Claremont Homes For Sale
Claremont (sometimes referred to as the Claremont Hills/ North Hills) is a neighborhood straddling the hilly border between east Berkeley and the northernmost tip of Oakland. The majestic, white contours of the Claremont Hotel against the deep green backdrop of the hillside behind have come to define this region as its most iconic landmark, marking the lower edge of an upscale residential area filled with luxurious homes on small winding streets, and stunning bay views. Known as Claremont Club and Spa, A Fairmont Hotel since its centennial celebration in 2015, the 5-star resort not only offers North Hills residents a prominent feature to help let out-of-town guests know they have" almost arrived," but it provides visitors, guests and club members with many amenities—sports and spa facilities, a bar with glamorous city views, and fine dining. Heading into the hills behind the hotel, one finds wild, wooded areas with few homes along Claremont Avenue as it climbs towards Grizzly Peak. But a sharp right turn up Alvarado, and one suddenly finds a secret cache of luxury real estate and multi million dollar homes tucked into curvy canyons with breathtaking 180 degree views of the bay—Alameda in the south, Oakland and San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, Mt. Tamalpais to the north, and sparkling blue water. Turning into Claremont from Tunnel Road on the far side of the neighborhood, gentler inclines guide one onto picturesque, windy roads filled with leafy trees, old-fashioned streetlamps in places, and large, pretty homes that feel architecturally unique and familiar at the same time. The majority of homes in this community are contemporary or Mediterranean style, ranging in size from 2 to 6 bedrooms or more, and tiny 1,200 square foot bungalows from an earlier era sharing streets with sleek, 10,000+ square foot modern beauties built after the 1991 Oakland firestorm that affected much of the area. This quiet neighborhood is close to UC Berkeley campus, and it is not uncommon to find University administrators or professors as neighbors, along with older residents who have lived here for decades, mixed in with young newcomers, both singles and families. Most streets in the hills are narrow and have no sidewalks; though neighbors find ways to get out, meet and connect (Nextdoor.com is a popular resource), the natural beauty and hilly terrain tend to cultivate and reinforce a sense of privacy and remoteness, even though urban conveniences are just a short 5-minute drive away.
Claremont Real Estate
WHERE IS CLAREMONT?
The Claremont Hills/ North Hills neighborhood extends from the base of the glamorous Claremont Resort Hotel and Spa, up into the hills behind it. Boundaries are roughly: Tunnel Road, and the area northwest of Hiller Drive, including Grandview, Vicente and Alvarado; the area behind Hiller Highlands, up to and along Grizzly Peak; and the residential areas accessible coming back down Claremont Avenue from Grizzly Peak, with Claremont Avenue forming the northeast border. Claremont is comprised of properties in both Oakland and Berkeley. Although the Oakland properties pay Oakland taxes and attend Oakland Schools, the entire community is serviced out of the Berkeley post office, so even the Oakland residents have Berkeley mailing addresses. For those using public transit, Rockridge BART station serves the neighborhood. The station is about a 5-minute drive, and options for parking nearby for free or in the paid lot are generally good. For those traveling by car, the neighborhood is convenient to Highway 24, which connects the area to Concord through the Caldecott Tunnel, downtown Oakland, or San Francisco. Highway 13 provides an alternate route to the Oakland Airport or South Bay, if I-880 or the Bay Bridge have excess traffic. Tunnel Road turns into Ashby Avenue, leading straight into Berkeley, all the way down to the Emeryville shoreline.
THINGS TO DO NEAR CLAREMONT
The Claremont neighborhood is home to the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve, a gentle wilderness with many trails set aside for runners, hikers, and dog lovers. Travel along the ridge of Grizzly Peak to explore the wooded hills of Tilden Park and enjoy more spectacular views. In addition to wildflower-strewn trails, you can discover the delights of a small urban farm, a botanic garden, the steam train, or a vintage carousel with the kids, or meeting friends for a stroll around Lake Anza, horseback riding at Grizzly Peak stables, or a game of golf. Though it's not known for being a neighborhood with high walkability ratings, Claremont does offer many easy shopping and dining options nearby. For elegant dining with a view of the bay, drive down the hill to dine at Meritage or the Limewood Bar & Restaurant at the Claremont Hotel, or join them for Afternoon Tea service, surrounded by cozy cushions in the Lobby Lounge. All your grocery, clothes shopping, and coffee needs will be met in the nearby Elmwood and Rockridge neighborhoods—Cole Coffee and Yasai Market across from a large Safeway are minutes from home, and Highwire Coffee or the Market Hall near Rockridge BART are only a few blocks further down College Avenue. For even more shopping and dining options, drive through the Caldecott Tunnel to Walnut Creek or Lamorinda.
Claremont is home to several excellent schools, both public and private. Kaiser Elementary at the bottom of Hiller Drive is a tiny K-5 with very high ratings. Claremont Middle School for grades 6-8 and Oakland Technical High School are both good schools that serve this neighborhood and are located nearby. John Muir Elementary, Anthony Chabot Elementary, and Maybeck High School are other public schools available in surrounding neighborhoods. Also within reach of Claremont residents are The Bentley School (just down the hill from Kaiser Elementary) for K-8 (Bentley's high school campus is in Lafayette), and College Preparatory School (CPS) for grades 9-12.