Overview of the Laurel District

One of Oakland's best hidden gems

Walk Score: 86

Transit Score: 50

Bike Score: 58

The Laurel District in Oakland is a vibrant and diverse community located between the foot of the Oakland hills and Mills College. This growing and changing neighborhood features a lively shopping area with popular shops and restaurants.

The Laurel District Association is an active and strong neighborhood organization committed to improving and revitalizing the community through culture, education, social services, and the arts.

Not only are the neighbors great and friendly, but it’s also not too difficult to find cute homes in the Laurel District. In fact, there are adorable bungalows all over this area, and best of all, the homes in the Laurel District are still reasonably affordable.

If you like the outdoors, the Laurel District is also close to some of the best nature areas in Oakland, including Joaquin Miller, Roberts, and Redwood Regional Parks. My family and I love visiting these regional parks, which are great for hiking, swimming, dog walks, and playground dates.

The Annual Laurel District Street Fair draws huge crowds to the area and features over three blocks of locally made accessories and crafts, visual and performance artists, community yoga, a children’s carnival & petting zoo, and tons of great local food and treats.

Highway 580 is close to the Laurel District, offering a quick and easy commute westward toward Downtown Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, and San Francisco, and eastward toward Hayward, Livermore, and Castro Valley.

No car? No problem. You’ll find buses ready to take you down 35th Avenue to Fruitvale BART Station. You can also catch an express bus to San Francisco on High Street right below MacArthur Blvd.

Local Amenities

MacArthur Blvd Shopping Area

Proximity to Regional Parks


Public Schools

  • Sequoia Elementary | Grades K-5
    • “It is the mission of Sequoia Elementary School to provide a powerful education to all students, enabling them to become effective, contributing citizens in our democratic society.”
    • GreatSchools Rating: 7/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 5/5 stars
    • Test scores: Above state average
    • School size: ~430 students


  • Laurel Elementary | Grades K-5
    • “Laurel Elementary School is located in the foothills of East Oakland. Our campus serves a densely-populated, ethnically-diverse, predominately working-class neighborhood. Our mission is to improve students’ academic achievement in a safe, stimulating, and nurturing environment where the needs of the whole child are met.”
    • GreatSchools Rating: 3/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 5/5 stars
    • Test scores: Below state average
    • School size: ~540 students


  • Fruitvale Elementary | Grades K-5
    • GreatSchools Rating: 1/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 4/5 stars
    • Test scores: Far below state average
    • School size: ~385 students


  • Bret Harte Middle | Grades 6-8
    • “Bret Harte has one of the most diverse programs and student bodies in Oakland. We offer a variety of electives, programs for English Language Learners, an accelerated math program and special education programs for students with disabilities.”
    • GreatSchools Rating: 2/10
    • Average parent/community rating: 4/5 stars
    • Test scores: Far below state average
    • School size: ~550 students


Private Schools

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Bridge-CCAR-Bay East data last updated at February 22, 2019 8:58 PM PT