Why itís great to live in the City of Orinda

photo credit: T. Pappas

Residents of Orinda enjoy a friendly, small-town atmosphere with great schools and a low crime rate.  The beautiful rural setting and pleasant weather make Orinda a favorite location for professionals who commute to San Francisco, Oakland, Walnut Creek or other nearby business centers.

Orinda Schools

The schools are excellent, from K-12.  The Orinda Union School District is made up of four elementary schools (grades K-5) and one middle school (grades 6-8).  These five schools consistently rank among the top in the state in annual Academic Performance Index (API) testing by the California Department of Education

Teens typically end up at Miramonte, which is one of the four high schools in the Acalanes Union High School District.

There are many preschools for younger parents to choose from, including parochial, non-denominational, play-based and Montessori programs.  There are also private school options in Orinda for parents seeking an alternative for their children in grades K-12.

Downtown, Eating Out and Nightlife

Recent tasteful renovations have produced a charming downtown with lots of character. The South side of the downtown area is home to the refurbished art deco style  Orinda Theater and the newer Theater Square with shops, restaurants and office buildings. Known for its fried chicken and classic bar, Casa Orinda restaurant is also considered an Orinda landmark. The North side of the business district is called Orinda Village and features a wonderful community center with a playground, library and more shops and restaurants.

Highway 24 bisects downtown Orinda.  The Caldecott Tunnel, completed in the late 1930s, and currently in construction for its fourth bore, provides easy freeway access to all points west. The BART train system, completed in the early 1970s, is another favorite commute option. Orinda also has a casual carpool pickup location near the BART station.

The Scenery and Must-Visit Spots

Orinda is surrounded by parks and trails and is an ideal location for nature lovers. Nearby Tilden Park is fun for the whole family with a merry go round, steam train, swimming, fishing, golf and more. The gorgeous 5,756 acre Briones Regional Park is also nearby and is ideal for hikers, runners, bikers and horseback riders. Lake Cascade in Orinda is a favorite spot for walkers and runners as is the nearby  Lafayette Reservoir. The exclusive Orinda Country Club, founded in 1924, features lovely facilities including a Spanish-style clubhouse with restaurant and beautiful golf course.

Events and Entertainment

Orinda community events include a weekly farmers market, an annual Easter Egg Hunt, a 4th of July parade and concerts in the park. The internationally recognized  Shakespeare Festival is held during the summer at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater.

Related Links 

City of Orinda Official Website
Orinda Chamber of Commerce
Orinda Union School District
Acalanes Union High School District