The cities and towns that we serve are listed below. If you would like to find out about the latest homes that have become available in these communities, please contact us at (925) 831-3390 or you can setup a Private Search!
Click on underlined cities to view a description of the city.
San Joaquin County
|Alameda||TOP OF PAGE|
The area known today as the City of Alameda (a Spanish name chosen by popular vote in 1853, meaning "grove of poplar trees") is part of a former Spanish land grant stretching from San Leandro to Berkeley, and given to Luis Peralta in 1818, by the Governor of California. Subsequently, Peralta gave this land to his son, Antonio Peralta.
WWW Chipman and Gideon Aughinbaugh, enterprising young men, were the first American settlers to arrive in Alameda. Their pursuits led to the establishment of a large peach orchard signaling the beginning of the area's development. Subsequently, Chipman and Aughinbaugh purchased the Alameda land (then a peninsula) for the sum of $14,000.
On December 27, 1884, the City of Alameda was formally organized and on January 18, 1885, the Official Seal was approved and adopted. Its Latin inscription "Prosperitas terra marique", freely translates as: "prosperity from the land and sea".
The Island of Alameda was created in 1902 when a tidal canal (the "Estuary") was created joining Oakland's harbor with the San Leandro Bay. With this move, Alameda was put on the map as an important shipping port.
Alameda is a charter city (California has 444 cities: 82 charter and 362 general law), and as such has the power to make and enforce ordinances and regulations in respect to its "municipal affairs" subject only to restrictions and limitations provided in its charter (Sec. 5, Article XI State Constitution). In comparison, principally the general law of the state governs a general law city. In 1917, Alameda along with six other California Cities pioneered the Council-Manager form of government.
The system proved so effective that virtually all California cities have since adopted this form of government. The City's present charter was adopted in 1937, (last revised and updated in 1998) and created Alameda's Civil Service System.
Today, Alameda's elected officials, City staff, volunteer Boards and Commissions and special committees work together to preserve and enhance the quality of life Alamedans have enjoyed for more than a century. Resplendent Victorian homes grace shade tree-lined streets covering the island's 12.4 square miles.
An invigorating climate, manicured parks, historical business districts and numerous recreational opportunities offer Alameda's 72,259 residents (according to the 2000 Census) special living environment.
|Alamo||TOP OF PAGE|
Located in the East San Francisco Bay area, Alamo is a small community situated between Walnut Creek, Danville, Mt. Diablo and Las Trampas Peak. Contra Costa County’s second oldest township, Alamo offers a unique combination of country estate living & small town atmosphere with close proximity to urban conveniences like shopping, restaurants & public transportation. Alamo is an unincorporated town; meaning county supervisors from the county seat in Martinez govern it.
Homes in Alamo are a mix of beautiful custom estates, ranch homes, horse properties and contemporary homes on generally bigger than average Bay area lot. Partly because of these qualities, Alamo is considered home for many business owners, physicians, professional athletes, executives and leaders of bay area industry.
There is plenty of recreational opportunity in Alamo. In addition to the area’s two public parks, there are miles of equestrian trails that connect the surrounding area neighborhoods, Las Trampas ridge, Mt. Diablo and the Bay Area ridgeline trail system.
Students in Alamo attend the nationally awarded and highly ranked San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Strongly supported by parents and the community, these students turn in achievement test scores, which consistently rank in the top percentiles among California schools.
|Albany||TOP OF PAGE|
Albany is located on the Eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, across from the Golden Gate Bridge.
The city lies in the northwestern corner of Alameda County, bordered by the cities of El Cerrito and Richmond on the north and the City of Berkeley on the east and south sides. The terrain is mostly flat, except for Albany Hill, which rises to 338 feet above sea level.
The Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge is just a few miles south of Albany, off Interstate-80, which runs along the western edge of the City. AC Transit bus lines and a BART station in neighboring El Cerrito provide easy accessible transportation service to San Francisco, Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland and beyond.
|Antioch||TOP OF PAGE|
Located about 50 miles from San Francisco, Antioch is the oldest city in Contra Costa County but is now known for its many beautiful new homes. The first city in Contra Costa County to incorporate (in 1872), Antioch is gathered around the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers and the railroads. It grew slowly in the beginning but now, is home to over 100,000 people.
Generally flat, Antioch is graced by Mt. Diablo in the West and the Delta to the North. There are restaurants on the river and the city has upgraded its downtown. Antioch is well-kept and charming.
With a median price of just over $250,000 the homes in Antioch are considered very affordable by Bay Area standards. Because of its affordable prices, Antioch attracts many young families. Children under 18 make up 31 percent of the population as compared to San Francisco, where they account for 16 percent.
Antioch is home to 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools and 1 continuation high school. In addition, there is one independent study high school and one charter school. Schools rank in mostly in the 40th to 60th percentile.
Recreation abounds in Antioch as the town is at the junction of two rivers, both of which divide off into many miles of Delta waterways. Swimming, boating, fishing, and waterskiing are favorite local activities. In addition there are dozens of clubs and cultural groups, 26 parks, 18 playgrounds a large 47-acre park and a water park. If the local recreation isn’t enough, you can take a three to four hour drive to Lake Tahoe or Yosemite.
|Bay Point||TOP OF PAGE|
Located just over the hills that divide Central Contra Costa County from East County, Bay Point is a growing neighborhood just west of Antioch. Formerly known as West Pittsburg, Bay Point is unincorporated and thus governed by county supervisors and patrolled by sheriff’s deputies.
There are many new homes in Bay Point with a majority of the residents being families with children. Children account for about 31 percent of the residents. Due to its location and its BART station, Bay Point has, arguably, one of the best commutes in the East County, making this an even more popular community for growing families.
