significant
apartment buildings built in the 1920s. Some are
in the art-deco style of the 20s and are protected
as official city landmarks. The neighborhood has
seen a continued history of sustained residency
in part because of its close proximity to Lake Merritt.
Lake District, is located near the
northeast corner of Lake Merritt, where Grand and
Lakeshore Avenues cross under Interstate 580. It
borders Adams Point to the west, Trestle Glen to
the east, and Piedmont to the north. It is a dense
urban environment that hosts a diverse population
peoples from many walks of life. There are two shopping
areas in the Grand Lake District:
- Grand Avenue,
between Piedmont and Adams Point, the larger of
the two. The historic Grand Lake Theater dominates
the corner of Grand and Lake Park Avenue.
- Lakeshore Avenue,
between Lake Park Avenue and Mandana Blvd. The
two streets are connected at their closest point
by Lake Park Avenue and Splashpad Park, home of
the neighborhoods large Saturday farmers
Trestle Glen is located east of Lakeshore
Avenue, a shopping street which it shares with the
Grand Lake District. The streets are laid out in
the curvilinear pattern of early 20th century garden
suburbs. Many of the houses are nestled in the surrounding
hills, and were built shortly before The Great Depression.
The neighborhood is named after a railroad trestle
that was torn down after automobiles began to replace
trains as a common mode of transportation in the
San Francisco Bay Area.
This part of Oakland, formerly known as Indian Gulch,
was in 1917 a laure - lined canyon and hillside
known for its waterfall, streams and oak studded
groves. The Olmstead Brothers, famous landscape
architects of the time from Brookline, Massachusetts,
were hired to help in preparing the subdivision
maps laying out the streets and parcels in a manner
which would follow, or compliment, the natural contours
of the canyons, ridges and hillsides. Residents
enjoy the governance of the Lakeshore Home Owners
Association, the eight commonly-owned park squares
and spaces, including a dog-walking trail, and the
proximity to urban amenities and transportation.
is located in the hills east of Piedmont. The
center of the neighborhood is a compact pedestrian
oriented shopping district known as Montclair Village,
which is located next to Highway 13. The hills of
Montclair are heavily forested, and generally characterized
by winding streets and large single-family houses.
The neighborhood has some of the best public schools
in Oakland - Montclair Elementary, Thornhill Elementary,
Montera Middle School and Skyline High School. In
the first half of the 20th century, the main line
of the Sacramento Northern Railroad ran through
the Montclair neighborhood. The tracks ran southward
from Lake Temescal, then up Shepherd Canyon to a
tunnel, the west portal of which was located immediately
below Saroni Drive. Today, much of the old right-of-way
in Shepherd Canyon is a pedestrian and bicycle path.
Piedmont Avenue is also the name
of the neighborhood which surrounds the street.
Piedmont Avenue, the street, stretches diagonally
from Broadway to Ramona Avenue, one block above
Pleasant Valley (51st Street), and the Piedmont
Avenue neighborhood is generally considered to reach
laterally from Broadway to Oakland Avenue and the
border to the City of Piedmont.
There are several interesting landmarks in the neighborhood.
The center of the Piedmont Avenue commercial strip,
designed by Julia Morgan (c. 1916) is a red brick
building, the Fred C. Turner Stores, which is between
41st and 40th streets. At the north end of Piedmont
Avenue and Pleasant Valley is the hillside Mountain
View Cemetery, which was designed by Frederick Law
Olmsted and contains the Julia Morgan designed Chapel
of the Chimes.
One of the hidden jewels of the neighborhood is
Glen Echo Creek, located one half
block south of the avenue. Many local residents
are not aware of the parks existence, due
to its quirky location and small size.
Piedmont Avenues namesake commercial strip
boasts numerous locally owned small businesses,
including unique shops, restaurants, an art house/independent
movie theater, and more.
Fentons Creamery is perhaps the neighborhood
hot spot. Fentons serves ice cream
and sundaes made on the premises, as well as traditional
lunch fare. Fentons has been on Piedmont Avenue
neighborhood straddles the city limits of Oakland
and Berkeley. The main thoroughfares are Claremont
and Ashby Avenues.
The name was given in the late 19th century by a
real estate developer. Previously, the area was
grazing land owned by a man named Harwood. Harwoods
name was given to the canyon and the creek running
through the canyon. When a telegraph line was strung
through this canyon, it was dubbed Telegraph
Canyon. A stage coach line ran up the canyon
and over the summit into Contra Costa County. This
became an early auto route over the Berkeley Hills
until the first auto tunnel opened up in the 1910s
at the top of Old Tunnel Road to the south of Claremont
Canyon, above where the Caldecott Tunnel is today.
In the early 1900s real estate interests associated
with the Key System built the Claremont Hotel at
the mouth of Claremont Canyon. The Key System ran
one of its commuter train lines directly to the
hotel up Claremont Avenue. This train became the
transbay E train upon completion of
the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Passengers
could ride directly between the hotel and downtown
San Francisco until service ended in 1958.
