The lower portion is also sometimes called the “Piedmont side.” Features include sidewalks and proximity to shopping and restaurants in Montclair village. While less wooded than “Upper Montclair,” “Lower Montclair” still maintains a rustic feel.
The upper portion, sometimes referred to as “Montclair Proper,” was built up mainly in the ’60s and ’70s. These hillside houses are often on steep lots, and may be supported by stilts. The trees are dense here—one feels like one is living in a woodsy canyon retreat. Streets are curving and narrow; sidewalks are rare. Residents enjoy close proximity to hiking trails in East Bay Regional Parks including Roberts, Redwood, and Lake Temescal, and access to the Bay Area’s major freeways via Highway 13.
One area of the upper portion, “Piedmont Pines,” developed primarily in the ’40s and ’50s, features housing stock that reflects a modern-era vintage sensibility.
Montclair has three elementary schools, and all are considered highly desirable: Joaquin Miller, Thornhill, and Montclair Elementary. Each boasts a strong parent association, a hallmark of good schools.