The children of Bay Point are served by the Mt. Diablo School District. Teenagers attend Mt. Diablo High School in Concord. Diablo Valley College is about 10 miles away in Pleasant Hill. Academic rankings for area schools range from the 30th to the 50th percentile. After school, students and their families can find a variety of recreational activities. This Delta town has a variety of parks, which are maintained by the Ambrose Park and Recreation District. In addition, it is just a ten minute drive to Sun Valley shopping mall as well as many other malls in nearby Pittsburg and Antioch.
|Bethel Is/Byron/Knightsen||TOP OF PAGE|
These three small delta towns are all located just east of Antioch and Oakley in Contra Costa County just about an hour’s drive from both San Jose and San Francisco. Surrounded by water and gently rolling hills, these little towns offer residents a vacation-type atmosphere right at their doorsteps. Whether you enjoy fishing, boating, water skiing or swimming, you can find it here. There is also an 18-hole championship golf course on Bethel Island.
You will find many nice homes in all three towns, many with very close proximity to the water. Shopping is convenient and the location of these towns puts them within commuting distance of Stockton, Livermore and Pleasanton. Tri Delta buses also connect to Antioch and Pittsburg, where there is a connection to BART stations
Byron schools serve all three towns. High school students attend Liberty in Brentwood. As the populations of these towns have risen over the past decade, so have school scores. The district is doing a quality job of educating children and their academic rankings show it.
If you like the water and all of the amenities provided by the beautiful California Delta, you will love Bethel Island, Byron and Knightsen.
|Blackhawk||TOP OF PAGE|
Blackhawk population: 6,199, affluent village with condos and custom homes near Danville. There are 18-hole golf courses, 20 lighted tennis courts, a 25 acre sports complex, and many clubs and social activities- Blackhawk Plaza, a museum, shops, restaurants and supermarkets are all nearby. Security gates surround the residential area. Black Hawk is a picturesque location with rolling hills and Mount Diablo in the background.
Developed by Ken Behring, former owner of the Seattle Seahawks NFL team, Blackhawk has been written up in many magazines for its quality architecture and its inimitable way of life. Blackhawk is actually made up of five separate gated communities with nearly 4,000 homes. Each community has its own different feel, but all are spectacular in their own way with amenities such as two 18-hole championship golf courses, incredible landscapes and views through hills and valleys. Blackhawk features magnificent tree-lined streets, country estates, and executive estates. It is home by many of the Bay Area's business leaders, professional athletes, and area entrepreneurs. Excellent shopping, dining, museums and services are at the edge of the development including Blackhawk Plaza as well as the many of options in nearby Danville, San Ramon and Alamo. Also close by is Behring Museum and a movie complex
Children in Blackhawk attend schools in the highly ranked San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Achievement test scores consistently rank in the top 10th percentiles among California schools. There is an association of Blackhawk children and they partake in a variety of games including soccer and baseball.
|Brentwood||TOP OF PAGE|
Brentwood is a delta town that is growing quickly; in fact, it is the second fastest growing town in the State of California. Located in eastern Contra Costa County, Brentwood is about sixty miles east of San Francisco. It is located approximately 20 minutes north on I-580 from Livermore and 12 miles east of Concord. State Route 4 is the major thoroughfare linking Brentwood to western cities. Vasco Road is the vital southern link to the Tri-Valley communities of Livermore. Pleasanton. Sacramento to the north is about 60 miles away. Mt. Diablo towers over this town on its west side.
Known for a long time for its agriculture, its farmer’s stands and many “u-pick” opportunities, Brentwood is working hard to manage its growth and protect its agricultural charm. Its residential make-up includes single family homes, condominiums and townhomes. New homes sit beside orchards and fields and there are a wide range of styles to choose from—mansions to small homes. Home prices are relatively affordable and are often considered a bargain compared to nearby cities.
Those who commute to Livermore, Pleasant or Dublin will find the commute relatively easy. Road improvements have been made and BART stations are nearby. Business parks are now being built in Brentwood proper, meaning that many jobs could be relocating so that the commute could be even easier still.
Children are educated within the Brentwood Union School district, where test scores rank in the 50th to 70th percentiles and are on the upswing.
After work and school, residents will find a myriad of recreational opportunities in Brentwood including fishing, boating and water skiing. The Pacific Ocean is about 90 minutes away and the Sierra Mountains are a three hour drive out. Closer to home, there is the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, which is about 9 miles south
|Castro Valley||TOP OF PAGE|
Castro Valley is a friendly, peaceful unincorporated town, populated by about 60 thousand people. Castro Valley is located in the heart of the greater Bay Area of northern California.
Nestled in a quiet valley surrounded by tree covered rolling hills, Castro Valley residents, businesses, and visitors enjoy a rural atmosphere at the hub of California's cultural, economical and recreational heartland. Castro Valley boasts such natural amenities as an extensively developed park system, swimming lagoon, 315 acre lake, and a beautiful 18 hole golf course. Schools are top notch and the community is tight knit.
|Clayton||TOP OF PAGE|
Clayton is located just east of Concord at the base of Mt Diablo. A small, upscale town, Clayton feels spacious and country-like. A great town for equestrians, Clayton has lots of stables on its outskirts and there are many trails to be found.
Clayton is a family town where lots of professionals enjoy life. You’ll find both new homes as well as historic buildings in Clayton and the town are experiencing well designed growth.
With about 30 percent of its residents under the age of 18, Clayton has a lot to offer young families. The Mt. Diablo Unified School District serves the children and standardized testing scores rank in the top 25th percentile. All schools in the district have been recently renovated and there is a state university campus nearby in Concord.
Recreation is abundant in the area. Aside from hiking and equestrian trails, you will find a bowling alley, fitness club and the Oakhurst Country Club, which includes a swimming pool, restaurant, four tennis courts and a golf course. There is a waterslide park in Concord.
One of the lowest crime rates in the county, a quaint, historical feel, lots of recreation and many amenities all add up to making Clayton one of the county’s most desirable locations.
|Concord||TOP OF PAGE|
Concord is in the north central part of Contra Costa County and is the county’s most populous city. Many first time buyers find Concord to be their city of choice as it offers a lot of affordable housing. A diverse city, Concord offers everything from historical homes to homes built around a lake to large, modern houses.
