In Oakland, California, there is a neighborhood tucked into the hills called Montclair.  It is one of the most heavily forested neighborhoods in the city.  It reminds a visitor of Tahoe with its winding tree lined streets.  Views of San Francisco are available peaking through the trees at many locations, especially  among those Montclair view homes that are perched high atop the many canyons that are found descending from the high hills above. 

Immediately adjacent to the city of Piedmont on one side, and Oakland's Woodminster and Oakmore neighborhoods, it is the location of Montclair Village-an  enclave of small shops, and excellent restaurants which are visited by Oakland residents from throughout the city.  To add to the food flavor, the Village…

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For longtime Oakland, CA homeowners, the annual showing of the Christmas lights at the Oakland Mormon Temple has been a special holiday event. Sitting high atop the Oakland hills, next to Joaquin Miller Park and Highway 13, the temple is visible from much of the eastern San Francisco Bay area.

While it is beautifully lit with handsome lighting during the year, the lighting becomes truly spectacular during the Christmas season.  Colorful lights adorn every tree, pathways are highlighted, small waterfall like ponds are enhanced, and everything shines and glows as you travel through the lovely gardens and displays. 

Parking is on site or immediately nearby, but many neighborhood residents from nearby Redwood Heights homes and Oakmore homes walk over…

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At one point or another, visitors to Oakland look up into the Oakland hills, and say “What is that?”. Commanding a hill, and bright white in the sunshine, is the Oakland Mormon Temple, an architecturally stunning building that is 170 feet high sitting on 18.3 acres. It is located in Lincoln Heights neighborhood and adjacent to the Redwood Heights and Oakmore neighborhoods. Whether you are a tourist or resident, the building invites one to visit. It has an outstanding view of all of Oakland, and Alameda. Famous landmarks in San Francisco can be seen clearly, including the Bay Bridge and Candlestick Park. Once you arrive, however, there is more to see than the view.

Visitors are encouraged to walk the grounds. Running from the entrance towards the temple…

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With lots of great events happening here in the East Bay, sometimes it is hard to decide what to attend, and what to pass on until next year.
Well, one event not to miss, is the upcoming Oakland Greek Festival. Taking place at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension on Lincoln Avenue in the Oakland hills, this fantastic celebration takes place May 14, 15, and 16.  So many great things to enjoy: live music, Greek dancing, imported goods, an incredible view of the Bay Area, and food, food, food. One definite item to indulge in, the Greek sausage. Still thinking about it from last year. And of course, the pastries. Eat some in the kafenion with a Greek coffee, and then grab some pre-wrapped on the steps of the church on your way out.  More…

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No matter what your belief or religion, if you have never seen the Christmas light display that Oakland's Mormon Temple puts on, be sure to drop by this season. Although easily seen from many areas of the East Bay, the temple is located at 4770 Lincoln Blvd in Lincoln Heights. Just west of Woodminster, Joaquin Miller Park and Highway 13. I must admit that when I was a kid, I thought that the temple was a castle and a king and queen use to live there. Drop by with your own kids, it is quite a sight.

 

 


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There are many wonderful places to go on walks in the East Bay. Nature jaunts within the many East Bay Regional Parks, and architectural walks through gorgeous old neighborhoods, will entice you to while away the better half of the day.

When in the mood to get away from it all, I usually head to one of the beautiful East Bay Regional Parks that reside within the Oakland hills. 

One of my favorites is Redwood Regional park, where you can really feel miles away from the urban hubub. Beautiful old Redwoods and grassy meadows make it a perfect place to hike, workout, picnic or just play with your kids in an oxygen rich and car free zone.

Equally as beautiful, is Joaquin Miller park just south of Montclair on Highway 13. This park provides wonderful hiking…

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