For homebuyers seeking quintessential small town qualities with the vitality of a major city, Albany has it all. This community-oriented city boasts manicured homes, friendly neighbors, grassy parks and playgrounds, a charming main street, a host of services, family-friendly programs, and excellent schools.
Albany schools consistently place in the 90th percentile, and year after year the school district produces some of the highest academic test scores throughout the Bay Area and California. Many attribute this to the large number of children here who are offspring of the many UC Berkeley grad students residing in Albany.
A fiercely contended bit of wildness, the Albany Bulb is a strip of shoreline that rewards the hardy souls who venture on it for a walk. Art installations and spectacular views of the bay transport visitors to faraway lands of the imagination. The Albany Bulb is just north of the Golden Gate Fields' north parking lot near the Bay Trail that runs out to the Richmond Marina in one direction and out and around the tip of Emeryville in the other.
Albany real estate is made up primarily of 2- to 3-bedroom single-family homes ranging from charming California and Craftsman bungalows, to Mediterranean-style residences, to many of the area's unique MacGregor homes with their touches of story-book whimsy. The homes here go for top dollar due to the excellent schools.
A haven for people-watching, Albany's Solano Avenue is a pedestrian-oriented street dotted with gourmet and specialty grocers, florists, charming boutiques, antique shops, cafes and inexpensive ethnic restaurants. This quaint street was recently discovered by residents of the wider Bay Area and is fast becoming a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, especially during the Solano Stroll, an annual street fair that runs over 25 blocks.
Situated between North Berkeley, El Cerrito and Richmond, Albany is close to major freeways as well as BART and other public transportation. Oakland is about 15 minutes away and San Francisco can be as close as 20 minutes in light traffic.