From Walnut Creek to Lamorinda, Which East Bay Area Community is Right for You?

The East Bay region is one of the most desirable locations to live in California. Home to many charismatic cities and neighborhoods, the East Bay is a hub for excellent real estate investment. From the vibrantly diverse Berkeley to the peacefulness of Walnut Creek, each of these communities have something special. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started and discover which of these fantastic communities is the right fit for you! 

San Francisco

Before venturing east, let’s start with the big city: San Francisco. Located on a relatively small peninsula, it’s home to almost a million residents and is rich in job opportunities, history, and culture. With a median home value of about $1.5M, it’s an upscale real estate market that continues to grow in popularity — and with good reason. San Francisco’s neighborhoods offer a wide range of amenities. The Marina District offers high-rise buildings and luxury retail, Russian Hill features picturesque hilltop properties with exceptional views, and the Richmond and Mission Districts offer diverse architectural beauty and outstanding ethnic cuisine. 

Despite its variety, San Francisco does have a general appeal to people in the tech industry (given its proximity to Silicon Valley and major tech companies), as well as people who enjoy a healthy work-life balance. Residents of San Francisco enjoy some of the best food and shopping in the country. Foodies appreciate the high number of Michelin-starred restaurants in San Francisco, which include the French-American eatery Saison as well as the gourmet tasting menu at benu. Shoppers flock to Fillmore street’s trendy boutiques, as well as Haight Street for its incredible history and quirky shopping. San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge connects to an open green space called The Presidio. The Presidio is ideal for a stroll, a picnic, or a quiet afternoon with a book.

For families, consider San Francisco’s excellent school district. It’s the largest school district in California and includes excellent public options, like Lowell High School and The New School of San Francisco. 


Just 20 minutes northeast of San Francisco, Berkeley is home to the prestigious University of California, Berkeley. While the median home value is about $1M, there are a variety of options, including houses, condos, and apartments. The university infuses this area with a lot of progressive, youthful energy and excitement. 

Berkeley’s food scene is varied, dynamic, and always cutting edge. Since 1971, The Cheese Board Collective has functioned as a worker-owned collective that serves everything from pizza, to baked goods, to a global variety of delicious cheeses. Berkeley is also home to Chez Panisse, which pioneered the farm-to-table model of dining. As you wander around downtown, you’ll also find eclectic shops and cafés. Enjoy a delicious meal at Las Delicias Salvadoran Restaurant or catch up with a friend over a latte at the beloved Caffeinated Coffee. And if you are a beer lover, there are plenty of craft beer options at the lively pub Cornerstone Berkeley. Here you can drink craft beer while making new friends and enjoying live music. Cornerstone keeps a constant stream of new bands and shows coming through its doors, always leaving guests curious about who will enter the stage next. 

Berkeley is also ideal for people who enjoy spending time outside. The Tilden Regional Park is the perfect place to get out in nature and explore. With over 2,000 acres, the park has an abundance of trails and recreational activities for everyone to enjoy. Whether you want a place for solitude and reflection or to spend the day hiking with friends, the Tilden provides that and more. Here you can soak up the sunshine and enjoy a pleasant walk while immersing yourself in the natural beauty around you. You can take a dip in the park’s freshwater lake, Lake Anza, or play golf at the Tilden Park Golf Course. Families enjoy the ability to access both an exciting downtown and abundant natural resources. 

Berkeley is also known for its top-tier educational opportunities and is the home of the University of California, Berkeley. The Berkeley Unified School District is worthy of note and includes Ruth Acty Elementary School, Martin Luther King Middle School, and Berkeley High School. With the charm, energy, and enthusiasm of a college town, Berkeley offers new friends to make, drinks to try, and memories to be created. Furthermore, with this town’s family-friendly atmosphere and plethora of dining and shopping options, Berkeley has the personality and heart that could make it a superb fit for you and your family. 


As the largest city in the East Bay region, Oakland is the epicenter for trendy excitement. It’s known for its balance of up-and-coming luxury, as well as historical significance. The median home value here is just under $1M, but the housing options are diverse. You’ll have your choice of modern high-rises, Victorian properties, and waterfront residences. 

