The City of Orinda is a family-oriented community in a semi-rural valley on the east side of the Oakland/Berkeley hills in the San Francisco Bay Area. It offers its 17,600 residents a serene setting in contrast to the more urban existence of the surrounding area. Orinda is situated immediately east of the Caldecott Tunnel on Highway 24 and is served by Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART). The tree-studded hillsides of the 12.8 square-mile city contributes to its beauty. It is surrounded by natural settings including Tilden Park, San Pablo Reservoir, Briones Open Space and the Lafayette Reservoir. Orinda schools are consistently ranked among the best in California. Orinda’s proximity to San Francisco makes Orinda a delightful place to live and work.
Benicia has been inspiring authors, sculptors, painters and other visionaries for more than 160 years with its beautiful setting, vibrant cultural scene and small-city charm. Today, visitors are enjoying that same variety of incredible experiences, plus much more. In fact, people say a magical combination of elements came together in just the right way to make Benicia what it is today.
Among its many attractions are:
- An internationally recognized arts district
- A waterfront (still used for commerce and recreation) literally a few steps from the heart of downtown
- Top-quality restaurants ranging from the Bay Area’s best burger to gourmet fare
- Scores of spas with rejuvenating and relaxing treatments
- Unique shops with one-of-a-kind items
- Historical landmarks of national significance, as well as a spicy past that features the likes of author Jack London and future president Ulysses S. Grant
- Breathtaking views
- Warm, friendly people
Napa is an old City by California standards, founded in 1847. It’s a place with a colorful past – a jumping off point for 49ers bound for the gold rush, birthplace of famous leather, and neighbor to some of the most prestigious vineyards in the world.
For the past 30 to 40 years, the City of Napa has been in transition. The City that was once known for its tanneries, prune processing and State hospital is now more known for its hospitality, fine food, and luxury hotels. While yesterday’s jobs came largely in heavy industrial pursuits at Kaiser Steel, Basalt Rock, Napa Pipe and Mare Island Shipyard, today’s workforce is mostly white collar and the economy is increasingly based on tourism.
As the County seat for one of the world’s Great Wine Capitals, the Napa name is synonymous with quality. We think that applies to our community and the people who make it what it is.
Today Napa is becoming a vibrant and modern town with a respect for its past. Just down the road from our protected historic districts, home to some of northern California’s finest Victorian homes, you will find visually stimulating contemporary architecture. Minutes from our many safe and comfortable neighborhoods are the popular Main Street “Restaurant Row,” the West End and the Oxbow District. Our award-winning “living river” flood protection project is more than halfway to completion, making Napa safer while enhancing the ecosystem and providing stimulus to the economy and quality-of-life benefits. Napa is a city with a low crime rate, a high standard of living, clean air and nearly perfect weather.
Big City Buzz with Mountain Views
Mt. Diablo, Glam restaurants, power shopping, edgy art, cool theater and symphonic music – all in a small town jewelsetting ringed by mountain views that deliver on their promise of outdoor recreational opportunities. Yes, you can have it all. And it’s all in Walnut Creek. Located in the temperate East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, Walnut Creek is 22 miles from San Francisco and 15 miles from Berkeley, close enough for easy access and synergistic sophistication but far enough away for a respite from big city stress. It’s the best of both worlds.
Location and Climate
Concord, California is located 29 miles east of San Francisco, adjacent to beautiful Mt. Diablo. The city covers 31.13 square miles. With a 2010 census count of 122,067 residents, it is the largest city in Contra Costa County.
Concord provides ready access to San Francisco, Napa Valley, Silicon Valley and Sacramento. This convenient, central location, along with a temperate climate, allows residents to enjoy a wide variety of unique and scenic attractions within the immediate Bay Area as well as throughout Northern California.
Neighborhoods are important to the city’s family-oriented lifestyle, which balances Concord’s gracious early California heritage with vigorous, thoughtful development. Concord offers a range of housing options and prices, from apartments to executive residences. Quiet neighborhoods, numerous parks and large preserves of open space add to the quality of life for all residents.
The attractive community of Pleasant Hill has grown to nearly 33,000 residents since its incorporation in 1961. Since 2000 when it opened its new downtown, Pleasant Hill has developed a sense of identity and a strong financial base. The downtown area, near the City Hall and its lake, is part of a redevelopment project that has become a pedestrian jewel for residents and visitors alike.
Located in the central part of Contra Costa County alongside Interstate 680, Pleasant Hill has a nearby BART station and extensive County Connection bus lines to serve both residents and commuters. Primarily a bedroom community, the City has a mix of new developments and older neighborhoods. Pleasant Hill is especially proud to be the home of the county’s main central library as well as the home to John F. Kennedy University, a multi-disciplinary college with a law school and other professional schools, and Diablo Valley College, one of the leading state community colleges. The City’s schools are served by the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.