Concord has been rated by Zero Population Growth as the second best city in the state for raising children, due in part to its many activities targeted to the younger population. There are nineteen parks, 12 playgrounds and one of the best miniature golf courses on the West Coast. Plenty of soccer fields are in the area.
The Mt. Diablo Unified District serves children, which scores in the top 40th percentile in standardized testing. Schools have been recently renovated and were personally wired for high-tech in 1996 by President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. For those seeking advanced education, California State University Hayward has a satellite campus in Concord.
Commuters have it easy in Concord as many are employed right in their hometown. Bank of America is a major employer and there are many other large employers including Sam’s Club, Home Depot and several quality hotels. West of Concord you will find SunValley shopping mall. Those seeking to work outside of the city limits will find a BART station in downtown as well as two freeways and plenty of buses. There is an airport just outside the city limits.
Concord Pavilion has been expanded and offers first class entertainment from country and rock to jazz, pop and classical music. After the concert, enjoy any one of a number of great local restaurants or stroll the downtown. Concord offers something for everyone.
|Crockett/Port Costa||TOP OF PAGE|
The town of Crockett, located in Northern California near the San Francisco Bay area, is an oasis among the urban growth, bordered by rolling hills, the Carquinez Strait, and park lands. Started in 1867 when Thomas Edwards built his Homestead, that is still here, the town is an eclectic mixture of craftsman to modern style homes, with 3,200 residents and families. From old-timers to newcomers Crockett is a town of families, who enjoy the spirit of a small town atmosphere, complete with Town Meetings, Town-wide Yard-sales and Clean-ups, Barbecues, Easter Egg Hunts, bike races, fish fries and crab feeds, Bocce Leagues, swim meets, Plant Sales, Monarch Butterfly releases, Christmas dances, and numerous other well attended events.
|Danville||TOP OF PAGE|
For over 130 years, Danville's history has been one of change and growth. Often referred to as the "Heart of the San Ramon Valley.
Our Community with a population of approximately 43,250, Danville is known for its small-town atmosphere and its outstanding quality of life.
Danville's weather boasts nearly 300 days of sunshine every year. A great place for weddings, birthday parties, and special celebrations and with a small-town atmosphere. This coming summer enjoy our Music in the park concert series. OR, bring the whole family to enjoy Arts on the Green. Just click on the link below to check the calendar for the upcoming events.
|Diablo||TOP OF PAGE|
Diablo is a small community nestled in the hills between Danville and Blackhawk in Contra Costa County. Home to approximately 1200 residents, Diablo is an area of mostly estate homes with the Diablo County Club and golf course as it’s most prominent landmark.
As the residents here treasure the history of the area almost as much as the winding, tree-lined streets, a brief overview of the area’s past is in order here. As far back as 1876, the railroad’s “Big Four:” Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker and Mark Hopkins owned the country club area. It passed from owner to owner until, in 1889, it became known as “Oakwood Park Stock Farm.” In 1913, a young farm manager turned real estate speculator and developer, headed a group which bought it for $150,000. The young man, Robert N. Burgess was Danville-raised and had a grand idea for the property. He would lure the rich among the hundreds of thousands coming to see the Panama-Pacific International Exposition that would open in San Francisco in eighteen months. Burgess bought the land abutting the northeasterly border of his Oakwood Park Stock Farm all the way to the top of Mount Diablo. He needed better transportation to get his prospects from Oakland and San Francisco. In 1914, he persuaded friends on the board of the new Oakland, Antioch and Eastern Railway to extend its line to Diablo. He then convinced another friend, the president of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, to string his company’s line to the clubhouse he had made of the Billiard Hall and to the home sites he was offering for sale. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company also extended its 4,000-volt line the three miles from Danville. Burgess was then on his way. He began selling building sites and, by 1916, Diablo consisted of 14 occupied homes. In this year, a post office opened and the area was officially named “Diablo.” The golf course opened with nine holes and, a year later guests played the full eighteen Today, Diablo is still unincorporated but a self-sufficient and thriving community. It has grown from a fashionable summer resort to an area of suburban homes showing permanence with gardens matured by years of loving care, and a family club full of tradition.
|Discovery Bay||TOP OF PAGE|
Located on the eastern border of Contra Costa County, Discovery Bay is a water-oriented community with many nice homes. Although the community started out as a retirement village and an area where people maintained vacation homes, Discovery Bay has now matured into a place that families and working adults call home. The fact is that more than 20 percent of Discovery Bay residents are now under the age of 18.
Discovery Bay is an easy commute to Livermore, Pleasant and San Ramon, but many residents take the longer commute to San Jose, Oakland, or San Francisco. There are buses available and a connection to BART. Residents also make use of the airport in nearby Byron.
Discovery Bay Elementary School, Byron Middle School and Liberty High School in Brentwood serve school-aged children. Some also attend high school in Oakley. Standardized testing scores are good and usually well above the 50th percentile.
Recreational opportunities are a big attraction in Discovery Bay. There is lots of fishing, boating and water skiing. Some homes have their own docks and many residents’ own boats. There is also a nice agricultural flavor to the area with farm country surrounding and an easy visit to farmer’s markets. Mt. Diablo is nearby and it’s just a short drive to the Sierras.
For those preferring a country/Delta lifestyle, Discovery Bay is an excellent choice. Also, near Discovery Bay the city of Brentwood for great shopping.
|Dublin||TOP OF PAGE|
Dublin enjoys an enviable location at the intersection of Interstates 580 and 680 - two major interstate highways that connect points throughout the Bay Area. Dublin is a community that is growing in size and diversity, and we have something to offer anyone who wants to make Dublin their home!
|El Sobrante||TOP OF PAGE|
El Sobrante is located in a scenic little valley west of the San Pablo Reservoir parkland. It is surrounded by Richmond, San Pablo, and Pinole and has beautiful views from the hills. It is an unincorporated area of about 12,000 residents and is governed by two agencies: the county government and the City of Richmond.
Since the 1970s, El Sobrante has been experiencing some residential growth. Ranches and farms have been giving way to homes. The community, however, is very interested in retaining El Sobrante’s rural atmosphere and is making sure that their home is not overly urbanized.
