Richmond, CA, California




Sunny Days: 262
61100 Affordability
70100 Schools
60100 Diversity
58100 Safety

The Best Thing About Richmond?

Proximity (with less intensity)

While there’s a lot to love about Richmond the thing you hear the most from locals is about how convenient it is to live here to everything you’d want to do in the Bay Area. You’re on the BART line so commuting to Oakland or San Francisco is easy. You can also take a ferry from Richmond to San Francisco or Tiburon or a Giants game. If you feel like driving you’re 12 minutes from Berkeley, 15 from Oakland and 20 from San Francisco (assuming a non-traffic drive). Richmond is also home to Wildcat Canyon Park, one of the most beautiful hiking spots in the area and the views from Point Richmond rival those in the Marin Headlands.

The Worst Thing About Richmond?

School Struggles

As with most cities Richmond is hit or miss on the ratings of the public schools. It is part of the West Contra Costa County District and the overall ratings pull the city down to a C rating on . There are higher rated publics amidst the neighborhoods so if you’re moving here with a family keep that in mind. As an alternative many choose the higher rated charters, privates or parochial schools.

Lifestyle of Richmond

Richmond is a quiet city so if you want serious nightlife then you’re driving or taking BART or a Ferry to Berkeley, Oakland or San Francisco, pretty amazing to have all three options within minutes. Much of the lifestyle here is centered around the outdoors. Considering you’re surrounded by water you can expect much of your time here to be spent enjoying some of the most beautiful views on the planet or strolling the area beaches or out on the water on a kayak or paddleboard. As was noted you also have Wildcat Canyon in town for some amazing local hiking and you’re minutes from dozens of regional and state parks when you’re ready for a different view.

While the city does not have the commercial districts of the larger cities nearby there are a growing number of excellent restaurants, cafes and micro-breweries keeping the locals fed and satisfied when they’re in the mood to stay local. The Point Richmond neighborhood has its own small but fun and groovy commercial district and there are other options scattered throughout the city.

Check out the Berkeley Parent's Network for more info about living in Richmond, schools and more.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

The Water

Richmond is functionally a peninsula. Jutting out between San Pablo Bay to the north and San Francisco Bay to the south. Living in Richmond means having a constant and personal connection to the Bays and ocean it can feel like you’re on a coastal vacation on a daily basis when you live here. The water is specials; you’ll travel on it, recreate on it, contemplate on it and overall enjoy it in an easy and integrated way few other cities can offer.

Neighborhoods in Richmond, CA

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Point Richmond

There is perhaps no other place in the Bay Area that offers a water-culture lifestyle with Golden Gate Bridge views that doesn't require generational wealth to afford. Point Richmond is a unicorn neighborhood, with groovy, small-town spirit and a walkable, stand-alone vibe. The opening of the Point Richmond Ferry stop that is direct to the San Francisco Ferry Building also means you have without parallel one of the best commutes in the world. Beautiful sunsets, Bay and ocean breezes and delicious beer and wine make the commute the best part of your day.

Point Richmond also has The Plunge, a year-round indoor swimming natatorium, with swim lessons and family swim events for when the Bay is too cold. You also have direct access to the Bay Trail that connects the area via hiking and biking trails north to Point Pinole and south to the Bay Bridge and beyond.

Point Richmond has two private marinas and the Bay Area’s premier racing yacht club, the Richmond Yacht Club. Many locals own kayaks or paddle boards for daytime and evening rides.

This quirky neighborhood also has its own social scene via the 100-year-old Hotel Mac, local brewery East Brother, beloved pizza joint Raymond’s Pizzeria and the cafe Kaleidoscope Coffee. It's not a lot but most locals say, it's enough.

Marina Bay

If you're looking for a sizable home with a view of the Bay for less than a million, check out Marina Bay. Sunset Pointe is an example of your options. It's a gated community in the Marina neighborhood where you can stroll the waterfront to local beaches, or ride your bike to Berkeley or have a sail at the Tradewinds Sailing School. The neighborhood also has several restaurants/bars, like Lara's Fine Dining and Ahn Restaurant and Bar that pull in plenty of locals for nightly refreshments.

As noted, the homes here are new and quite nice and like Point Richmond, Marina Bay is set apart from the rest of Richmond so you get more piece and quiet than the busier neighborhoods. The schools locals are zoned for are viewed as among the better options, at least until you hit high school. There are a lot of rentals in the area so easy enough to test the neighborhood prior to making the plunge to purchase.

North & East (N&E)

North & East is much loved for its safety and extremely friendly, tight-knit community. In recent years there has been a lot of remodeling of the smaller homes from all the young families moving in. The El Cerrito del Norte BART station is very close for those with a train commute (take the train if you can, the driving sucks!) One of the perks of living here is the newly rebuilt Michelle Obama elementary school. It's a shiny new example of a good school in a city craving more like it.

While there aren't much in the way of walkable commercial spaces save a single good coffee joint but you do get two great parks, Burg and Solano, right in the neighborhood, so that's a plus. The cute, "affordable" homes, in the $500-$600k range, and the culture of locals banding together to make it all work means it's an excellent choice for young couples and families