Along the winding and sometimes steep streets of the north Berkeley hills, lush gardens and wooded parks with stunning natural rock formations abound. Here, the turn-of-the-century Craftsmen aesthetic created a fine sensibility in the many homes designed by some of Berkeley’s luminary architects—Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, John Hudson Thomas, and William Wurster—all of whom created understated elegant homes, which showcase elements of the Arts and Crafts movement in the architecture, interior design, and even in the gardens.
All took inspiration from the beauty of the natural setting, but no one style of architecture dominates. Italian villas, Spanish haciendas, Tudor manors and mid-century Modern homes share the spotlight. A walker’s paradise, the hills are intersected by 136 quaint paths. Hiking, golf, and horseback riding are minutes away in Tilden Park, which runs along the easternmost boundary of the hills. Tennis courts are situated throughout the hills. And of course, watching a magnificent sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge from any number of vista points, including many a private home’s bay window, is a popular pastime. Residents in the north Berkeley Hills enjoy country living in a city setting.