Since El Sobrante is only about 14 miles from the Bay Bridge toll plaza, the commute is not difficult. The Eastshore Freeway has been improved and San Pablo Dam Road leads to Central Contra Costa and many jobs.
Children are served by the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Scores in standardized testing hover around mid-range.
After work and school, residents will find lots of recreation in the El Sobrante area. There are regional Parks as well as San Pablo Reservoir, which is open for hiking and fishing. El Sobrante is also close to Tilden, which is one of the Bay Area’s favorite regional parks. El Sobrante is also just a few miles from the bay.
|El Sobrante||TOP OF PAGE|
Richmond was already an established industrial town when it incorporated as a city in 1905 it had a population of only 2,150 at that time. By 1910 the town numbered 7,500. Within a few years Richmond saw a number of substantial industries start to relocate within the city limits. Town sites began to emerge around these industries, as Rancho San Pablo's grain fields were subdivided into city lots. As the City of Richmond grew during the 1920s and the 1930s, Richmond's Downtown emerged as the City's business and retail center. The elegant Carquinez Hotel (later renamed Hotel Don) opened its doors in 1925 and soon became the center of Richmond now covers 56 square miles and has a population estimated at 93,000. The area’s economy is currently undergoing a major transition from its former heavy industrial character toward more high technology and light industrial Richmond is located on the San Pablo Bay in western Contra Costa County. It is the second most populous city in the county.
Richmond has had some major developments since 1960, Marina Bay, Hilltop Shopping Center, the new Knox Freeway, and the Richmond Parkway. The transformation of Richmond's geography as well as its economy has been evident within the last 10 yrs. Starting in the mid-1900s the Harbor Redevelopment Project on the city's South Shoreline led to the transformation and reconstruction of the old Inner Harbor Basin (the site of the wartime shipyards) into the Marina Bay development, a 350-acre master-planned waterfront community that will eventually consist of 2,100 residential units, 650,000 square feet of commercial space, several restaurants, a 1,500-berth pleasure boat marina, and a chain of lagoons, parks, and waterfront promenades companies, and new business parks accommodating light industrial land uses. Biotechnology has developed as an important new part of Richmond's growing economy.
Today, Richmond is a growing maritime, industrial and residential community with a thriving and changing economy, a dynamic business environment, and a strong potential for further growth.
There is an excellent choice of housing in Richmond. There are less expensive older homes as well as quality newer construction. The town is close to the University of California Berkeley and Contract Costa Community College in San Pablo. BART stations are in nearby El Cerrito and there is a transit center near Hilltop. Overall, Richmond is an excellent choice for those seeking affordable housing with many amenities.
|Emeryville||TOP OF PAGE|
Nestled on the waterfront at the foot of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, Emeryville has been a central part of Northern California commerce for more than a century. A sense of pride and innovation pervades this lively community with its thriving retail, entertainment and business centers.
Emeryville's temperate climate, diverse cultural attractions, and world-class bayside setting offer a quality of life that is unsurpassed.
|Fremont||TOP OF PAGE|
Fremont, located on the southeast side of the San Francisco Bay, Fremont is a city of over 208,000 people with an area of 92-square miles, making it the fourth most populous city in the Bay Area and California's fifth largest city in area. Fremont is located within Alameda County. With its moderate climate and its proximity to major universities, shopping areas, recreational and cultural activities, employment centers, major airports, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, Fremont captures metropolitan living at its best.
The Fremont area was first settled with the establishment of the Mission San Jose by the Spanish. In the mid-1840's, John C. Fremont mapped a trail through Mission Pass to provide access for American settlers into the southeastern San Francisco Bay Area.
In 1853, Washington Township was established, taking in the communities of Mission San Jose, Centerville, Niles, Irvington, and Warm Springs. On January 23, 1956, these communities incorporated (joined together) to form the City of Fremont.
|Hayward||TOP OF PAGE|
Hayward is almost synonymous with diversity. Whatever you are looking for, whatever your ethnic, political, economic, spiritual, educational or cultural background, you will find your niche here. Hayward is ideally situated in the heart of Alameda County with excellent freeway access to Bay Area markets. Hayward lies just twenty-five miles south of San Francisco by way of highways 101 and 92; fourteen miles south of Oakland by way of Interstates 880 and 580; and twenty-six miles north of San Jose by Interstate 880. The city encompasses 61 square miles ranging from the shore of the Bay eastward to the southern Oakland-Berkeley Hills. Additionally, Hayward's central location is easily accessible to more than 3.5 million persons residing within a thirty-mile radius of the city.
|Lafayette||TOP OF PAGE|
Lafayette is considered one the East Bay’s best addresses. Offering an upscale lifestyle and a quality living environment, Lafayette is unquestionably a great place to live.
Good planning in Lafayette has allowed the town to grow effectively. There is a mix of apartments and condos, as well as single-family homes and many custom homes. Whether you are looking for something small or something opulent, you can find it here.
Schools in Lafayette are excellent with rankings among the top in the state. Quality academic programs are important to the families in Lafayette and it shows. Acalanes High School boasts graduates with admission to schools like Harvard and Yale.
Higher education opportunities are also available in and near Lafayette. St. Mary’s College and UC Berkeley are both close with all of the culture and sports they have to offer. For other recreational activities, there is the Lafayette Reservoir and a nearby regional park
|Livermore||TOP OF PAGE|
Livermore is the epitome of California living with its urban amenities and relaxed lifestyle. Surrounded by vineyards and golden hillsides, yet less than an hour from San Francisco - Livermore is ideally located for trips to the mountains or the ocean. Great hospitality, community spirit, and a sense of history with a tendency towards the futuristic - this is the image of California and an essential part of Livermore's appeal. For much of its history, Livermore has been an agricultural community. Vineyards and ranches continue within and around the city today.
|Martinez||TOP OF PAGE|
Martinez is the Contra Costa County seat. The town extends from the Carquinez Strait to Pleasant Hill.
