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Living a College Town Lifestyle in Berkeley, California

Berkeley, California is as fine a  college town as anywhere in the world. The University sets the tone for the city . The University of California, known as Cal is set on the slopes of a mountain rolling away to the east from San Francisco Bay. On most days the Golden Gate and the City are a constant view below. City life, culture, and some of the best restaurants in the world in its “Gourmet Ghetto” (e.g.; Chez Panisse) are located here. Cal’s campus is set in a beautiful area that mixes old and new buildings amidst a redwood grove. Quiet streets with lush gardens of tropical plantings greet the eye and nose. Meanwhile the climate is close to perfect most of the year, rarely too hot, almost never too cool. The University of California, founded in 1868 and one of the world’s great universities, is a big draw for its array of cultural and other activities.

Where to Retire in Berkeley and Home Prices

The main drawback to living in Berkeley is the expensive housing. lists the median sale price to be about $1 million  Fortunately, there are apartments that can be had for less, either as condos or as rentals. Surrounding areas, such as the nicer parts of Oakland, tend to be slightly less expensive.

What Is Special about Berkeley

Perfect Climate. Intellectual atmosphere. Views of San Francisco. Beautiful homes and gardens. Proximity to Bart. The Campanile belltower (Sather Tower) on the UC Campus. Berkeley is considered a walkable town.

What Is Not Special about Berkeley

Aging hippies and homeless people on Telegraph Street, traffic near the campus, Leftist atmosphere

Climate and Physical Environment

Berkeley rises up from the San Francisco harbor, culminating in a very high ridge that runs north and south. It tends to be rainy in winter and has a Mediterranean climate (warm and dry summers and cool, wet winters). The Hayward Fault runs through the region, in fact in goes through the middle of Cal's Memorial Stadium.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Berkeley is a cultural feast. One of the finest restaurants in the world, Chez Panisse is located here. It is credited with starting the new wave of cooking with fresh ingredients movement. The University is the engine, with many museums, theatres, performance spaces. Bookstores in the area are very good. The Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Berkeley Community Theater, and the Hearst Greek Theatre are important cultural beacons for the community.


Crime in Berkeley is above the national average.

Medical Facilities

Alta Bates Medical Center. Oakland has many hospitals.


Berkeley has a very high Walk Score number of 81.6 from Oakland International Airport is 12 miles. San Francisco International Airport is 19 miles. BART has stations in Berkeley connecting to San Francisco Amtrak

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