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Everyone associates the city of Berkeley with college, but more importantly, it’s where free speech was defended. The city is a wonderfully diverse community with fresh ideas, whimsical avenues, and inspiring artisans.
Berkeley is home to top-rated food, unique music, excellent shopping, and a large LGBTQ community that’s evolving every day.
Berkeley began in the late 1800s with the express purpose of putting a college there. From the very beginning, the city has been a nexus for education and intellect. The quick growth of Berkeley came to a fast halt with the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. After that, it took some time to rebuild.
Today, it’s a thriving hub of art, music, food, and community that proves a great atmosphere for LGBTQ transplants.
Here are some more fun facts about Berkeley.
Simply called The Pacific Center, this public gathering place actively works for the betterment of the community. The center operates from a magnificent Victorian home on Telegraph Ave.
This is the world’s first LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. Changing lives since 1974, the center works to uplift LGBTQ businesses and pursue opportunities for growth. They hold seminars, events, and workshops all throughout the year and partner with organizations to champion issues.
There can be microclimates within the city that shift by street. One thing to note is Berkeley catches a lot of the eastward fog flow blankets from the Golden Gate Bridge. This can make for chilly mornings and nights. The Mediterranean climate is cool and dry during the summer, and wet in the winter.
It’s hard to compete with nearby San Francisco (which is a train ride away) for major pride events. The entire month of June is considered a festival within the city. UC Berkeley has a variety of events on campus that happen all month long.
A free festival held every June, the Berkeley World Music Weekend showcases genres from all over the world.
Downtown Berkeley is full of high-rise buildings, cafes, shops, music venues, and restaurants. Located a block away from UC Berkeley (but away from the scene), the tree-lined avenues are the nicest part of the city.
The median price of homes listed right now in Berkeley is $1,001,354. The home values in Downtown Berkeley have increased by 2.9% over the past year and continue to trend up.
The neighborhood has a diversity of food, art, and music you won’t find anywhere else in the city. The feel is hip, young, and lively.
Away from college life, Fourth Street is much quieter with predominantly single-family homes. Real estate here is small cottage and bungalow types that work perfectly for the LGBTQ community.
The median price of homes listed right now in West Berkeley (Fourth Street housing market) is $627,000. The average cost per square foot is $855 with 47 days on the market.
The neighborhood is also home to the Fourth Street Shopping District offering up high-end, brand name stores in a concentrated area. It has a semi-industrial vibe with the most upscale shopping and dining in the city.
Northside is the oldest residential neighborhood in Berkeley. The area is populated with working-class professionals and graduate students. It’s mostly residential with quaint single-family homes and tree-lined streets.
The median price of homes listed right now in Berkeley is $1,064,00. Real estate in the area is selling for $991 per square foot. Typically, the neighborhood has about five homes for sale.
There is a small shopping area on Euclid but it’s not big. Mainly this is a wonderful place if you are seeking an LGBTQ enclave away from city life.
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Space for Bay Area artists to create programs and exhibitions that explore the political and social concerns of the community.
Located in North Berkeley’s “Gourmet Ghetto,” the ACCI is a member-based community of artists, patrons, and creatives.
This 90-acre park is on the peninsula on the north side of the marina. It has a dog run, tons of trails, and the most incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
One of the nicest parks in the city, Willard Park has lighted tennis courts, cobblestone paths, a turf area, and clubhouse.
This is a 10-acre botanical garden located in Tilden Regional Park in the Berkeley Hills. It showcases a variety of plants native to California and is open to the public during daylight hours.
A cool and laid back bar with a busy open mic night and a DJ spinning a variety of tunes. It’s an unassuming LGBTQ hangout where you can be yourself.
A dimly lit local favorite with an uber-popular Happy Hour. The bar serves rotating craft beers, specialty cocktails, and delectable snacks.
Right down the street in Oakland is one of the oldest LGBTQ bars in the region (which is saying a ton). Serving the LGBTQ community since 1933, The White Horse Inn creates an infinite number of cocktails at two separate bars. The place also hosts DJ dance parties, drag shows, and karaoke.
Berkeley is more than just a college town. It’s an artsy and inspired community full of intellects. As part of the Bay Area, the city is also one of the most inclusive places on the planet for LGBTQ residents.
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