The Eastern Part of Oakland
Skyline Boulevard runs along Redwood Regional Park on Oakland's eastern border. For most of its length, it's a gorgeous tree-lined street. The nearby neighborhoods offer some of the area's best views of the Bay, San Francisco, Mount Tamalpais and more. Despite its location on the far east side of Oakland, this is not the terrifying “East Oakland” that you have heard about.
The Real "East Oakland"
The troubled area called “East Oakland” is actually in the central to southern portion of the city – not in the east at all. On a map, look at the area contained by Park Boulevard on the northern end, Warren and MacArthur Freeways on the east, the Nimitz Freeway on the west, and 90th Avenue on the south. This is admittedly a pretty big area, and some neighborhoods within this part of Oakland are much worse than others. International Boulevard, in particular, tends to be a rough street. The precise boundaries of East Oakland are not clearly defined, but as you can see, its name is misleading.
The story doesn't stop here. East Oakland is simply a term for a large portion of Oakland. There are quite a few neighborhoods within East Oakland, including Highland, Woodland, Eastmont, Melrose, Webster, and many others. If you ask about the name of a particular house's neighborhood, you may get one of these as the answer. Now that you understand the general location of East Oakland, you are in a better position to effectively research specific neighborhoods to find out whether they fall within this area.
East Oakland Zip Codes
You can also use zip codes to help you figure out whether a certain house is in East Oakland. East Oakland include all or parts of 94601, 94602, 94603, 94605, 94606, 94613, 94619, and 94621.
Confusing? Irrational? Yes – but now that you know, you're in a position to make better decisions. If a home within your price range becomes available on or near Skyline Boulevard, don't immediately dismiss it because it's on the far east edge of Oakland. After all, as you now understand, this is not the notorious East Oakland. Similarly, if you find a place near International Boulevard, don't accept it as safe because the map shows that it's in central (rather than eastern) Oakland. As a general rule, if the place is east of Warren and MacArthur Freeways, it's in a fairly safe area.