Overview of the Bella Vista Neighborhood

A Hidden Gem with a Strong Sense of Community

Walk Score: 74

Transit Score: 54

Bike Score: 64

Bella Vista was the neighborhood we first lived in when we moved to Oakland, and we loved it. This hidden gem is a couple miles east of Lake Merritt and just south of the 580 from Glenview. One exit to the east is Fruitvale, and one exit to the west is the Lakeshore and Grand Lake areas. Often, we’d walk through the beautiful Trestle Glen neighborhood to visit the weekend Lake Merritt farmers market.

Bella Vista is a small neighborhood with a lot of charm. Homes in this neighborhood range from bungalows and craftsman style homes to huge Victorians.Though home prices in this neighborhood are on the rise, you can still find some affordable options here.

When we lived here, we were in a yellow craftsman on East 34th Street. Our block was filled with colorful bungalows and craftsman homes. A couple blocks south of us, there were towering Victorians on the hill with unbelievable views.

At the heart of this neighborhood, you’ll find Bella Vista Elementary, along with Bella Vista Park just behind it. Nearby are Oakland High School and Highland Hospital, which bring different types of people to the area and make this small neighborhood a melting pot of cultures and families.

Though there are no BART stations nearby, there are express buses to San Francisco that leave from Glenview, just a short walk away. There are also multiple bus options that will take you to Downtown Oakland or Lake Merritt. Or, you can do what we did and hop on your bike! It’s a beautiful 15-minute ride to Lake Merritt BART station.

Local Amenities

Bella Vista Park

At the heart of this Bella Vista is Bella Vista Park, right next door to Bella Vista Elementary School. This park serves as a neighborhood hub of sorts, hosting annual neighborhood events. Here you’ll find a couple of play structures, a large field great for tossing a ball around on, and great paths for bikes and scooters.

Surrounded by Diverse Neighborhoods

One of the best features of Bella Vista is that it’s surrounded by great and diverse neighborhoods. Bella Vista doesn’t have its own commercial strip, and as a result, it’s able to maintain an intimate neighborhood-y feel.

However, a quick walk to the north side of Highway 580 will bring you to Glenview, where you’ll find some of our favorite Oakland spots, including Sushi Park and Bellanico.

If you’re walking to Lake Merritt (about a 20-minute walk west), you can walk through Trestle Glen, another wonderful neighborhood filled with stunning homes and oozing with neighborhood charm. If you’re ever looking for a great trick-or-treating area, Trestle Glen is it. The best of surburbia, tucked into the heart of Oakland.

Just east of Bella Vista, you’ll run into Fruitvale and the Dimond District, each with its own unique features and charm.


Public Schools

  • Bella Vista Elementary School | Grades TK-5
    • “We celebrate the diversity of our student body: more than half of our students speak another language at home. In fact, nearly 20 languages are represented at Bella Vista. We are a Community of Learners, promoting academic excellence in everything we do. Our teachers and staff work to inspire students each day to do their very best.”
    • GreatSchools Rating5/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 4/5 stars
    • Test scores: About the same as state average
    • School size: ~470 students


  • Edna Brewer Middle School | Grades 6-8
    • “We have a wonderfully diverse population representing the City of Oakland. We are a learning community of staff, parents and students with shared goals. We diligently work towards creating and maintaining an engaging, safe, and meaningful place for our students and staff. We stand strong behind our objective to prepare every Brewer student for academic success. We work to provide an environment that promotes individual growth.”
    • GreatSchools Rating7/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 4/5 stars
    • Test scores: Above state average
    • School size: ~825 students


  • Oakland High School | Grades 9-12
    • “The mission of Oakland High School is to provide an excellent education to all students in a safe environment so that each student has a foundation for pursuing personal and social growth and high academic achievement.”
    • GreatSchools Rating5/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 3/5 stars
    • Test scores: About the same as state average
    • School size: ~1500 students
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Bridge-CCAR-Bay East data last updated at February 22, 2019 8:58 PM PT