Perhaps it is the city's unique, diverse character, or the fact that it is home to the oldest of the University of California campuses, but Berkeley, Calif., has a reputation it is proud to maintain. Located on the east shore of San Francisco Bay, the city maintains the same progressive attitude as its neighbors - something those looking for Berkeley apartments for rent are sure to fall in love with. Despite its big reputation, Berkeley remains relatively small, with about 113,900 residents. The University of California, Berkeley, is a large presence in the city and the student involvement and activism of the 1960s defined Berkeley as a deeply liberal city, a reputation it still has today.
Although the activism of the 1960s is very much a part of Berkeley's history, the city was founded by Europeans in the late 18th century. The city really began to grow when the campus of the University of California was established in 1873, creating a community with many Berkeley apartments for rent that was destined to be the city's driving economic and social force.
You'll find when looking for Berkeley apartments that the city is known as a hub for local and organic foods in Northern California. Its open-air farmers markets - offered in a variety of neighborhoods three days a week - help residents of apartments in Berkeley eat healthy and buy local. The downtown area offers plenty of art galleries, museums and performing arts centers, and is known for its local artist community. Families will enjoy a wide range of activities as well, whether flying kites at Cesar Chavez Park in West Berkeley or exploring the Habitot Children's Museum downtown. The student population has prompted plenty of microbrew pubs to set up shop in town, and the plethora of parks in Berkeley and the surrounding areas provide ample opportunities to hike, bike, rock climb, fish or simply enjoy the great outdoors. Sports enthusiasts can catch an Oakland Raiders or San Francisco 49ers game, while music lovers in Berkeley apartments may want to check out annual music festivals like the Downtown Berkeley Music Fest, Berkeley World Music Festival or the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention.
AreaVibes gives Berkeley an "A+" for both housing and local amenities, but these come with a price. The cost of living in Berkeley apartments for rent is 52.9 percent greater than the national average. When you're looking for apartments for rent in Berkeley, you'll also find that rentals are also expensive. The average rentals in Berkeley are 46.9 percent greater than the national average.
The major source of employment and education in Berkeley is the University of California, Berkeley. Founded just after the Gold Rush, the flagship campus has played a major role in the history of science and society. If you choose to find apartments for rent in Berkeley near the campus, the tens of thousands of students who attend classes at UC Berkeley can choose from 14 colleges and schools, offering hundreds of areas of study. In addition to employment opportunities in academia and other careers within the university, those looking for rentals may also find work in science and medicine fields, given that some of the largest employers are Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. The City of Berkeley and Bayer Corporation also employ a large number of citizens.