Welcome to El Cerrito
El Cerrito is an often forgotten place. Nestled between other larger and well-known places such as Berkeley and Richmond, El Cerrito is a quiet city with nice views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It became more popular after the 1906 earthquake as people took to El Cerrito as a place of refuge, and many people still live in the city as a way to avoid the big city noise, all while having a nice town to live in and commute to their office jobs.
Lay of the Land
The city has a total of 3.7 square miles and is at an elevation of 69 feet above sea level. It\’s on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay, which provides amazing views of the San Francisco skyline and The Golden Gate Bridge. Located along Interstate 580, residents are only 30 minutes from two major airports. Bordered by Kensington and Albany by the south and Richmond annex to the north, this city is near it all. Not only that, to the southwest is Berkeley, where many people attend school, work and play. Being only minutes from the campus, either by bike, foot, BART or car, one can see why this is a great place to live if they want to avoid the higher prices of Berkeley.
As mentioned, there are an abundance of transportation options. There is a bike trail for people who want to quickly get to the Berkeley campus. There are also two BART stations, which are El Cerrito del Norte and El Cerrito Plaza. Both stations give commuters quick access to the college, Oakland and downtown San Francisco. Seeing as it\’s near the 580 freeway, one can see why people choose El Cerrito as a place to live and commute from. If you are a fan of taking the bus, with AC Transit, you can get anywhere in the East Bay, or you can even take the bus to San Francisco. Either way one looks at it, they have options to take public transportation, walk, bike or drive.
While it\’s a robust and happening town, there are not a lot of people who stick to El Cerrito. While it\’s beautiful, well-groomed and popular, most people who live in the area head out to other places. When living in El Cerrito, many head over to the other side of the bay to check out San Francisco. Others looking for a more down-to-earth experience head to Oakland. Finally, when looking to get out of El Cerrito, many head to the Berkeley farmer\’s market or many of its fine restaurants.
Of course, if you like the outdoors, you always have Tilden Regional Park, which is easy to drive up to or even trek up on a bike. However, you can drive up there and easily get lost in the wilderness and have a good time. On weekends, the park fills up, but it\’s large enough that you can easily mountain bike or go on a hike and not see another person for a long time. While at Tilden, you can see great views of both the bay and the mountains, specifically Mount Diablo.
If you don\’t like hiking or biking, you can enjoy the El Cerrito central library and get lost in books. Or, if you prefer the water, you can head down to the Albany Mudflat State Marine Park and enjoy it to the fullest. If you are into tennis or golf, you also have options at the Mira Vista Golf & Country Club, and you are sure to find plenty of tennis courts, which is a huge advantage given that El Cerrito enjoys near-perfect weather year-round.