Berkeley: College town of young revolutionaries and older artists and free-thinkers, though a tide of yuppies is looming. Nice town, bit chilly, very hilly, very diverse.

Oakland: Highly diverse city across the bay from SF; currently split between upper-crust East and run-down, crime-ridden West; tied together by bonds of community, sometimes strained by constant immigration and economic disparity.

Muir Beach: Tiny town of nestled in between several state parks and forests. Closeness to nature the biggest draw, though it also has a pleasant community feel.

Alameda: Residential city near Oakland, set off on an island; little of note save a port housing a retired aircraft carrier.

San José: Center of the Silicon Valley, and one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world. Large than SF in population, with large mix of ethnicities.

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