Rockridge, a very popular and thriving
neighborhood is generally defined as the area east
of Telegraph Avenue, south of the Berkeley city
limits, west of the Oakland hills and north of the
intersection of Pleasant Valley Avenue/ 51st Street
and Broadway. The main street of Rockridge is College
Avenue, home to many cafes and restaurants, upscale
retail stores, and several bookstores. At the foot
of College Avenue is the California College of the
Arts. Highway 24 runs through the center of the
district on its way east to Contra Costa County.
The Rockridge BART station is located in the center
of Rockridge, where College Avenue and Highway 24
cross. Website: rockridgedistrict.com
Private Schools in Oakland
Archway School - Grades: K - 8
250 41st Street, Oakland (K - 4 campus), 510.547.4747
Aurora Academy - Grades: K - 5
40 Dulwich Road, Oakland, 510.428.2606
Beacon School - Grades: 9 - 12
2101 Livingston Street, Oakland, 510. 652.0111
Bishop ODowd High School - (Catholic)Grades:
9 - 12
9500 Stearns Avenue, Oakland, 510.577.9100
College Preparatory School - Grades: 9
6100 Broadway, Oakland, 510.652.0111
Grand Lake Montessori School - Grades:
PK - 5
466 Chetwood Street, Oakland, 510.836.4313
Head-Royce School - Grades: K - 12
4315 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, 510.531.1300
Holy Names High School - (Catholic;
all girls) Grades: 9 - 12
4660 Harbord Drive, Oakland, 510.450.1110
Julia Morgan School for Girls -Grades:
6 - 8
3510 Mountain Boulevard, Oakland, 510.463.1400
Northern Light School - Grades: PK
4500 Redwood Road, Oakland, 510.530.9366
Oakland Hebrew Day School - Grades:
K - 8
215 Ridgeway Avenue, Oakland, 510.652.4324
Park Day School - Grades: K - 8
370 43rd Street, Oakland, 510.653.0317
Redwood Day School - Grades: PK - 8
3245 Sheffield Avenue, Oakland, 510.534.0800
St. Pauls Episcopal School -
Grades: PK - 8
116 Montecito Avenue, Oakland, 510.287.9600
St. Theresa School - (Catholic) Grades:
K - 8
4850 Clarewood Drive, Oakland, 510.547.3146
The Renaissance School - Grades: PK
3668 Dimond Avenue, Oakland, 510.531.8566
Colleges and Universities
College of Arts & Crafts, Oakland,
College, Oakland, 510.436.1000,
College, Oakland, 510.843.5740, laney.peralta.edu
Community College, Oakland, 510.531.4911,
Arts and Cultural Activities
Cultural Arts Division, 510.238.2103,
Oakland's 24-hour Arts & Entertainment
Museum of Children's Art, 510.465.8770,
Features children's artwork in all media.
Oakland East Bay Symphony, 510.444.0801,
Woodminster Amphitheater, 510.531.9597,
Semi -professional outdoor musicals performed
during the summer months.
Cinemas, Theaters and Stadium
Grand Lake Theatre, 510.452.3556,
Jack London Cinema, 510.433.1320,
Landmark Piedmont Theater, 510.464.5980,
Oracle Arena & Oakland-Alameda County
Paramount Theatre, 510.465.6400,
Woodminster Amphitheater, 510.531.9597,
Libraries and Museums
Oakland Public Library, 510.238.3134,
Chabot Observatory & Science Center,
Dunsmuir House & Gardens, 510.562.0328,
Elegant turn-of-the-century mansion on 40
acres of hills and gardens.
Museum of Children's Art, 510.465.8770,
Oakland Museum, 510.238.2200,
Museum of California art, history and natural
Pardee Home Museum, 510.444.2187,
19th century historic Italianate villa, barn
Oakland Aviation Museum, 510.638.7100,
Aeronautical artifacts, aircraft library and
| Recreational Activities
Chabot Regional Park, Oakland, 510.639.4751,
Equestrian center, hiking, jogging and camping
Children's Fairyland, Oakland, 510.238.6876,
A theme park recreating nursery rhymes, fairy
tales and legends.
East Bay Regional Park District, Oakland,
More than 60,000 acres in 46 parks and recreation
East Bay Skyline National Trail, Oakland,
31 mile regional
Jack London Square, Oakland, 510.645.9292
Charming waterfront area with restaurants
and specialty shops.
Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, 510.
Ten trails featuring Bay views.
Lake Chabot Golf Course, Oakland,
Lakeside Park and Lake Merritt Boat House,
Rotary Nature Center, Oakland, 510.238.3739
One of the world's most beautiful municipal
parks and manmade lake with 3.18 mile shoreline
surrounded by the Necklace of Lights.
Montclair Golf Club, Oakland, 510.482.0422
Oakland Ice Center, Oakland, 510.268.9000,
Ice skating and hockey.
Oakland Parks and Recreation,510.238.FUNN,
Oakland Zoo, Oakland, 510.632.9523,
Oakland Certified Farmers Market, 800.949.3276,
Largest Farmers Market in Alameda County.
Temescal Regional Recreation Area,
Oakland, 510.635.0135, ebparks.org/parks/temescal
Swimming, fishing, picnicking and