Moving from Australia - help needed deciding where to live in Bay

Hi there, I am a mother of 3 kids (7, 4, and 2) from Sydney Australia and this week my husband accepted a job in the financial district in SF.  I have been searching and searching online to try and work out where to live. Best case scenario would be an area with a reasonable commute to SF, safe, walkable, friendly with some vibrancy and 'action'.  I would like my kids to go to a good school and also I would like to easily meet other people as I won't be working (at least at first).  Right now we live in an inner city suburb which is safe, walkable and full of families. I think I would like something similar but at the same time wonder if we should try something different like 'Marin county'.  Right now I've narrowed it down to either Albany, North Berkeley, parts of Marin County, Palo Alto or Noe Valley?? As you can see, I am a little lost - any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanking you all so much in advance. 

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All are nice communities that you mention. Question would be what can you afford? Albany and Alameda are popular with families for their good public schools, tight knit community feel, also nice weather and good walk ability. Both are within an easy BART commute to downtown SF. Traffic can be horrendous so choosing an area along the BART (local subway) line would be beneficial. Also you should know the housing market is very competitive here and it can be hard to find housing, especially in N Berkeley and Albany. Good luck and welcome!