Castro Valley, California

Beautiful and Boring

Looklyloo Score: 85

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Briar Ridge / Green Ridge

Young Professionals/DINKs/Families

Briar Ridge and Green Ridge sit side by side directly east of Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area . Driving up the hill into these neighborhoods feels like going into the mountains. Briar Ridge’s shingle-style siding of the townhome complex as you drive up into the neighborhood evokes that relaxed and laid back mountain vibe. At the start of the neighborhood you’ll find two- and three-bedroom townhomes with enclosed garages ranging from $600,000 to $700,000 that are great for first time home buyers. Further up the hill the housing transitions to single-family homes pricing in around $1.2 million that sit on lots larger than what you’d get in newer developments.

Green Ridge stands out for its single-family, Eichler homes. Eicher homes embody modern design with open concepts, contemporary aesthetics, floor to ceiling windows, concrete slab floors and large airy rooms. Like Briar Ridge, these homes sit on larger lots and offer striking views and lots of open green space. Here homes will consistently price at more than $1 million.

There are no HOA dues for the single-family homes in these neighborhoods and with that comes far fewer amenities than other neighborhoods, for example, no recreation center.

As mentioned, Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area is right there and so is Greenridge Park’s amazing views located at the top of the neighborhood. Both of these parks are never super crowded, allowing you to get away from it all while running, walking or picnicking in nature.

For groceries, you have a Safeway five minutes down the road along East Castro Valley Boulevard and gas stations and big store shops within ten minutes along Redwood Road. For little ones, you have the highly rated Sunshine Palette Child Care just down the road and Marshall Elementary School, Canyon Middle School and others all within 5-10 minutes.

Five Canyons


Five Canyons sits on the east side of Castro Valley Boulevard. The neighborhood has newer builds that went up between the 1980’s and 2000s. It is an attractive area and a nice place to raise a family. You’ll be able to find all styles of homes here, ranging from condos and townhomes to single-family homes and even mini mansions. Home prices here are above $1 million and with the price tag comes some attractive amenities. The Five Canyons Recreation Center is great for hosting parties, escaping the summer heat in the pool, relaxing in the jacuzzi or letting the kids play on the playground or sports courts. One perk of the center is it is tucked away, giving it an exclusive feel.

This neighborhood also has great access to 300 acres of open spaces and plenty of walking trails in parks like Ridge Trail Park and Wildwood Park. The diverse natural landscapes within nearby Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area are a big perk too.

For shopping, Safeway is a five minute drive away and Trader Joe’s is less than 10. Nearby schools include East Avenue Elementary School, Northstar School and Hayward Twin Oaks Montessori School. This neighborhood is located south of 580 so you’ll want to do your research on if your home is zoned for Castro Valley or Hayward unified school districts.

It’s important to note too that residents enjoy multiple entry and exit points into the neighborhood which helps to reduce the stress of navigating the area’s traffic jams.



According to one realtor, Columbia is the best neighborhood in Castro Valley, and it’s reflected in the neighborhood's home prices. Unlike other nice neighborhoods like Five Canyons and Palomares Hills, all homes in Columbia are single-family and detached. They’re typically three- to five-bedrooms built in the 1970s that sell for around $1.7 million.

This neighborhood is great for families. It has a combination of well-maintained amenities and parks and its open spaces boast ridge views, bay views and a network of walking trails. Columbia Recreation Center amenities include pools, a Jacuzzi and basketball court. It also enjoys close proximity to Cull Canyon Park, which includes beach access.

For shopping, you’ll find all the essentials less than 10 minutes away along Redwood Road, including Safeway, Trader Joe’s gas stations and shops. Schools in the area include Vannoy Elementary School, Creekside Middle School, Canyon Middle School and Castro Valley High School.