1. The scenery.
The Morcom Amphitheatre of Roses is an oasis shrouded in residential development.
Yeah, yeah, San Francisco has painted ladies and Golden Gate Park and all that, but Oakland is plenty scenic, too. There's the obvious choices in Lake Merritt and stargazing at Chabot Space & Science Center, but quirky, undersung spots include the tucked-away Amphitheater of Roses, an ethereal cemetery by the master behind Central Park, and even a golf course mysteriously adjacent to the Oakland International Airport. If that sounds like your kind of Saturday, Oakland is definitely the place for you.
2. The culture.
The New Parkway Theater pairs living room ambience with cult classics and other films.
That people are moving to Oakland is no secret, and the tide is, in large part, thanks to the folks who have already relocated. Its affordability and proximity to both SF and Berkeley bring a distinct aura of the underground, of community, of diversity—and when you've tired of the tech scene or exhausted all the $10 dinners you can find, that kind of setting can be a welcome respite. In fact, some of everything on this list reflects Oakland's ability to be the "other sister," whether it's cult theaters or scenic paths less traveled.
3. An underappreciated food scene.
It's not easy to save room for dessert at Lois the Pie Queen, but your dedication will be rewarded.
San Francisco is one of the finest food centers in the world, but the square footage is small, so if you've been here for a while, chances are you've tried most. And even though new things open all the time, the status quo is tending more and more toward farm-to-table, burnished wood, craft cocktails and steep tabs. Oakland, on the other hand, features all the same in addition to some incredible $6 sandwiches, hand-pulled noodles, homemade pies, landmark barbecue and deep dish pizza good enough for any Chicagoan. Oaklanders appreciate these places, and at some of them you'll wait, but it won't be the same cliché spots full of the same crowd, week after week.
4. The extra cash.
Yard, noun: the grounds immediately surrounding a house that are usually covered with grass. (photo via Lolly on Flickr)
The reason cited most often. We don't have to tell you that San Francisco is notoriously expensive; moving to Oakland will free up considerable pocket change, not only because of housing, but because of cheaper food, drinks, entertainment and groceries. It adds up fast, and you can either ferret away your savings or use it to get the place of your dreams, complete with the kind of backyard your SF friends only remember from their suburban youth.
5. It's up and coming.
Your homebuying funds go a lot further, and the real estate is nothing to sneeze at, either. (photo via Mike Linksvayer on Flickr)
In a sense this is the theme of this post, and what do you do with something that's up and coming? You invest. If you can save for it, buying property in the right part of Oakland will get you a fabulous return on investment when you're ready to sell—if you're ever ready, that is. With potentially shorter commutes, parking everywhere, great real estate and all the things listed above, you'll have a hard time ever finding a reason to leave.
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This post is a sponsored collaboration between SoFi and Gothamist staff.
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