At the heart of the East Bay's fast-growing Contra Costa County is vibrant Walnut Creek. The city serves as the central core around which the rest of the region revolves—Highway 24 and Interstate 680 intersect on the city's western edge.
Having developed around the Southern Pacific and Sacramento Northern Railroads in the late 1890s and early 1900s, Walnut Creek's history was often in service to the region, acting as a connective tissue. Walnut Creek bridges the rural, open spaces of the east with the more populous Bay Area cities to the west.
In recent times, Walnut Creek has come into its own. The city has experienced the growth and proliferation of numerous highly desirable neighborhoods within its borders. Walnut Knolls is a hidden treasure from the 1940s and 1950s, and Parkmead a suburban oasis with a bustling big-city vibe. The esteemed Woodlands warrants recognition as one of the area’s best family-oriented places to live. Northgate is rural, luxury living at its finest, including the equestrian-friendly Rancho Paraiso and Lime Ridge Open Space.
Walnut Creek boasts an incredibly active downtown commercial district. Anchoring the southern end of the highly walkable area is the outdoor mall, filled with modern shops, restaurants, and the only Tesla dealership in the upper East Bay.
Further up Main Street, modern gives way to more quaint boutiques and a mix of classic and contemporary, including and the .
Favorite spots to spend an evening include and . The is one of the best sushi spots in East Bay.
There is room to roam within Walnut Creek. The city claims more open space per capita than any other spot in California. The southeastern part of town serves as a gateway into the backpacking paradise of and the 20,000-acre . Other points of interest include the , , and .