Oakland’s Montclair neighborhood straddles Highway 13, just south of Highway 24. Montclair Village has a big selection of restaurants, shops, and the independent “A Great Good Place for Books” store.
The section west of Highway 13 is known as the Piedmont side of Montclair; most of Montclair lies in the hills to the east and is notable for winding tree-lined streets. The neighborhood changes to Upper Rockridge as you head down Broadway Terrace west of the highway.
Oakland Heritage Alliance gives walking tours of the Fernwood neighborhood, notable for the architectural style called “Storybook Homes”. Be sure to look for the old fire house along Moraga Avenue with plaster flames at the roofline. Many of the homes north of Broadway Terrace were rebuilt after the 1991 Berkeley Oakland Hills firestorm.
You can see vestiges of the Sacramento Northern Railroad in the large concrete trestle on Mountain Blvd, and the Montclair Railroad Trail which runs along the old right of way.
Whenever we’re in Montclair in the morning, we stop at the Montclair Egg Shop (once a part of the Egg Shop and Apple Press empire) for breakfast and visit the beautifully detailed model train engines.
For an out-of-this-world experience, visit the Chabot Space and Science Center. That’s where I saw the rings of Saturn for the first time when I looked through Chabot’s amazing 20″ refractor telescope. Want a more down-to-earth experience? … attend one of Montclair Village’s street festivals.
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