Often noted for its industry, Martinez is much more than an industrial town. It is a lovely residential community with some very opulent homes. While oil and industry do employ some of the residents of Martinez, the biggest employers in this area are government and institutions. Major employers include the sheriff’s department, Merrithew Memorial Hospital. Kaiser, the local college district and the Veteran’s Clinic.
Martinez is interesting in that it really has two sections: a historic old town and a newer, suburban area. Both offer their own benefits and charm. Old Town, north of the Santa Fe railroad trestle, has a historic charm that many find appealing. The Main Street is lined with brick and the sidewalks are graced with old-time streetlights.
The newer section of Martinez is located south of the trestle (or Highway 4) and consists of homes built after 1950. Here you’ll find not only more than 10,000 homes but also two shopping centers, a movie complex and large discount stores.
The Martinez School District serves the children of the area and provides them with the ability to score quite high in standardized testing. College Park High School scores well into the 90th percentile. Elementary and junior high rankings come in way above the 50th percentile.
Recreational activities abound in Martinez. There are over e dozen parks as well as fishing, boating, soccer, cycling and jogging along the shore, baseball, movies, softball hiking, football and swimming. There is an annual art exhibit and many other cultural opportunities. The Martinez Museum offers photos and memorabilia. There is also a Shell museum and senior center.
Weather in Martinez is perpetually temperate, even in the summer. Breezes from the Carquinez Strait keep it so. Foghorns signal the arrival of winter fog.
|Moraga/Canyon||TOP OF PAGE|
Moraga is a secluded bedroom town in the southwestern part of Contra Costa County about 18 miles east of San Francisco. It is considered one of the more prestigious cities in the county. With scenic trails that wind through gently rolling hills it is a lovely place to stroll on a summer evening or weekend.
Featuring upscale homes on tree-lined streets, Moraga boasts an easy country feel. Residents feel strongly about limiting growth in their area and protect their rural atmosphere vigorously. Close to freeways and BART stations, yet far enough away to be “hidden” Moraga is perfect for those who want convenience and open space. Right in the center of town, you’ll find a 20-acre part where there are summer concerts. Also on the edge of town there is a redwood grove where you’ll find remnants of California’s old growth redwoods.
Moraga is known for being one of the safest communities in the State. There have been relatively few major crimes in this area. Roads into town are well monitored and Moraga boasts its own police force, which is intent on keeping the town’s excellent reputation.
Another things that Moraga is known for is its excellent school system. Students in the area score very high on standardized testing and many of them end up in the best colleges. Parents are happy to support their schools through bonds and parcel taxes
Brief History Moraga is named for Joaquin Moraga, the grandson of Joseph Joaquin Moraga who was second in command of the Anza expedition of 1776, the founder of San Francisco, Mission Dolores and the founder and first commandant of the Presidio. Joaquin Moraga, who also served in the military with his father Gabriel Moraga at the Presidio of San Francisco, left the Army in 1819. He and his cousin, Juan Bernal, received a 13,316-acre land grant from the Mexican government in 1835.
The original land grant, known as Rancho Laguna De Los Palos Colorados (Ranch Of The Lake Of The Redwoods), included parts of Orinda and Lafayette and the communities of Canyon, Redwood, Rheem, and Moraga.
Joaquin Moraga built an adobe on a hill overlooking the Moraga Valley in 1841. The adobe still stands on a knoll in Orinda above Miramonte High School with a tree-lined driveway going up to the house. It was designated a California Historical Landmark in 1954. It is probably the oldest existing building in Contra Costa County.
By 1912, most of the area was purchased by James Irvine. He started the Moraga Land Company. It was during this period that the Moraga Company headquarters was established next to what now is The Moraga Shopping Center.
Much of the early real estate development for the Moraga Company was in what today is Orinda. Moraga extended to and included The Crossroads. Some of the developments along Moraga Way were Moraga Oaks and Encinas De Moraga. In 1927, The Moraga Company offered 100 acres free to Santa Mary’s College. They felt a college would bring culture and people to a very barren area and help the Moraga Company sell homes. St. Mary's College accepted the offer and bought an additional 300 acres.
Most of the homes, roads, and businesses in present day Moraga were built since 1960. For many years, The Rancho was owned by a single person and used for farming, agriculture and cattle grazing. Only 20 farm families remained on The Rancho for many years.
|Newark||TOP OF PAGE|
Welcome to the City of Newark! Newark is located in Silicon Valley on the east side of San Francisco Bay. Part of one of the most dynamic urban areas in the world, Newark has maintained a strong and proud spirit rooted in community values. Residents and businesses alike continually demonstrate their pride in our community. This unique spirit and cooperation between residents, businesses, and city government has resulted in a thriving, well balanced, and well planned city. We invite you to explore our web site to learn more about Newark!
|Oakland||TOP OF PAGE|
Oakland has easy access to the Oakland Airport, BART, Amtrak, freeways, AC Transit, and ferry, making this a most desirable destination. Discover Oakland's captivating mix of modern and historic, old and new. Explore waterfront attractions at the ever-growing Jack London Square and the venerable Lake Merritt.
A stroll through Chinatown or Old Oakland brings the city's cultural history to life. Ranked second only to Manhattan for the number of artists per capita, Oakland boasts world-class symphony and ballet companies, the esteemed Oakland Museum, and myriad local dance and theater groups.
|Oakley||TOP OF PAGE|
Oakley is a quiet delta area, which was just incorporated in 1999, making it Contra Costa County’s newest town. Just an hour's drive from San Francisco, Oakley is in East Contra Costa County along the beautiful California Delta. Oakley's gently rolling hills are dotted by country lanes and feature both vineyards and orchards.
Homes in Oakley are well maintained and gracious. Oakley's motto, A Place for Families in the Heart of the Delta, is obvious in the availability of its affordable housing. Homes are very reasonably priced in this area and compare favorably in quality to the rest of the bay area.
