About the Communities of Contra Costa County

Contra Costa County’s pleasant lifestyle combines Mediterranean climate and scenic surroundings with excellent schools, abundant recreational facilities, a variety of cultural programs and highly developed shopping centers. California’s relaxed living style is enjoyed to its utmost in Contra Costa County.

Contra Costa County has a variety of attractive residential areas offering different lifestyles. There is a wide choice of planned unit developments, condominiums, apartments, country homes and suburban tracts and custom homes of all styles and sizes. Most residential communities provide nearby amenities such as swimming pools, stables, tennis courts and golf courses. Cities are increasingly well planned with ample areas designated for open space. They are well governed by their respective city councils.

Contra Costa County has a place of worship for almost any religious affiliation. With twelve major hospitals, numerous “urgent care” centers, and an extensive paramedic program, the county health care is excellent.

Recreation facilities are abundant in Contra Costa County with nearly 50,000 acres of land dedicated to Regional Parks. Boating, fishing, water sports, trail riding and camping are offered by the 15 large recreational areas. Skiing and mountain recreation are available within an easy three hour drive to the Sierra Nevada Range.

Neighborhood Parks and community associations offer hundreds of activities, classes and programs for all ages. Golfing and horseback riding facilities are excellent and abundant.

Contra Costa’s public school system has an excellent reputation. Educational programs are geared to individual needs. There has been continued growth of educational options open to parents and children, such as the Academics Plus program stressing highly structured course work and the flexible Open Education Program. Contra Costa is noted for its excellent special education programs.

The Contra Costa Community College District is comprised of three colleges: Contra Costa in San Pablo, Diablo Valley in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos in Pittsburg. In addition to tuition-free courses, the tax supported Colleges offer an array of cultural activities, entertainment, business services and facilities.

Excellent technical and vocational schools are found throughout the county. Four-year college students have a choice of several fine institutions of higher learning in the area. Among these are Stanford University in Palo Alto, The University of California at Berkeley, California State University of Hayward, Mills College in Oakland and St. Mary’s College in Moraga. John G. Kennedy University in Orinda offers advanced degrees in law and business, and is especially designed for the working adult.

Alamo is located off highway 680 between Walnut Creek and Danville, this rural town of nearly 12,000 residents still maintains its country atmosphere. Homes in the area are mostly custom built. Roundhill Country Club, with its eighteen-hole golf course, is located at the foothills of Mt. Diablo. Alamo is a community without fast food chains and traffic jams, instead you will find jogging, bicycling, horseback riding, quaint restaurants and excellent schools. Alamo is unincorporated, which means that the County Board of Supervisors governs from the county seat of Martinez.

Alhambra Valley This prime location in the heart of the rural Martinez area is approximately 3 miles from major highways, only 8 miles from Walnut Creek, 10miles from Lafayette and close to top rated John Swett Elementary School.

Concord formerly a bedroom community, has experienced phenomenal growth, with a mix of industrial, commercial and residential properties. It is an easy commute on BART to San Francisco. Sun Valley Shopping Center is located in Concord. Sun Valley is one of the largest shopping centers in Northern California, and one of the world’s largest air conditioned, enclosed malls.

Clayton  is located in a country setting close to Mt. Diablo State Park. This is a scenic community with a rural feeling. The homes tend to be newer, set among old walnut groves.

Danville has a quaint, warm shopping area with a Western flavor, offering a full range of shopping services and specialty shops. Although Danville is a city, it still maintains its small community atmosphere. The country club communities of Diablo and Blackhawk lie in the hills surrounding Danville.

Lafayette is set among 800 acres of wooded, hilly land. It is semi-rural, composed primarily of established homes with a sprinkling of newer and remodeled homes. There is no industry in Lafayette, but a full range of shopping facilities and excellent restaurants are available. Lafayette has a BART Station and easy access to Highway 24, providing an easy commute to San Francisco and neighboring communities.

Lamorinda  is located in the central part of Contra Costa County. The central part of the county is a valley traversed by Interstate 680 and Highway 24. The towns east of the hills, on or near Highway 24 and their surrounding areas (LafayetteMoraga and Orinda)are collectively known as Lamorinda. Owing to the high quality of its public schools (due largely to both demographics and added support from prosperous parents), this area has become a magnet for affluent families with children.

Martinez  is the County Seat of Contra Costa, rich in early California history. Its natural harbor has made it a good location for oil refineries, which with government are the largest employers. Situated on the Sacramento River Delta, Martinez has 70 Miles of waterfront available for boating and fishing. Martinez offers some of the most affordable housing in the central county area.

Moraga is an affluent suburb nestled behind the Berkeley-Oakland hills. It is the home of St. Mary’s College, as well as professionals who commute to work in San Francisco, Oakland, Walnut Creek and elsewhere. Single family, ranch style homes predominate, however, there are some very attractive condominium communities as well.

Orinda is the closest bedroom community to San Francisco in Contra Costa County. Located on Highway 24 just over the hills from Berkeley, Orinda is comprised of older homes set in wooded, hilly terrain. There are some new, and many remodeled and updated older homes. Most home sites are large, often one-half acre or more.

Pleasant Hill is primarily a residential area with some small shopping centers. There has been an ambitious redevelopment project recently completed. Most of the residents live in comfortable, single family homes, but as redevelopment progresses, more condominiums and townhouses are becoming available. Easy access to BART and Interstate 680 provide an easy commute to Oakland, San Francisco and the Peninsula.

San Ramon located in the heart of the San Ramon Valley, is a newly developed residential area for city workers who prefer to live in the country. The area is rapidly becoming a regional center for national corporations. Thanks to community planning, there will always be pockets of undeveloped recreational space, providing hillside escapes and beautiful views. Located in San Ramon Canyon Lakes is the largest single residential development in the county. It includes a variety of housing, a man-made lake, 18-hole golf course, tennis and swimming facilities.

Walnut Creek has been said to be the financial Mecca of the county. It has earned a reputation as the poshest retail shopping district, with stores ranging from Nordstrom to tiny, exclusive boutiques. Housing is available to a broad variety of tastes and pocket books, from small apartments to luxurious villas in the million dollar range. Walnut Creek is available by BART and Interstate 680 for easy commuting to the West Bay Area.