When it comes to living in Oakland, there’s never a shortage of activities. Stop by the classic, beautifully restored Fox Theater which showcases a brilliant rotation of touring acts and plays. You can also explore Jack London Square, which pays homage to the American novelist and journalist. On the Square, you will discover the Farmer’s Market with fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, and flowers for sale. There is also an abundance of dining and shopping venues. 

Rockridge is a local hub for indie bookstores, eclectic boutiques, and delicious restaurants. Check out Wood Tavern or Millenium for a Michelin-starred experience. Music lovers enjoy going to shows at Fox Theater and Paramount Theater — both of which boast restored Art Deco architecture from the 1920s and 1930s. Oakland is also known for its unique Lake Merritt, which offers three miles of shoreline in the middle of a bustling city. Rent canoes and tour around the lake, or sit in the grass and have a picnic.

The Oakland Unified School District is full of diverse school options, including Hillcrest Elementary School, Downtown Charter Academy for grades 6 through 8, and Oakland Charter High School.


For a luxurious, suburban, and family-friendly experience, consider Lamorinda. This area encompasses three neighborhoods — Lafayette, Orinda, and Moraga — all of which are nestled in the idyllic mountains that run along the East Bay. Choose from luxurious mountains in gated communities, California ranches, craftsman homes, and so much more.

Lamorinda is known for its excellent schools, which have strong sports teams and a lot of school spirit. Acalanes High School, Campolindo High School, and Miramonte High School are consistently well-ranked and offer students and families a wide range of experiences. Lafayette’s Sherman Swim School, the Orinda Park Pool, and the Moraga Country Club offer swim lessons and teams for children. The Moraga Country Club also features an 18-hole golf course and a famous 22,000 square-foot clubhouse. Attend one of the club’s upscale events, or spend a weekend evening enjoying its restaurant. 

Within each neighborhood, there are many ways to stay busy. Check out the upscale La Fiesta Square shopping center, where you’ll find local boutiques as well as major retailers. For more shopping and some delicious dining, there’s Orinda Theater Square. Sip wine at Cine Cuvee, or enjoy the cute atmosphere and authentic Roman food of Amorama.

Walnut Creek

With a population of around 70,000 people, Walnut Creek has a cozy and small-town feel. A mere 16 miles from Oakland, this beautiful area is nestled among the hills and is ideally situated for big-city commuters. The historic downtown is home to one of the best fine dining scenes in the East Bay and gives a small town the feel of a larger city. Walnut Creek’s median home value is just under $1M, and its architectural styles are quite varied. From California ranches to the spectacular properties of Mount Diablo, there’s a style for everyone.  

Walnut Creek’s downtown dates back to the 1800s and is visually charismatic. Its restaurants are incredible, including the stylish Va de Vi Bistro & Wine Bar, the upscale Il Fornaio, and the sommelier’s dream, Bounty Hunter. When they’re not enjoying memorable meals, Walnut Creek residents enjoy music and the arts. Lesher Center for the Arts encompasses three theaters, each offering unique shows. Enjoy ballet, comedy, and literary events every week. There’s also the Walnut Festival, which is four days of outdoor performances and shows. Outdoorsy folks love Civic Park for its beautiful greenery, wildlife, and ice skating rink. The Iron Horse Regional Trail connects to Civic Park and is a perfect place to walk or run. 

Despite its small size, Walnut Creek still packs a punch when it comes to prestigious educational opportunities. Walnut Heights Elementary School, Foothill Middle School, and Las Lomas High School are all A-rated institutions with fantastic resources for students. 

If you are ready to make the move to the East Bay, contact Michael Robertson today. Michael is an expert in everything from Berkeley homes for sale to Walnut Creek, CA, mansions. He is equipped and ready to help you find your dream home.


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Michael exhibits extensive knowledge, skill and resourcefulness when advising his clients on all real estate matters. He excels at educating and creating value for his clients and offers a more complete perspective of the current real estate market.
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