Heres the tricky part. California is many things, but it is not inexpensive. While these outlying communities are better than the metropolitan areas that surround them in terms of cost of living, you will still need a decent income to support yourself here. The local economy provides plenty of high-paying jobs that will usually only require a short commute. If possible, you will want to secure one of these before moving or, better yet, transfer. If this isnt possible, finding a low cost place to stay while you look is a perfectly valid option. Either way, be prepared to open your wallet. That being said, the draw of suburban life is that deals can be found. Whether you're doing an apartment search or looking for three-bedroom houses, you will get the most bang for your buck in places like Union City.
The neighborhoods of Union City are easily divided by the major exchanges that run through the city. To the west of I-880 is West Union City, representing the largest residential area within the city limits. This also includes the tiny offshoot of Hall Station. Between I-880 and Route 238 would be Central Union City, comprising the commercial center and majority of the apartments available. Straddling Route 238 is City Center. East Union City lies in the foothills of the local mountain ranges and is largely undeveloped, so it's perfect for hiking and camping adventures in March or September.
City Center: Located mostly to the west of Mission Blvd, City Center has a small commercial district. However, it is the geographic location that lends the neighborhood its name. Most of the homes here are small, single-family one- and two-bedroom houses and Spanish-inspired adobe homes with red tiled roofs, arranged together on shady streets. Every home, it seems, has three things: palm trees, a small well-manicured yard and a two-foot-tall picket fences painted a variety of colors.
Hall Station: Are you looking for a townhouse or, as they call them out west, row home? This is your spot. In fact, the vast majority of residential real estate here consists of apartment complexes and duplexes. What they don't mention in moving guides is that this entire area has a stunning view of mountain peaks year round.
West: Largely an extension of what you can find in Hall Station, consider West Union City an elaboration on that idea. What a lot of people don't think of when they think California is oak trees, but they're plentiful here. These secluded, well-organized neighborhoods are pleasantly accented by the presence of large old trees lining the sidewalks and front steps of modern homes. This is what America is all about. For a slice of the dream, this is exactly where you want to be.
Central: If you want to know what its like to live somewhere, ask the locals. Central Union City has one of the lowest residential turnover rates in the country. When people move here, they stay here. That speaks volumes for the quality of living to be enjoyed in this location. This is an oasis of comfort and luxurious living. Remember those adobe houses from before? Now think bigger. Every house on this street doesn't cost a million bucks; in fact, most are very reasonable, but you may feel like they do.
As mentioned before, driving can get you to almost any kind of attraction you’re looking for. Outdoor activities are extremely popular and abundant in this region, and four wheels will get you there a lot quicker. However, having a vehicle is not an absolute necessity, not even a little. Public transit serves all of the surrounding metropolitan centers, and many residents choose to ditch the hassles of gas prices and insurance in favor of a BART card and a little pre-planning. Either way you choose to go, you won’t be trapped into just one option. If you’re heading into the city, the train is probably your best way to avoid congestion on city streets. If you’re looking to get away, crank up the sedan, mini van, jeep, etc. and get out there. For the most part, parking in Union City is reasonable, and most houses have their own driveways, so no worries there.
Jim’s Cocktail Lounge is the local favorite for social drinkers. With dart competitions, pool tournaments and all your friends, It’s like Cheers for the west coast. If you’re more into dance clubs and DJs, you’re right in the middle of a mecca for underground music and outrageous nightlife. San Francisco is world famous for its trendy clubs and next-level nightlife. Chances are that if anyone in Union City is partying, they’re taking a trip across the bay. If you’re into Latino music and salsa dancing, head south to Palo Alto, where Spanish culture is alive and well every weekend.
Union City is not your grandmothers suburb. Hometown courtesy and community spirit are more evident here than in many other cities in the country, but it does’nt stop there. Innovation and growth is always on the city councils mind apparently. Take, for example, the standard 5k, which has evolved into a zombie-themed fun run. In September, the Taste of Union City festival offers not only food samples from the city, but also includes three stages of music, a parasol parade, cooking lessons and clowns. Yes, clowns. October brings the masquerade ball with dinner, dancing, cocktails and more than a little mystery.