Advice about Living in Dublin
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Moving To Dublin, Pleasanton or San Ramon?
We're relocating from Oakland (Grand Lake) to the Dublin/Pleasanton/San Ramon area, having outgrown our rent-controlled apartment (sadly), looking for a 3BR house with a yard for less than $3,000 a month, which thankfully, doesn't seem to be a big challenge. We're looking for insight into a neighborhood that is a good fit for our family. We've driven over there a few times, and hung out in stores, restaurants, etc. but can't seem to get a pulse on the striations of neighborhoods. Someone said East Dublin was where a lot of families were moving because of new construction, but we liked west dublin more. We also like Pleasanton and San Ramon, but aren't too sure of neighborhoods. We're progressive and grounded and slightly nervous finding our peeps over there. H
Dublin and San Ramon are both non-towns, as far as I can tell. My in-laws live in SR so I know that place is a serious YUCK! I'd advise against it. (I've heard that Dublin is similar, but I've never checked it out.) My experience with SR is that the folks are super-conservative, there is no real 'town' to speak of, just strip malls/shopping centers and subdivisions, and the weather isn't great. Maybe it's just the spot where my in-laws live (near where Bollinger Canyon & Crow Canyon meet, so the west side) but it's always super cold in the winter, super hot in the summer, and the fog rolls in all year long in the evening, which totally ruins the positive aspect of living somewhere warm enough to have dinner in your garden throughout the summer!
However, Pleasanton seems like a great place to me. First off, it's an actual town -and seems pretty cute. It even has a fair grounds! The weather seems nice (if you like it HOT in the summer) and the schools are great. Apparently it's quite wealthy, so maybe you get the conservatives out there as well, but... I get the feeling that it's more progressive than the other places you're looking at. /San Ramon Sucks!
I had to post after the person posted that San Ramon 'sucks'. We almost moved there so I spoke with many different families with kids in Elementry and middle schools - west side - Twin peaks, Bollinger Hills (don't recall exact name). Schools are amazing. If you like to hike or mountain bike you can almost go out your back door. And the bike paths in town are fabulous. There are great after school classes, a fabulous public pool (San ramon high) that was like a water park to my kids. We went there in the fall and heard about 4 languages spoken while waiting for it to open. The parents I spoke to were happy with the schools, teachers, responsiveness etc. There is a farmers market at least 2 days a week. And an outpost of Zachary's pizza! We also considered Pleasanton which has the bonus of Bart. Schools great there as well. Dubin schools have an iffy-er reputation but I never looked very closely. One thing to keep in mind is that some of the Elementry schools seems to really focus on test scores. That seemed to be the case more in Danville but its the same district. When I posted looking for info about that area I did receive some seriously negative responses - I highly recommend a few hours in one of the parks at the pools or go for a hike in Bollinger Hills. We enjoyed all of our visits. Good luck
As a mother of two, Bay Area native and local pediatrician, I have to write in to say how much we love living in the tri valley area. We live in San Ramon, relocated here about a year and a half ago from the peninsula. We bought in San Ramon because we fell in love with our house but also strongly considered Pleasanton. In San Ramon, the school district is amazing, it's a very green town with lots of park space and city amenities, very safe and neighbors are friendly. We could not be happier with our decision to move here. San Ramon doesn't have a town center per se, but we use Danville and Pleasanton resources easily and the towns are closely situated to each other. It is warm in the summer and winters are comparable to other places in the bay, so we don't feel A big difference from other places we have lived in the Bay Area. In summary, we love it and it is wonderful suburb living for families. San Ramon happy resident
Have you considered Dublin or Pleasanton? We moved to Dublin last summer and really love it. We have a nice home in the Summerglen area just .5 mile from the 580/680 interchange and near BART. I see kids of every age in our neighborhood playing in their yards or the street. Although my daughter is too young now to run outside and play with friends, I'm hopeful that she will enjoy such pleasures in just a few years. Our neighbors on both sides have kids only slightly older than her. Plus we have access to a pool (thru our homeowners assoc.), only 1.5 blocks away, and there are always families hanging out there. Dublin's Emerald Glen Park is just a few blocks away, and it is HUGE, with a great playground for kids, lots of baseball and soccer fields, and a new area that includes a cricket pitch (my husband is from India, so that is a bonus that may pay off down the road). We've discovered some great restaurants in downtown Pleasanton that keep us from missing the Berkeley restaurant scene too much. I joined the Pleasanton Mom's Club and have met some moms that way.
We also looked at Windemere and other new developments in San Ramon. We found too many negatives vis-a-vis Dublin/Pleasanton: no BART access, the drive from the Windemere development back to the freeway seemed REALLY long (lots of stoplights to wait for) and would probably only get longer as the houses keep going up out there, and no nearby shopping.
From our residential area in Dublin, I can drive to the mall (10 min), grocery stores (3 min), freeway (3 min), BART (3-5 min), or even to some shops in San Ramon (Whole Foods is about 10 min). We are just blocks from a grade school that our daughter can attend, and there is a new middle school in Dublin Ranch. I found a grocery store in Pleasanton that offers better meat/seafood and fruits/veggies than Safeway for those times when we want to splurge a bit. And the farmers' market is a good option. One last benefit to our place in Dublin - we get nice winds in the evening so that the temperatures (when they get really hot) are more bearable. We can often leave the windows open and turn off the A/C.
