8.1 out of 10


37.8061828780332 -122.188271218466
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Internet Access
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Pest Free
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Eating Out
Who lives here?
  • Country Lovers
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Editors Choice

"Not Just Holy Names, Theater and Views Too"

Holy Names University is at the heart of this hillside neighborhood straddling the western edge of Joaquin Miller Park. HNU is a college run by the Catholic Church. It was originally meant as a convent but has evolved. You can now study almost two dozen undergraduate subjects and the graduate programs offers a dozen masters degree programs. The college has a strong performing arts program and a growing program. The magnificent setting is also a big draw—very woodsy and with great views.

Woodminster is not really a college town however. In the hills behind the college, you will find a number of spacious homes and townhouses owned by executives earning six figures. Unlike many neighborhoods in the area, developers have built most of these homes since 1960. Although a full quarter of the homes are 1950’s Ranch homes these great Brady Bunch style houses find newer two and three story condos occupying the opposite face of their streets. In addition, the graded landscape of the hillside makes for an interesting building environment. The Ranch houses, for example, though being long and squat and starting as single story units, will often end as two story structures on the opposite end where the houses rest on their garages.

The condos opposite are in those multi-colored clay/stucco tones that is common to many of the gentrified communities down in the heart of Oakland. Here, however, these homes stare out over the rooftops of their Baby Boom era neighbors to take in sights of Oakland and the bay.

Up in the hills you will also find the Woodminster Amphitheatre, an outdoor venue operating in the summers and hosting concerts and plays—a great family friendly theater going experience in a beautiful setting. Just across the street from the amphitheater, still way up in the hills you will find one of the handful of schools and childcare facilities in the neighborhood. In this case it is a Montessori style school.

Down by the college you will also find all the typical stores you would want for a residential area: supermarkets and other similar stores. A lot of the frequenters here come from neighboring Piedmont where commercial stores are meager.

Overall Woodminster is a great neighborhood for affluent families that happens to have a college at its heart.
  • Great Views
  • Great Homes
  • Great Schools
  • A Bit Snobby
  • Hillside Living--Erosion etc.
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Schools 5/5

"Hike and Bike anyone?"

If you like the idea of being within easy reach of an urban lifestyle coupled with superb access to miles of hiking and biking trails check out Woodminster!
Several streets back onto Parkland and there are various access points for walking, a dog park, some trails which are open to bikes, and a children’s playground with slide and swings.
Technically many of the streets are zoned for Montclair schools, and some of the streets closest to Montclair think of themselves as part of that community.
One big plus is some of the streets have sidewalks, and the corresponding neighborliness which seems to accompany being able to walk your block.
There is also a small selection of shops and restaurants, Monaghans bar and Round Table pizza, nothing fancy but very convenient. On the other side of Joaquin Miller you head towards Butters Canyon, winding roads shaded by huge Bay trees and Oaks, opening out onto some of the best panoramic views in the Oakland Hills.
Housing is a mix, mostly post 40s, more spacious homes than the California bungalows a little further down the hill, and some grander housing stock of mixed vintage often with larger lots taking advantage of the Bay views.
Woodminster may not be so well known, but definitely worth checking out the pluses in this area!
  • Great access to the parks
  • Great Homes
  • Great Views
  • Some streets have freeway noise
Recommended for
  • Country Lovers

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