Residents of Albany enjoy convenient access to the Bay Bridge with a fraction of the population density found in San Francisco. Located just a few miles northwest of Berkeley, the real estate in Albany ranges from highrise, oceanview condos up to single family homes less than a mile from the Albany State Marine Reserve.
Albany’s trifecta of entertainment, education, and access makes it one of the absolute best neighborhoods in the entire Bay Area. First, there is Solano Avenue, an amazingly well-kept Bay Area street with all the best amenities. If you’re an SF transplant, you’ll feel right at home eating at the award-winning Little Star Pizza. Additionally, Albany is home to one of the best school districts in the Bay Area. Lastly, Albany provides easy access to the rest of the Bay Area. Bordering Berkeley, you’ve got quick access to CAL, and a quick commute to SF via BART and the Transbay Bus. Best of all, you’re along the I-80 corridor, making this neighborhood more accessible to Lake Tahoe without any of the Bay Bridge Traffic and just a quick jaunt to Marin County over the Richmond Bridge.
Interstate 80 and 580 run down the western border of Albany, which makes for an easy commute to and from Oakland, San Francisco, and several other Bay Area communities.
Albany is in the perfect location for undergraduate and graduate students. UC Berkeley is less than three miles away and can be easily accessed with a short ride on Route 52. Business school students and professors can walk or ride to the El Cerrito Plaza BART Station and be at Wharton San Francisco in less than an hour.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the full slate of amenities offered at Albany Hill Park. Start your morning with a brisk hike through the eucalyptus tree-lined trail, and take in the occasional views of the San Francisco Bay. Or, jump on the Bay Trail and enjoy incredible SF views while walking or biking.
If you’re looking for excellent food, drinks, and entertainment, Albany residents can find it all on Solano Avenue. Here are a few of the highlights:
A unique Bay Area take on New American whole-animal butchered faire: Jaunita & Maude (just off Solano)
Deep-dish pizza that any Chicagoan will love at Little Star Pizza
Old school ambiance, tasty cocktails and the occasional Surf Rock band at The Ivy Room.
Catch a flick at the old school Albany Theater
Add some greenery to your life and yard at Flowerland… one of the best Bay Area Nurseries
Other Albany greats:
Albany Bowl, which is one of the last great Bay Area bowling alleys.
The El Cerrito Plaza is also an ideal place for Albany residents to do their daily and weekly shopping. Notable stores in El Cerrito Plaza include:
Trader Joe’s: An incredible grocery store with a varied assortment of specialty goods, along with a great selection of wine and spirits.
Bed, Bath & Beyond: Furnish your home with high-quality kitchenware, bedding, and home decor at this popular national retail store.
Barnes and Noble: Peruse aisles of books and magazines or fire up your laptop in the cozy cafe at B&N.
Although there are several fun events on the Albany Event Calendar, the marquee festival is the Solano Avenue Stroll. Held on the 2nd Sunday of September, this festival features an annual theme color, a plethora of local/regional artisans, fantastic food vendors, a slew of entertainers, all tied into one eventful parade. Since 1974, the Solano Avenue Stroll has been a premier Bay Area parade, and something Albany residents can enjoy every year.