Kensington, a quiet and peaceful town, is an unincorporated city in Contra Costa County, running up the hillside between Berkeley and El Cerrito to the south and north. Albany is its western boundary with Tilden Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Tilden Regional Park to the east.
Primarily a suburban, residential community, Kensington has two charming little shopping areas: Colusa Circle, located on Colusa Avenue, where Berkeley, Albany and El Cerrito meet—and Kensington Circle, which is along Arlington Avenue in the heart of Kensington. These two centers do a bustling business with markets, cafes and services that cater to the locals.
Many of the beautiful homes in Kensington were built in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, with sweeping SF Bay and Golden Gate views. Architectural styles are similar to Berkeley, where Mediterranean, Tudor, Mid-Century Modern and traditional styles are prevalent. Property values are similar to Berkeley and Oakland, and add a quiet, suburban feel along with the convenience of so many wonderful destinations nearby.
The serene, tree-lined streets wind up the hillside and offer a peaceful, close-knit community that’s just minutes away from the shopping, entertainment and restaurants of Berkeley, Albany and El Cerrito—as well as the larger urban areas throughout the East Bay. Kensington is also known for its high per capita level of Nobel laureates, which contributes to its mature atmosphere and sophistication.
Kensington Elementary School is highly rated and attracts many younger families, as do the natural beauty and activities of Tilden Park. Another popular spot is Blake Botanical Gardens, administrated by UC Berkeley, showing over 1000 species of plants, pools and a water garden. Sunday morning there is a farmers market at Kensington Circle. Learn more about the West Contra Costa Unified School District.