This community has a quiet and close-knit vibe.

Welcome to Kensington

Quaint Berkeley Hills community with a close-knit vibe

Kensington is a quaint unincorporated community nestled in the Berkeley Hills on the eastside of San Francisco Bay. This community has a quiet and close-knit vibe. Kensington’s hillside setting provides magnificent views over the Bay and out to the Golden Gate Bridge. Development began in the 1900s and the community features some of the most historic real estate in the East Bay region. Kensington’s gorgeous homes are located on attractive curving streets and peaceful cul-de-sacs. Architectural styles include classic Mediterranean and Tudor-style properties alongside striking contemporary designs.

What to Love

  • Quiet and close-knit vibe 
  • Hillside views over the SF Bay
  • Affluent and highly educated residents 
  • Parks and green space

People & Lifestyle 

Kensington is a small and exclusive community with around 5,400 residents. Residents are typically affluent and highly educated and the community is home to many UC Berkeley professors, including several Nobel Laureates. The famous theoretical physicist Robert Oppenheimer is one of many prominent scientists who lived in Kensington. Since it is located in the Berkeley Hills, Kensington enjoys great views along with milder summer temperatures than many other adjacent communities. The community has a highly rated elementary school as well as many private schools that can be easily reached in nearby cities. Kensington has a BART station and convenient access to I-80 for those commuting into Berkeley and other East Bay areas.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping 

The Kensington Circus Pub is a family-friendly local spot serving British pub grub and ales alongside West Coast craft beers and live music. Nearby Semifreddi’s Bakery is a family-run favorite for freshly-baked bread and pastries as well as coffee and delicious sandwiches. Kensington is within easy reach of many more businesses in the neighboring cities of El Cerrito and Albany. El Cerrito Plaza to Kensington’s west features restaurants and retailers such as Ross Dress for Less, Joann Fabrics and Crafts, and Trader Joe’s. The Junket is a classic European-style café and delicatessen in El Cerrito Plaza selling tasty sandwiches, salads, and specialty coffees. To Kensington’s south, Solano Avenue along the border between Albany and Berkeley houses unique local businesses such as Schmitt’s Tobacco Trading Co. & Pub. This anachronistic tavern has a relaxed Old World atmosphere with fireplaces, antique décor, and jars of imported pipe tobacco. Other Solano Avenue highlights include international eateries such as Renee’s Place for market-driven Chinese dishes, Akemi for sushi and other Japanese specialties, Zachary’s Chicago Pizza for deep-dish pies, and a Safeway for grocery shopping.

Things to Do

Blake Garden is a beautifully landscaped area maintained by the University of California. Spanning more than ten acres, its grounds include a historic house designated as the home of the university’s president. This elevated garden also has scenic viewpoints with stunning vistas of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Kensington Park is a relaxed neighborhood green space with a community center and tennis and basketball courts. The sprawling 740-acre Tilden Nature Area extends along Kensington’s eastern boundary. Hiking trails run through the nature area’s gorgeous scenery. Landmarks here include a botanic garden, the historic Little Farm, and picturesque Lake Anza.


Kensington is served by the West Contra Costa Unified School District.

  • Kensington Elementary, Public, K-6


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