Students in Oakley attend elementary school in the Oakley distinct and then move up to Liberty Union High school District. Oakley has four elementary schools, two middle schools, and a new high school. The schools are known for exceptional and innovative educational experiences and the focus on the quality of education is evident in the low student-to-teacher ratios.
Those seeking recreation in Oakley will not be disappointed there are numerous water recreation sites. Fishing, boating and water sports are abundant. There is an annual Wine Festival as well as an Almond Festival. Several ball fiends and a small library in t old town are well used during the week and on weekends. Oakley requires the developers set aside land for parks within their new developments so open areas are abundant.
|Orinda||TOP OF PAGE|
Orinda is probably the most prestigious town in Contra Costa County. Located on the east side of the Oakland/Berkeley hills, Orinda is a semi-rural valley that offers 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 offers one of the best commutes in the area. There is a BART station in the downtown, very near the freeway. Schools in Orinda are well supported by the community, which recently approved a bond to renovate and a parcel tax to avoid cutting programs and personnel.
High school seniors can take advantage of higher education right on their doorstep at UC Berkeley, although many seem to enjoy traveling a bit and attending UC Davis.
UC Berkeley, however, offers many cultural activities to the area and also has high level sporting events. Other recreational activities in Orinda include Tilden Regional Park with trails, lake golf course and botanical garden and two reservoir parks within a short drive. The Community Center sponsors lots of activities for young and old alike. In addition, there are many clubs and a lively society scene.
Orinda also sponsors a Shakespeare Festival and a popular Independence Day celebration. Orinda has approximately 6600 homes, most of which are single family. There is very little new construction in the area, with the exception of a new area f luxury homes around the golf course. Orinda watches its development and works to keep the area serene.
|Piedmont||TOP OF PAGE|
Piedmont located in the foothills of the east side of the San Francisco Bay, the City of Piedmont is a residential community with a population of about 11,000. Over forty percent of the households in Piedmont have children in school.
Many say that Piedmont feels more like a small town than a city, with its tree-lined streets, attractive parks, annual Fourth of July parade and block party festivities, responsive local police and fire departments and quality neighborhood schools.
A small commercial area located at the center of town includes several banks, a gas station, businesses and professional buildings and a small convenience store. The Piedmont Unified School District includes a team of over 360 highly experienced and dedicated teachers, support staff, and administrators who work with approximately 2,600 students in six school sites: three elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and one alternative high school.
|Pinole||TOP OF PAGE|
Pinole is a quiet, middle class bedroom town in the west of Contra Costa County, on the shores of San Pablo Bay. Starring at San Pablo Bay and moving back in a rectangular shape into the hills, Pinole offers many good views and nice neighborhoods. West of the freeway and south of Pinole are unincorporated neighborhoods that match the area. The city has a good reputation for the way it is run.
The City of Pinole has a land area of more than four square miles; much of the land has gently rolling hills with steeper hills paralleling on the north and south. Elevation in the City ranges from sea level to 500 feet above sea level.
Pinole has an old town, which the city has improved and made into a nice attraction. There are many historic residences in this area, all of which were built for people who worked in Pinole or at the Hercules Powder Plant. From Queen Anne Cottages to Hip Roof Cottages and Bungalows, these homes are simple in character and remain in excellent condition.
The City of Pinole enjoys abundant open space and natural resources. In an attempt to create an open space system that links Pinole with surrounding open space resources, that provides walk able connections from the city center to other parts of the community, and meets both the active and passive recreation needs of City residents, several open space projects are under way. The Bay Trail is a partially completed network of trails that will encircle both the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays and provide beautiful, recreational and cultural amenities for residents of the Bay Area to enjoy. Both the City and the East Bay Regional Park District have acquired parcels along the Bay Shore to contribute to the extension of the Bay Trail from Point Pinole Regional Park in Richmond to Pinole's Bay front Park. The climate is perfect for enjoying this very livable area. It is mild, with no extremes of temperature, rainfall or humidity. Lowest and highest temperatures are in the narrow range of an average low of 40°F in the winter to an average 85°F in the summer. Families thrive in this area and school scores reflect that. Students, who are school in the West Contra Costa Unified School district, score generally above the 50-60th percentile.
|Pittsburg||TOP OF PAGE|
Pittsburg is one of the historical towns of East Contra Costa. It prides itself on being a city in progress for nearly a century and a half.
Located where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers meet, Pittsburg likes to think of itself as a City of progress.
The earliest recorded history of the area starts in the year 1839 when the Mexican government granted almost 10,000 acres to Jose Antone Mesa and Miguel Jose Garcia. Shortly thereafter the town was named New York of the Pacific, possibly because the man who laid out the town was a native of New York.
This area soon became known as New York Landing and thrived on fishing and canning industries. Following the discovery of coal in the hills three miles south of town, the town was renamed Black Diamond in 1903.
In 1906 Columbia Geneva Steel opened for business, and by popular vote in 1911, the name was changed to Pittsburg, after the eastern birthplace of the steel industry but without the "H" for easier spelling.
Today, Pittsburg has grown into a pleasant community of parks, recreational facilities, shopping centers, affordable housing and planned business and commercial development. There are, in fact, fourteen parks as well as baseball, soccer, softball, football, fishing, boating and water sports in the area.
There is an 18-hold golf course with a relatively new clubhouse, a YWCA and bowling alley. One of the largest marinas in northern California is also here in Pittsburg. Concord Pavilion with its many entertainment headliners is just over the hill and, while there is plenty of shopping in the area, more can be found in nearby Antioch. Pittsburg is moving steadily into the future. New homes, renovated older homes, new businesses, a historic district being revived are all signs of even better times to come.
In additionally, Pittsburg's local government has expanded the parks system, improved the roads, increased commerce and employment, expanded the Marina and built a modern Civic Center to take it into the 21st century. It is definitely a city on the move and, for those seeking a town on the water and beautiful Mt. Diablo in the background, it is an excellent and affordable choice.
|Pleasant Hill||TOP OF PAGE|
The area that is now the City of Pleasant Hill grew from farmland into a bedroom community during World War II. Residents voted to incorporate in 1961.
