Welcome to Alameda County
Alameda’s central location, warm climate, vibrant culture, and strong economy make it a popular county in which to live and work. Alameda is one of the most diverse counties in the Bay Area. This diversity imbues the cities and towns with a rich variety of cultures that flavor everything from local bookstores, cafes, and restaurants to theatres, galleries, and shopping. From the largest cities to the smallest residential neighborhoods, Alameda residents have great access to transportation, schools, recreation, shopping, and other services.
A wide variety of businesses and enterprises are centered in Oakland, Emeryville, and in the corridors along the major highways. The city of Alameda, with its sparkling views and excellent location, is attracting innovative new companies to work out of the former naval base. The eastern county is experiencing a housing boom, and the Livermore Valley’s vineyards attract locals and tourists alike. The bustling Port of Oakland—with its large Seventh Street Terminal—handles the bulk of the Bay Area’s shipping activities, which once went through San Francisco. Science, technology, and innovation have long had a place in Alameda, anchored by the Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, and the University of California-Berkeley.
For such an urban county, Alameda has an incredible array of outdoor areas to explore, whether you’re enjoying sweeping views of the Bay from the top of the Berkeley Hills, towering redwood trees in Oakland’s Redwood Park, rolling hills and vineyards in Livermore, waterfront views of windsurfers and kite boarders racing by at the Berkeley Marina, or bird watching and bay views from Coyote Hills Park.
The lay of the land
The county is sandwiched between Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties, and takes up a significant portion of the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay. A network of hills forms a dramatic divide, beginning with the Berkeley Hills and running south into Santa Clara. These are the northernmost part of the Diablo Range. Beyond them are the gentler rolling hills of the Tri-Valley area (Pleasanton, Livermore, and Dublin), and the more rural communities further east.
Although Alameda is the second smallest county in the Bay Area (at 739 square miles), it has the second highest population, with 1,610,921 residents (according to the U.S. Census’ 2014 estimate). The majority of the county residents reside in the urban centers spread out between the bay and the hills, including Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward, and Fremont. Oakland is the largest city and the county seat. The eastern part of the county is much more spread out. While these communities are smaller, they are experiencing some of the most rapid growth. Dublin is the fastest-growing city.
The county takes full advantage of its central location and many transportation options. Alameda is intersected by several major highways (80, 580, 680, and 880), which connect to the Bay, San Mateo, and Dumbarton Bridges. Ferries run from Oakland and Alameda to San Francisco and South San Francisco. AC Transit and BART provide ample buses and trains. The Oakland International Airport is also centrally located. All of this leads to easy, speedy options for county residents and commuters.
The award-winning Alameda County schools range in size and diversity, and reflect the technology and innovation that is so common to the Bay Area. More than 220,000 students are enrolled in 414 public schools within 21 districts. There are a variety of Catholic, parochial, secular, and other independent schools in the county.
Alameda County is home to several colleges and universities. The University of California-Berkeley, Mills College, Cal State University-East Bay, and Chabot College are a few of the leading schools in the area. They bring jobs, sporting events, and recreational opportunities as well as a steady influx of students interested in calling the area home.
Sporting enthusiasts have plenty to cheer about. Aside from the U.C. Berkeley teams, Oakland is home to the Oakland Athletics, the Oakland Raiders, and the Golden State Warriors.
Live music lovers can attend a variety of shows, from headliners at Oracle Arena and Coliseum, U.C. Berkeley’s Greek Theatre, and the art deco Paramount Theatre to jazz musicians at Yoshi’s and small acts at the Starry Plough and Freight & Salvage.
For science exploration, Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland and the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley are both popular field trip destinations. The USS Hornet Museum in Alameda celebrates the area’s deep military and naval history. Children’s Fairyland and the Oakland Zoo are fun family outings.
Many of the Alameda communities have regional theatre and local art scenes for performance and visual art. The university and colleges in the area have rich offerings in the performing, musical, and visual arts. And, of course, San Francisco is minutes away. The Berkeley Rep Theatre in Berkeley is a longstanding contributor to the theatre scene, and is well worth your time.
More than 150 places are registered on the National Register of Historic Places in Alameda County, too many to list here. A few highlights include: Alameda, Berkeley, and Oakland City Hall, the Fox and Paramount Theatres in Oakland, the Meek Mansion in Cherryland, just outside of Hayward, the Mission San Jose in Fremont (one of the original missions), and several spots on the U.C. Berkeley campus, including Founders’ Rock, Bowles Hall (the first residence hall), California Hall (one of the original buildings), Salther Tower, the Hearst Greek Theatre, and California Memorial Stadium, home of the Cal Bears.
The great outdoors
The East Bay Regional Park District operates a network of parks and regional trails in more than 75,000 acres in Alameda and Contra Costa. Bayside options include Aquatic Park in Berkeley and Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda. Lake Merritt in Oakland offers an oasis in the heart of the city. Lake Chabot Park, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park district (the largest in the state), or Joaquin Miller Park are terrific spots for running, hiking, and exploring the hills.
Cities Located in Alameda County
- Castro Valley
- San Leandro
- San Lorenzo
- Union City
$1,050,8884 Beds, 3 Baths2,064 sqft lot 39,204 sqftMLS 408753561 Days on Market
$639,0002 Beds, 1 Bath1,107 sqft lot 3,921 sqftMLS 408753541 Days on Market
$1,975,0004 Beds, 3 Baths3,486 sqft lot 1.19 acMLS 408753501 Days on Market
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2 Beds, 1 Bath1,200 sqft lot 12.24 acMLS 408753371 Days on Market
$768,8883 Beds, 2 Baths1,035 sqft lot 3,660 sqftMLS 408753201 Days on Market
$760,0003 Beds, 3 Baths1,396 sqft lot 1,743 sqftMLS 408753171 Days on Market
$1,496,9954 Beds, 5 Baths3,018 sqft lot 5,358 sqftMLS 408753161 Days on Market
$1,429,0004 Beds, 5 Baths4,358 sqft lot 9,148 sqftMLS 408753121 Days on Market
$675,0003 Beds, 2 Baths1,273 sqft lot 5,663 sqftMLS 408753111 Days on Market
1 Bed, 1 Bath750 sqftMLS 408753091 Days on Market
$499,0003 Beds, 2 Baths1,391 sqft lot 14,811 sqftMLS 408753061 Days on Market
$1,100,0003 Beds, 4 Baths2,575 sqft lot 7,406 sqftMLS 408753011 Days on Market
$1,185,0004 Beds, 3 Baths2,310 sqft lot 8,277 sqftMLS 408752781 Days on Market
$788,0003 Beds, 2 Baths1,637 sqft lot 6,534 sqftMLS 408752711 Days on Market
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$1,449,0006 Beds, 4 Baths2,944 sqft lot 7,406 sqftMLS 408752542 Days on Market
$1,449,0006 Beds, 4 Baths2,944 sqft lot 7,406 sqftMLS 408752532 Days on Market
$739,0003 Beds, 2 Baths1,475 sqft lot 6,099 sqftMLS 408752422 Days on Market
$689,0003 Beds, 1 Bath1,243 sqft lot 11,762 sqftMLS 408752402 Days on Market
$479,0002 Beds, 1 Bath843 sqft lot 1.17 acMLS 408752162 Days on Market
$575,0003 Beds, 2 Baths1,000 sqft lot 5,228 sqftMLS 408752332 Days on Market
$788,0002 Beds, 2 Baths1,454 sqft lot 12,633 sqftMLS 408752253 Days on Market
$400,0003 Beds, 1 Bath1,014 sqft lot 3,921 sqftMLS 408752233 Days on Market
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Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed
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