If you are thinking of making the move to the East Bay, Dublin/Pleasanton is worth considering.
Happy in Dublin
Hi. I moved to Dublin recently and have a 5 month old baby. I want to join a mother's club in this area but there are several such as Pleasanton Mother's Club, Iron Horse, Amador Valley, etc... Can anyone recommend one ? I want to join one to meet other moms and to join a play group. I already searched and read past recommendation but I didn't find it too helpful. Thanks!! Mo
Hi, I just recently moved to Pleasanton and joined the Pleasanton Mothers Club. I didn't do too much researching into the others (I was impressed by the size of PMC as well as their website and brochure). I joined and was assigned to a playgroup which has worked out well for me. I am very impressed by their organization and by the community programs and support for the group. They also have so many side groups to join aside from the play groups (ie. book club, bunco, kids w/ allergies, gardening group and on and on...). My experience has been positive and I'd recommend it. New to the Area
Hi, My husband's company is moving to San Ramon, and for commute reasons, we're considering moving there as well. But - can it possibly be as great a place to live as the Berkeley area? Does anyone know what there is there along the lines of... Habitot? The Y (with childwatch, kiddie swim, kindergym, etc.)? Tilden (Little Farm, steam trains, etc.)? Fun parks? Lawrence Hall of Science? Music groups? NPN? We'd miss all that so much. Also, how does one go about researching and finding preschools in San Ramon? The NPN makes it easy here, with the guide and fair and such. I know what we liked here, but have no idea what's available, or how to begin a search, for out there. Same with finding nannies - this Childcare Digest won't be available... is there a San Ramon version of Bananas? I've checked the website, and there's no info on the San Ramon area - any tips, leads or impressions would be appreciated! Not sure about this...
Yes, there is life outside of Berkeley. Summers are warmer, parks are larger. I did a quick search and found this site very easily http://www.ironhorsemothersclub.com/ There are 2 especially nice parks in San Ramon area - the water park at the corner of Alcosta and Bollinger Canyon rd, and Osage station park in Danville off of San Ramon Valley blvd (which has a great play structure and water park). I would suggest living in Danville over San Ramon - more trees and a nicer looking well- planned town. Anon
We moved from Rockridge to San Ramon 8 years ago. Your question: ''can it possibly be as great a place to live as the Berkeley area?'' is easily answered -- No. We tolerate it and have made friends here, but we are counting the days till we go back. I grew up in the Far East Bay (as I call it), so I was familiar with what to expect from life here -- it lives up to the suburban bedroom-community stereotype. There are plenty of ''activities'' but nothing to stir the soul. Most of the time, we go through the tunnel to find art, culture and like-minded people. Paula
I was worried about the same things when moving from N. Oakland to Danville. While there isn't the great diversity of people in San Ramon, they certainly have most if not ALL of the conveniences. It is a very kid friendly community and the weather IS better. There is the Iron Horse Mother's club which paired me up with one of many welcoming play groups. There's Gymboree and a Gymtastics both in San Ramon, and Tri-Valley Music Together (both have websites). Tot Drop (short term babysitting) locations all around the valley, plus lots of teenagers around looking for extra $$ and willing to babysit. The public schools and libraries are awesome and most of the elementary school playgrounds are open for public use. The Lyndsay Wildlife Museum is in Walnut Creek. In addition there are multiple parks w. playgrounds, Osage Park, Oak Hill Park, San Ramon swim complex at Cal High and more. The city of Danville has a great bunch of community programs and classes for all ages. I recommend you visit either the city of Danville or the City of San Ramon websites for more info on parks and rec. The webmaster for the Iron Horse Mother's club (who also host a preschool night) is: thehummels2 AT attbi.com. I'm sure your realtor can point you in the right direction for a lot of these things. Good luck in your decision. Nancy D
My husband and my almost 3 year old daughter moved from San Leandro to San Ramon about 4 months ago. I grew up in San Ramon and didn't really like it much, actually said I would never live there again--my parents are quite surprised that we actually like it.
Now, as parents we all learn, and I find San Ramon to be a great place to live and raise children. I don't really have a problem traveling to Oakland or SF for kid fun, and I work at UC Berkeley. The schools in San Ramon are GREAT, and I went all the way through (Neal Armstrong, Pine Valley & Cal High). I like the extra space and probably wouldn't like living in a city anyway. I was always frustrated at shopping when I lived in Alameda and San Leandro. Shopping and parking in San Ramon is so much better. I haven't gotten involved in a mother's club because I have found a few that cover the San Ramon area (Iron Horse, San Ramon Valley Mother's Club, and Pleasanton Mother's Club, to name a few), and am not quite sure which one suits us best.
I would be interested in hearing from others about the mother's clubs and which one would be best for a San Ramon resident. The SRVMC seems to be centered in Danville, and I don't really know that I want to spend a lot of time on the 680 corridor.
I have recently heard (and remember) that Danville is a lot more snooty, but probably a fine place to live. Lovin' the Valley!