And only a few steps from busy city streets in Pleasant Hill is an entirely different world – a network of beautiful regional trails for jogging, hiking, bicycling, skating and horseback riding with many of these trails passing through the heart of the city. These trails allow the user a chance to enjoy a leisurely, rural pace while experiencing beautiful trails in fresh air and landscaped surroundings with some trails providing sweeping vistas of the nearby mountains and Mt. Diablo.
In 1908, area residents protested the dumping of Berkeley garbage in their community by incorporating and became the City of Ocean View. In 1909, voters changed the name of the city, primarily to distinguish the City from many other communities in the area with the name of Ocean View. On a vote of 38 – 6, Albany was chosen as the new name, in honor of the birthplace of the City’s first mayor, Mayor Frank Roberts. In 1927, Albany voters adopted the City’s first Charter, giving the City full control over its own governance. In 2008 the City of Albany celebrated its Centennial.
Recent History: After several failed attempts in the late 1920s to annex to Berkeley, Albany firmly established its independence, and by the 1930s had begun to create its own high school. During World War II, the Federal Government built a housing project called “Codornices Village” on land leased from the University of California, to accommodate the thousands of workers at the Richmond shipyards. Adjacent was the “Veterans Village,” which provided temporary military housing for the US Navy training base in the same area. After the war, both “villages” operated as a Federal Housing Project until 1956, when the 420 units reverted to university ownership and Bulb Woman came to be known as “Albany Village,” providing family student housing for those attending the University of California at Berkeley.
Although built in the early 1940s, the Golden Gate Fields racetrack did not begin successful operations until 1947, and was primarily used by the military during the war years. Adjacent to Golden Gate Fields was the Albany Landfill, a construction and demolition debris landfill that began operations in the late 1950s/early 1960s. This use eventually created what is now the Albany Plateau, neck and bulb. After the landfill closed in 1979, the resulting land area was used as a recreational area. In 2002, the area was incorporated into the East Shore State Park. With the exception of the Albany Bulb, this land is now owned by the State of California.
Visit for the watersports and events, stay for the restaurants and entertainment.
Suisun City is a San Francisco Bay Area gem with a touch of Cape Cod charm. It is a great spot for a Bay Area day trip or overnight getaway. The waterfront promenade of Suisun City’s historic Waterfront District boasts beautiful views and serves as an ideal setting for the myriad of outdoor activities and dining choices. Kayak on the Suisun Bay, hike or bird watch in Suisun Marsh, explore the historic downtown district and choose from a variety of ethnic cuisine or waterfront dining.
Where Your Napa Valley Experience Begins
American Canyon at the southern tip of the Napa Valley offers a great home base for exploring the Carneros wine-growing region, known for fog and a cool Bay breeze that create ideal conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Sip bubbly on the grand terrace of Domaine Carneros, perhaps paired with caviar and artisan cheese. Visit Madonna Estate to experience an impressive range of red and white wines, all made from organic grapes. Or linger over a flight in the light-filled, modern tasting room at Cuvaison overlooking sun-gilded vineyards. Wineries in American Canyon itself include Cartlidge & Browne and Spelletich Cellars.
Wine lovers know all about terroir in the Napa Valley – the distinctive character bestowed on wine by the unique conditions of the location in which grapes are grown. But it may come as a surprise to many that honey can have terroir as well. Marshall’s Farm crafts natural and organic gourmet honey in a variety of flavors, from Culinary Institute of America Herb Garden to Wine Country Wildflower, based on the placement of their hives. Marshall’s group tours and beekeeping workshops are among the most interesting things to do in American Canyon.
American Canyon’s rolling hills offer wonderful opportunities for outdoor adventures on foot or by bike. Hike through Lynch Canyon to see wildflowers, bobcats, foxes and even golden eagles. Or stroll the Napa River and Bay Trail, a flat 1.4-mile path that winds through groves and wetlands to the river’s edge – with fantastic bird watching along the way. In nearby Jameson Canyon, the Chardonnay Golf Club offers 18 holes set among vineyards, lakes and wildlife preserves.
Pleasanton is a community situated in the Tri-Valley Region of the Bay Area in Northern California.
We are a family-oriented community and pride ourselves on our numerous parks, recreation facilities and programs. Pleasanton is also home to thriving business parks and the regional Stoneridge Mall.
The Pleasanton Unified School District has been named a National District of Character and 12 out of our 14 schools have received the California Distinguished School designation. Together, the City and School District are committed to building a Community of Character.
Our Downtown is the heart of our community — the setting for festivals, street parties, parades, weekly summer concerts, Saturday farmer’s market and other special events. Downtown also offers some of the finest dining and shopping in the Tri-Valley. Pleasanton is also home to the Alameda County Fairgrounds which hosts statewide and regional events, as well as the annual Alameda County Fair.