Oakland is situated on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, extending up into the Berkeley Hills on the east, which rise to elevations as high as 1,700 feet. Geography divides the city into "the flats" and "the hills", as they are referred to locally. The skyscrapers of the downtown area occupy an area of "the flats" next to Merrit Lake. Wealthy neighborhoods occupy the hillsides. Redwood Regional Park, Joaquin Miller Park, and other parks preserve a large and beautiful area on the hills.
Oakland enjoys a pleasant coastal climate with dry summers and more rain in the winters. A wide variety of trees grow around the city and on the hillsides and the climate invites beautiful landscaping. Beyond the city, where the hills are not forested, the covering of grass usually seems to be dried and yellow. The hills offer wonderful view overlooking the city and the bay. Mists are common in the mornings.
Oakland was founded in 1852 and the population, as of the year 2000, is 399,484. It is bordered on the north by Berkeley, and on the south by San Leandro and Alameda (on Alameda Island). Oakland is the county seat of Alameda County. Interstate 880 (the Nimitz Freeway) passes through Oakland close to the shore and Interstate 580 passes closer to the hills. The Warren Freeway, (California Highway 13) cuts up into the foothills, and the Shafter Freeway (California Highway 24) climbs the Berkeley Hills and crosses them through a tunnel.
The UntraveledRoad virtual tour features a sampling of roads in the hills of Oakland, including Grizzly Peak Road and the beautiful grounds of the LDS Oakland Temple.