Though sometimes underestimated when compared to its neighbors, there’s no doubt Berkeley is a world-class city to call home
To the west over San Francisco Bay is the Golden Gate City. Head due south and you run into Oakland. To the north and east lie outlets into more suburban, rural, and secluded areas of California.While it's tempting to venture out into these vibrant places, first consider the point of origin that provides such central access to the greater Bay Area—Berkeley, California.Unique, highly livable, and a truly one-of-a-kind city, Berkeley combines the best of everything about the Bay Area into one of the most eclectic communities in the U.S. Let's explore this dynamic little burg on the East Bay, as well as four reasons why home buyers love to call Berkeley home:
A World-Class University and Intellectual Hub of Activity
Let's start with the institution most synonymous with the city—the University of California - Berkeley, better known simply as "Cal."Repeatedly rated as one of the top public universities in the U.S., the school's faculty and alumni include over a hundred Nobel laureates and numerous Fields Medalists. This roster also includes winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the Academy Awards, well-known entrepreneurs, and over 200 Olympic Medalists. That's all in addition to the school's countless breakthroughs and innovations in technology and science.Add this all up and you’ll see why Cal, in the north of the Greater Bay Area, is to public universities what Stanford, one hour to the south, is to private educational institutions.
A Commuter’s Dream
Although UC Berkeley is the hub around which the whole of Berkeley revolves, the city is also an attractive spot for those who work in larger bay cities but don't want the headache of living in them. I-80 and I-580 connect the city to both urban and rural points of interest. Several BART stations service the city, including the Downtown Berkeley station, which is adjacent to UC Berkeley and the central commercial district. The real draw, though, is the bicycle-friendly environs of the area. Whether trail riding or hitting hotspots throughout the city, biking is more than welcome—you can even "park and ride" your bike at BART stations.
Eclectic, Unique, and Diverse Neighborhoods
Elmwood's retro, early 20th-century architecture. Downtown's vibrant (and walkable) entertainment options, including popular Shattuck Avenue. Thousand Oaks' harmonious, natural setting. Northbrae's suburban setting and small but robust food scene. The coastal setting of West Berkeley, sweeping views of North Berkeley Hills, and the hippie-centric Telegraph Avenue in Southside. And that's all without even mentioning Aquatic Park, Berkeley Marina, Cragmont, or La Loma Park. Seriously, whatever your preferred lifestyle, you'll discover a neighborhood to match in Berkeley.
Food, Lots and Lots of Food
A hippie enclave. Center of the 1960's Free Speech Movement (and subsequent protest movements). And a haven for foodies everywhere?If that last selling point seems out of place, let it speak to the distinct and eccentric culture that’s been cultivated within Berkeley. Anchoring this culinary nirvana is The Gourmet Ghetto. This collection of unparalleled dining options include the renowned Alice Waters' restaurant Chez Panisse, the very first Peet's Coffee, and the nearly half-century-old Cheeseboard Collective.Of course, if you're seeking an even greater variety of food, walk or bike a few blocks anywhere in Berkeley—there are hundreds of dining options within the city. From upscale cuisine to cheap eats, and a plethora of enticing options in-between, if you have a taste for it, Berkeley has it.
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