Most Neighborly Neighborhood 

Crockett

Good ol' Crockett, California, where the high-school band raised money for new uniforms by selling cups of Bud and Bud Light at a recent town festival. And boy, does Crockett have festivals. The biggest is the Festival of the Strait, held in the park at the center of town every summer, with the requisite bands and barbecues. This blue-collar community is home to the C&H sugar factory and is very Bruce Springsteen. No stores are open past 9 p.m., everyone knows their neighbors by name or by sight, and there's a big artist community, but without any dang hippies. It's hilly and verdant, sort of a poor man's Marin. The Boy Scouts hold pancake breakfasts, everyone turns out for the high-school play, and octogenarian Dick Boyer is the chatty and informed docent at the Crockett Historical Museum. All of this can be had just twenty minutes outside of Berkeley! Just pay no heed to the fumes from the Tosco refinery in nearby Rodeo.

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