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Gay-Friendly, Family-Friendly Neighborhoods (Bay Area CA)
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Gay-Friendly, Family-Friendly Neighborhoods (Bay Area CA)
My family is relocating to San Francisco from NYC in the fall.
We wanted to live in Berkeley, but just found out that my partner will have to commute
to Palo Alto at least once a week and will work daily in the SF financial district.
I'll be staying at home with our 18 month old until I can find work, so I'd really
like a neighborhood where I can easily connect with other families, get involved with
the community and have access to nice playgrounds/parks. The only area that we've
heard about consistently is Noe Valley, but it seems a bit pricey and not too much
space for the $$. Need to be within reasonable commuting distance (45 mins tops w/
traffic) from SF financial dist. Any suggestions would be very helpful.
Check out the Bernal Heights neighborhood in San Francisco.
Cheaper than Noe and lots of Lesbian families/couples. Very
family oriented too -- lots of kids activities, beautiful
playground/park, story and music time at local cafes, lovely
Love our gay-friendly city
Montclair (neighborhood in Oakland) is said to have a high
gays/lesbians-- not like the Castro, but some study, probably
of census data, said
My wife and I moved just about a year ago from the Valley to
Bay Area. We really wanted to live in the City (Sn Fran), but
found it was just to pricey. It also did not afford the
opportunity to have a nice yard as well as living in a small
for more than I was willing to pay.
We like in the Emeryville/Oakland area. (We bought a house),
a nice late 1920s California Bungalow and it great condition.
There was no way we could get something like that in the Bay
for a reasonable price. My wife works in the City and I work in
UCB. Her commute is short and the location of the BART is
Where ever you choose- do not drive to the City- use BART.
http://www.bart.gov/ look into the Translink Card. You can
utilize if for all the forms of transporation.
Go onto Google Earth and look at the locations- include
grocery, public trasportation etc.
Live in the East Bay and take BART to work in the financial
district. Oakland, Berkeley and Albany are all wonderful places
to live and waaaaaaay more affordable than SF. You'll get more
room and much better weather in the East Bay. Albany has
public schools (one middle and one high school - it is it's own
school district), Oakland is historic and very diverse (as is
most of the East Bay)and may have more of the urban feel you
desire (ask on this forum for recommendations for specific
neighborhoods). Berkeley is well, Berkeley - great
great weather, parks, SUPER restaurants, a wonderful farmer's
SF is just over the bridge
Have you thought of the Rockridge area of Oakland? It's a
friendly and gay friendly, diverse neighborhood. There are a
variety of schools to choose from. Commute to the city is very
easy during non-rush times--about 25 minutes--while it's a
more like 45-50 minutes during rush hour. Rockridge BART
has trains to the city every 15-20 minutes. Oakland has a bad
for crime, but the city is large and crime seems to be more
localized to certain areas. Prices may be similar to Noe Valley
but you get lots more room for your money, since most houses
yards... and beautiful yards at that. Besides, I'm a gay man, I
live here, and I love it!
I'd like to put in a good word for Oakland. Oakland, or so I
have read, is home to more lesbian couples per capita than any
other major city. My daughter went to preschool with kids from
both lesbian and gay families, who were a welcomed and
appreciated part of the school community.
I think that Oakland's popularity is due to the
family/affordability issue. San Francisco is fabulous, but a
of people find that as their family grows, they don't get
bang for their buck there, particularly if you want to buy. The
Oakland school district is spotty, but not as bad as it is
made out to be (my daughter just started kindergarten at an
Oakland school). Some good schools in affordable neighborhoods
are Glenview, Sequoia, Cleveland, and Crocker Highlands.
I can get to the financial district from my Oakland house in 12
min on a Sunday morning (no traffic) or 45 minutes in traffic.
There's also BART (subway) and ferry service).
Here are a couple of articles about gay/lesbian Oakland:
Well your partner could easily commute on BART to downtown SF
from Berkeley under 45 minutes, but that Palo Alto day would
be 'trying'. Yes, Noe Valley is fantastic, I rented there for
several years, but the prices have gone crazy. Probably the
same is true for the Castro and Eureka Valley (which are right
next door), but then it depends on your money. You might try
Bernal Heights. It's gay friendly, about 8 minutes from Noe
Valley (if that) and its main drag, Cortland Ave, has turned
into quite the place for food and hanging out. Also VERY dog
friendly. There is also Potreto Hill at the other end of the
Mission....and then there is the Mission. The Mission connects
with Noe Valley and has some wonderful homes, as does most of
the city. It does have its areas that 'might not be so safe',
but again, it depends where you are at. The outer communities
like the Sunset and Richmond are alright. Inner Sunset, which
is next to Golden Gate Park is friendly, the outer Sunset a tad
more conservative, as is the Richmond, of course they are close
to the ocean, but also get that fog. Lastly, there is the
Haight, a very mix and match area, some areas delightful,
others 'less' delightful. San Franciscos a great town, but you
might want to vist and take the BART ride and see if its
Ex-SF, now East Bay
It is probably faster to take bart from the east bay to sf than
to go from noe valley by car or public transit. so stick with
berkeley, or oakland. the noe valley of oakland is rockridge.
Commuting to the financial district from Berkeley is actually
quite easy, and depending on where your start from takes about
min on BART, a bit longer on a commuter bus. Palo Alto is
matter -- it takes 45 min if there's no traffic, but can take
to 1-1/2 hours. In SF, you might want to look at Glen Park --
more friendly than Noe Valley. San Francisco has a very complex
school assignment policy, so you should research that before
choosing where to look. There are many lesbian families with
children in Berkeley and Oakland, and a few gay male families
Bernal Heights is a great neighborhood. There are LOTS of moms,
gay and straight. Look at the website for Bernal Hill Realty.
It tells a lot about the neighborhood. I live in the East Bay
now. There are a lot of lesbians in Oakland and Berkeley. It
would take about an hr. to get to Palo Alto, but if you hop on
the BART it would take only about 15 minutes to get to the
Financial District. Good luck.
this page was last updated: Jul 31, 2010
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