Early on, community leaders expressed concerns about the deteriorated condition of many properties developed decades before around the intersection of Contra Costa Boulevard and Monument Boulevard, two main roadways through the community.
At the same time, it was envisioned that this central area could be transformed into a focal point of community identity, providing a gathering place for residents and strengthening the community’s “sense of place.”
The early 1970’s, the City explored various ways to achieve its vision and, in 1974, adopted the Pleasant Hill Commons Redevelopment Plan for the area, as authorized by the state Community Redevelopment Law.
The Redevelopment Plan provided a framework for future decisions about the type and amount of new development to be allowed, put into place the administrative powers needed to implement the plan, and established the financial resource of property tax increment revenue to fund public improvements and subsidize private sector redevelopment efforts.
The goals of the Redevelopment Plan were strongly supported by the citizens of Pleasant Hill. However, it would be nearly twenty-five years before a new downtown, fulfilling these dreams, would be born.
The first design concepts prepared for the 129-acre redevelopment project area were for a suburban, low-rise, campus-style development of offices and retail uses interspersed with large green spaces, encircling a central lake.
However, with little property tax increment revenue in the early years, the City Council, sitting as the Redevelopment Agency, was unable to financially support such large-scale projects. As a result, for a number of years only smaller, individual redevelopment projects were undertaken, around the edges of the redevelopment project area, while the 33-acre core area was reserved for the “dream” project.
In the early 1980’s, with easy money from the deregulated Savings & Loan industry, many developers wanted to build high-rise hotels and office buildings, and many community residents believed that such high intensity development of the core area would be necessary to fund the high costs of redevelopment. One large floorplate, six-story office building was approved and constructed in the core area.
|Pleasanton||TOP OF PAGE|
Pleasanton, the jewel of the Amador Valley, is located in the eastern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. Our geographic location has been one of the major factors in shaping our past and will continue to shape our future.
|Rodeo||TOP OF PAGE|
Rodeo is located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The town is situated on the shore of San Pablo Bay, just across the water from Marin County, Vallejo and Benicia. It is 28 miles southwest of San Francisco and 56 miles northeast of Sacramento.
Rodeo is part of the eight-county San Francisco Bay Area, located along the Interstate highway connecting San Francisco and the state capital. It is a residential community with small-town charm, great views of the bay, and gently sloping hills. Housing is less expensive than in many Bay Area locales, and a great many styles are available to choose from. Rodeo's close proximity to Walnut Creek and Concord provides residents with access to cultural and recreational outlets, as well as restaurants and shopping.
The heart of this village is its historic downtown. Built down to the waterfront, it once welcomed ferryboats from across the bay filled with residents who used the ferries for commuting. The ferries also served as transportation for recreational seekers who came to Rodeo for its world-renowned striped bass fishing. Today, fishing is still a favorite pastime in Rodeo, along with hiking, wind surfing, and baseball.
Rodeo boasts a good selection of homes from unique 1930s bungalows to more contemporary dwellings. Many sit on rolling hills that overlook the busy San Pablo Bay. Bay Area homebuyers are pleasantly surprised at the price of homes in the Redevelopment Area; they run about 80 percent of the county's average sale price.
John Swett Unified School District, which provides public schools for Rodeo, the Foxboro area of Hercules, and the City of Crockett. Elementary students attend Hillcrest Elementary School in Rodeo. They continue their education at Carquinez Middle School and John Swett High School in Crockett, which has been designated a California Distinguished School.
There are also a number of excellent private schools in the area. There are LAO seven four-year schools and six two-year colleges located near Rodeo. Contra Costa College in San Pablo, and Diablo Valley College in Concord are both part of the California Community College system. They offer lower division transfer courses and vocational training for a minimal cost. Evening, weekend, and short-term courses are some of the options available to busy students. California State University, Hayward, offers upper division and graduate courses for working adults at its Contra Costa Campus in Concord, just 15 miles from Rodeo. UC Berkeley, just 14 miles south, is a world-renowned institution offering undergraduate and graduate studies up to the doctoral level. UC Davis is within a 45-minute drive of Rodeo.
|Rossmoor||TOP OF PAGE|
Eagle Ridge a part of Rossmoor, an active adult community, located in the Tice Valley area of Walnut Creek, California.
Consisting of 235 condominiums, Eagle Ridge (Mutual 68) lies on the eastern ridge of the valley in the shadow of Mt. Diablo.
This site is for the residents of Eagle Ridge. A place where they can get neighborhood news, check for upcoming events, view pictures of past events, read past copies of our newsletter, etc. Basically it's a meeting place on the Internet.
Please enjoy this website. If you see anything wrong, want to make corrections or just want to comment on something please contact Vickie Hipkiss, your friendly, neighborhood webmaster
|San Leandro||TOP OF PAGE|
San Leandro is a friendly and diverse City with a colorful heritage and numerous cultural amenities including a 450-berth Marina, two golf courses and a large community library center. Discovered in 1772 by a Spanish explorer, San Leandro became famous during the late 1800s and early 1900s for its delicious cherries. In 1909, to celebrate the abundant cherry harvest, San Leandro held its first Cherry Festival, an event which was so successful, it is still celebrated today.
In addition to the Cherry Festival, San Leandro is also well-known for its quiet, well-defined neighborhoods full of charming and unique older houses on tree-lined streets. San Leandro residents are proud of both their neighborhoods and their City which can be seen in their active involvement in the City's numerous neighborhood and homeowner's associations. San Leandro's temperate weather also makes it an excellent place for outdoor recreation. With an average temperature of 62 degrees and average rainfall of 19 inches per year, outdoor activity at the one of the many City parks is possible all year round.
|San Lorenzo||TOP OF PAGE|
|San Ramon||TOP OF PAGE|
Today San Ramon is a dynamic young city, one of California's outstanding urban villages. It has a variety of homes, parks and stores and a major employment center --- all in a setting of remarkable beauty.
