If you ever want to live in a newer and friendly city, Orinda is the place to be. It is located 20 miles outside of San Francisco through the Caldecott Tunnel, which was built in 1937. The area was originally a part of four Mexican land grants. However, it quickly got its own post office and city shops. Orinda incorporated in 1985 and Forbes ranked it as the second friendliest town.
Orinda is named after the poet, Katherine Phillips. Her nickname was the Matchless Orinda and thus, the name. Surrounding the town are some key cities within Contra Costa. Lafayette is the most immediate city and it provides a unique set of shops and walking areas for local residents. In addition, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, and Alamo are close by.
Orinda has some amazing schools that are serviced by the Acalanes Union High School District and Orinda Union School District. Within California, these schools are considered premier schools that have a 99-100% graduation rate. In addition, the schools have produced some amazing athletes like Ken Dorsey and Drew Bennett. Besides football, swimming and water polo are also a huge part of the community. The Orinda Aquatics, swim team, is considered a very good team. The swim groups have produced some wonderful swimmers, Heather Petri and Michael Sharf.
The population of Orinda keeps growing as it has likely exceeded 18,500 with the family income approaching $200,000. Most of the population is Caucasian but Native Americans and Hispanics also encompass a portion of them.
From 2002-2005, the town has a very successful film festival, Orinda Film Festival. In 2009, the California Independent Film Festival made Orinda it’s new home in 2009. Along with film, Orinda also has theater. The California Shakespeare Theater, which runs from June to October, has its shows within Orinda.
Orinda town members often visit neighboring city downtowns like Danville, Walnut Creek, and Concord. They also like to come to the big, local event in Blackhawk, Blackhawk Food, Wine, and Film Festival that is organized by the Danville/Sycamore Rotary. Livermore wineries and top tier restaurants from Danville bring their scrumptious foods and premier wines for patrons. Within Contra Costa, Orinda serves as the connection between San Francisco and the Tri-Valley.