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Quality of Life
Oakland's stunning bay views, parklands, open spaces, great weather, and proximity to the Pacific Ocean make it one of the most beautiful urban areas in the nation. Oakland is consistently ranked among the top 25 cities in which to live by Money magazine and other publications.
For additional information, please visit the Residents and Visitors tabs of the City of Oakland's web site.
The Mediterranean climate in Oakland is rated the best in the United States; temperatures range from the fifties and sixties during the winter months to the seventies during the summer. Statistically, Oakland has the same number of sunny days as Orange County, California.
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Oakland has a unique range of housing from elegantly restored Victorians from the late 1800s to modern multi-million dollar estates perched in the hills. Oakland remains a more affordable housing option than many Bay Area cities.
Education and Intellectual Resources
The post-secondary school system in the Oakland Metro Area is considered among the finest in the country. The University of California-Berkeley, California State University-East Bay, Patten University, Mills College, Samuel Merritt University, California College of the Arts, the Peralta Community College District, Holy Names University, Lincoln University, San Francisco State University and the University of Phoenix all help to provide the highly trained workforce of tomorrow. A high concentration of universities and scientific laboratories make the Oakland Metro Area an important center of intellectual resources and technical innovation.
The Oakland Metro Area's strength in knowledge-driven endeavors goes beyond science and technology. As a city that attracts bright, talented people, Oakland excels in every type of venture requiring high-level thinkers and doers—from engineering and investment banking to medicine and fine arts.
Another important intellectual resource is the Chabot Space & Science Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute. The $76 million complex is the only affiliate to focus on astronomy and the interrelationship of the sciences. The Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) garners over $40 million per year in bioscience research funding to study child related diseases and cures.
Oakland has more than 101 public and 50 private schools. Some 38,440 students are enrolled in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). OUSD is California's most improved urban school district over the last seven years.
The City of Oakland has instituted a number of innovative educational programs including the Oakland Military Institute and the Oakland School for the Arts, a performing arts charter school.
As the cultural center of the East Bay, Oakland is also home to a symphony recognized regionally and nationally for its unique convergence of artistic excellence and community service, an award-winning zoo with more than 400 animals, the beautifully restored Art Deco Paramount Theater movie palace and renovated Fox Theater. Enjoy the largest collection of California art, culture and history at the Oakland Museum of California which recently completed a $58 million renovation.
Oakland's diverse population is reflected in the variety of attractions including the vibrant Chinatown, the Latino-flavored Fruitvale area and the African American Museum and Library at Oakland.
Oakland boasts one of the highest percentages of parks and open space per capita in the nation. The waterfront city is resplendent in lush green hills, forests, creeks, an estuary and two shimmering lakes.
Oakland is at the heart of the East Bay Regional Park District, a splendid system of 65 parks and 29 regional hiking trails covering more than 100,000 acres in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. In the hills overlooking the San Francisco Bay, the parks offer an extraordinary variety of recreational activities including fishing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking or just relaxing in a beautiful natural setting. Oakland also enjoys an extensive collection of municipal parks, recreation centers, aquatic and water activity sites and sports fields.
We enthusiastically invite you to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with over 100 City parks (includes parks, mini-parks and open-space) to choose from, grow delicious & organic vegetables at seven community gardening locations, play tennis at any of our 59 outdoor courts, pick up a club and play on the green at three spacious golf courses, grab a ball (soccer, softball, baseball or football) on any of our 53 athletic fields or dive into a refreshing pool to beat the heat at five locations.
Along Oakland's waterfront there is easy access to yachting, sailing, windsurfing, rowing, canoeing, kayaking and more. Lake Merritt and the surrounding 122-acre Lakeside Park offer the nation's oldest wildlife refuge, sailing, rowing, a children's theme park and a walking/biking path in close proximity to shopping and Class A office space in downtown Oakland.
Oakland is the only city in California with the big three professional sports teams. The Oakland Athletics, the Golden State Warriors and the Oakland Raiders provide year-round excitement at the O.co Coliseum and the Oracle Arena. The sports complex hosts over 240 events a year including concerts, family shows, and sporting events.