Oakland is the third largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Oakland is consistently top rated as one of the nation’s most livable and sustainable cities.  The city’s architecture spans the gamut from environmentally friendly lofts to historic Victorians. The Oakland fire storm in 1991 dramatically changed the architecture in the Hills above the Claremont  Hotel after destroying 2,843 homes. The fire’s rapid rate of spread and massively-destructive nature sparked renewed recognition of the dangers posed by wildland-urban interface fires in major cities, and spurred research and investigation into improved prevention and suppression of such fires.

In addition to a vibrant downtown area, Oakland boasts numerous restaurants and shopping districts in Rockridge, Temescal, Grand Ave/Lakeshore, Glenview, Dimond, Fruitvale, Piedmont Avenue, and Montclair. Jack London Square offers dining, shops, and a large marina. Other popular residential neighborhoods include: Maxwell Park, Laurel, Trestle Glen, Crocker Highlands, Adams Point, Upper Rockridge, Piedmont Pines, and Redwood Heights. The biggest container port in Northern California, Oakland is also home to the Raiders, the A’s, and an international airport that offers a convenient alternative to SFO. The Golden State Warriors basketball team hold the record for the most wins by one team in a regular season. The Oakland Art Murmur is a group of galleries in Oakland that have openings every first Friday of the month. Culture, history, and the stars are on tap at the Oakland Museum of California and the Chabot Observatory, and a Venetian gondola has been seen plying the waters of Lake Merritt. Oakland combines rich cultural offerings with abundant open space including; Redwood Regional Park, Joaquin Miller Park, and Roberts Regional Recreational Area.