It was once home to the Seunen Indians, Ohlone/Costanoans who lived adjacent to the valley creeks. After 1797 it was Mission San Jose grazing land; later it included Jose Maria Amador's 16,000 plus acre Rancho San Ramon. San Ramon Creek was named after an Indian vaquero, Ramon, who tended mission sheep here. In an 1855 land title case, Don Amador explained that "San" was added to the creek's name to conform to Spanish custom.
American settlers first came to San Ramon in 1850 when Leo and Mary Jane Norris purchased 4,450 acres of land from Amador. Other early landowners were William Lynch, James Dougherty, and Major Samuel Russell. In 1852 Joel and Minerva Harlan bought land from Norris and built a house on what became the Alameda-Contra Costa County line in 1853.
Many of San Ramon's founding families are remembered today because their names grace various canyons, hills and streets. Some of these pioneers were Norris, Lynch, Harlan, McCamley, Crow, Bollinger, Meese, Glass, and Wiedemann. Both the Harlan home (1858) at 19251 San Ramon Valley Blvd. and the Wiedemann home (1865) near Norris Canyon still stand in their original locations. The Glass House (1877) has been moved to Forest Home Farms.
San Ramon had several names in the nineteenth century. It was called Brevensville (for blacksmith Eli Breven), Lynchville (for William Lynch) and Limerick (for the many Irish settlers). The first village developed at the intersection of today's Deerfield Road and San Ramon Valley Blvd. In 1873 when a permanent post office was finally established, it was called San Ramon.
During the 1860s the village became a hub of community activity. In 1864 a stage line established by Brown and Co. ran from San Ramon through the valley to Oakland. A church was dedicated in 1860, the general store was built in 1863 and students left their home-based classrooms to attend the San Ramon Grammar School beginning in 1867. Saloons, a jail, Chinese washhouses and blacksmith shops lined County Road No. 2 (later San Ramon Valley Blvd.). With the arrival of the San Ramon Branch Line of the Southern Pacific in 1891, other changes took place. The name "San Ramon" permanently replaced references to "Limerick." Crops and passengers could travel in and out of the area, no matter what the weather.
Until 1909 San Ramon was the terminus for the line and boasted a two-story depot, the engine house and a turnaround for the locomotive.
|Sunol||TOP OF PAGE|
Sunol is a rural community of 900 to 1200 people located in Alameda County between the south San Francisco Bay and the Livermore Valley. The total land area designated as Sunol encompasses 86 square miles - about the same size as the city of San Francisco.
The area now know as Sunol was originally settled by the Ohlone tribe about 5000 years ago. The Ohlone lived in small villages with well defined territorial boundaries. Their culture was highly developed and stable in this plentiful land teeming with wildlife and other resources. A bountiful yield of plant and animal foods was ensured by careful management of the land. Controlled burning of extensive areas was carried out each fall to promote the growth of seed-bearing annual plants as well as to increase the grazing areas for deer, elk and antelope. Acorns from the many oaks were a staple plant food. When the Mission San Jose was established by the Spanish, the Ohlone population fell from about 10,000 to 2,000 within 60 years, mostly as a result of contracting European diseases.
In the mid 1800's, Antonio Maria Sunol and Maria Bernal Sunol gained ownership of 14,000 acres of Rancho El Valle de San Jose. One of their sons (also with the name Antonio Maria Sunol) build a complex of ranching support buildings near the present-day Sunol Water Temple. A larger community was created as disappointed gold miners settled as farmers.
This brief history is only glimpse into the essence of Sunol. It doesn't explain why there are bed races, how a community theatre group flourishes, or who would have a dog for a mayor. If you are interested in learning more, A Place Called Sunol is good starting point, or simply strike up a conversation in the Olde Townhouse Cafe.
|Union City||TOP OF PAGE|
Union City is located in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. Situated about 30 miles southeast of San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose, Union City is 18 square miles in size. Incorporated on January 13, 1959, Union City is a general law city with a city council/city manager form of government. Union City is an ethnically diverse community. According to Census 2000, 43.4% of Union City residents are of Asian decent, 24% Hispanic, 20% white,and 6.7% African-American. The highly-regarded New Haven Unified School District serves about 14,000 K-12 students.
Union City offers a variety of housing, with affordable and upscale homes available in many charming neighborhoods throughout the city. Seventy-one percent of the city's 19,000 housing units are owner occupied. The median home price in Union City is about $400,000. New homes in town offer a wide selection of lot sizes, floor plans and neighborhood amenities.
With more than two dozen big screens, the Century 25 theatre complex at Union Landing consistently ranks as one of the top grossing multiplexes in the country. Union City is also home to many wonderful parks, sports fields, community facilities, and a variety of recreation programs for citizens of all ages.
Over half of all Union City residents are college educated providing a well-trained educated labor force for businesses. According to the Association of Bay Area Governments, Union City had a total of 17,130 jobs and 32,700 employed residents in 2000.
|Walnut Creek||TOP OF PAGE|
Walnut Creek was first known as "The Corners" -- where the two roads leading from Pacheco and Lafayette converged. Today those "corners" are at the intersection of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and North Main Street. The area's first settler was William Slusher, a squatter who built the first roofed abode on the bank of what was then known as "Nuts Creek" in 1849 (in the area of Liberty Bell Plaza).
In 1855, Milo Hough of Lafayette decided to develop The Corners and built a hotel called the "Walnut Creek House." A blacksmith shop and a store were soon built nearby. A year later, Hiram Penniman (who would later build the ranch house now used as the Shadelands Ranch Historical Museum) laid out the first town site and realigned what is now Main Street.
Growth in Walnut Creek accelerated with the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1891. By March 1913, regular passenger and freight service was operating between Walnut Creek and Oakland. The popularity of train travel waned quickly, however, and as a result, regular commuter railroad service ended in 1934.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, approved by Bay Area voters in1962, returned train travel to Walnut Creek, where a BART station was established at Ygnacio Valley Road and Interstate 680 in 1973. The block of 146 small, post-World War II houses to the north of the BART station was gradually converted for mid-rise office buildings and became known as the "Golden Triangle.