Panoramic vistas, lush hills, a vibrant waterfront, plentiful open space, abundant cultural amenities and year-round temperate weather make Oakland and its many distinctive communities a very livable city. In fact, the it is considered among the coolest, tech-centric, LGBT-friendly, delicious, walkable, diverse, green and best cities in America. Additionally, two of Oakland's neighborhoods, Rockridge and Montclair, were cited in a 2002 Money Magazine survey ranking the top places to live in the United States. Both neighborhoods were recognized as "alternatives for people who want a big city lifestyle without the big city expenses."
Oakland is located just 20 minutes from San Francisco in the geographical center of the Bay Area. The city's 400,000+ ethnically diverse residents speak more than 120 languages and contribute greatly to the array of dining, shopping and educational opportunities.
As a major metropolitan city, Oakland prides itself on its world-class attractions including its internationally acclaimed zoo, ballet and symphony, a bustling tasty menu of farmer's markets throughout the city, an international airport, and its three major hometown sports teams: the Raiders, the A's and the Golden State Warriors. Oakland is also home to beautiful Lake Merritt, the largest urban saltwater lake in the United States, dozens of spectacular parks and hiking trails, and 19 miles of scenic coastline along San Francisco Bay.