Walkability + Safety?
We are moving to the East Bay this summer from Central Austin (TX), where we can walk to everything, but still live in a quiet, safe neighborhood. We have the occasional car break-in, but that's about it. We'd like a walkable, bikeable neighborhood in the East Bay...be able to walk to get a coffee and that sort of thing. We don't want the more "gritty" parts of city living (have lived in NYC and Boston and am kind of over that "real" city living..). I just don't know enough about the East Bay to know what I'm overlooking! We are thinking Berkeley, we've heard a lot of mixed things about Oakland. How are Crocker Highlands and Piedmont in terms of safety? I have heard they are safe, heard they aren't safe... I want to be able to walk around, I want my teen girls to be able to walk around without me worrying about serious crime...and I don't want to live where it's likely our house will be broken into. An occasional car break-in on the street? Fine, I can live w/that, but not much more than that...
What about Lafayette or Orinda? Do they have downtowns? Are they more suburban with little kids kind of places? Our kids are high school so we don't need the quiet cul de sac...we are more thinking about where would be good now of course but moreso what would still be good once we are empty nesters, easy to meet people etc. We love to hike, run, etc. I'm not sure if that would feel super suburban which we don't really want but if there's a downtown and some diversity maybe they would work? I don't know!
I know this question is kind of all over the place but any help appreciated!
We are doing private school so don't need to worry about schools. In terms of cost our budget is fairly generous so that's probably not too much of a limiting factor. Thank you!