Contra Costa County, CA
Contra Costa County's Spanish language name means opposite coast, a reference to its location to the east, across the Bay from San Francisco. It occupies the northern portion of the East Bay region and is primarily suburban.
There are over a million residents in the county, making it the ninth most populous region in California. Connected to San Francisco and most of the rest of the East Bay by the region's high-speed rail system, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), Contra Costa County is a series of small enclaves of tightly knit, safe, progressive communities.
The county encompasses several regional and state parks. Surrounded by golden, rolling hills and verdant wilderness, majestic Mount Diablo rises almost 4000 feet above the small cities and towns that line the valley's corridor.
The central part of the county is a valley traversed by Interstate 680 and Highway 24. The towns east of the hills, on or near Highway 24 (Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda), are collectively known as Lamorinda. Interstate 680 provides the thoroughfare for Pleasant Hill, Concord, Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon, Alamo (unincorporated) and also to Diablo. Owing to the high quality of the public schools, this area has become a magnet for people who prioritize access to education in their homebuying decisions. A diverse and worldy environment, more than a quarter of the people who reside in Contra Costa County speak another language besides English at home.
The Bay Area's Mediterranean climate is temperate year-round: cool and wet in the winter and dry and warm in the summer. Contra Costa County is within an hour of the coast and within several hours of the redwoods to the north. To the east, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park are a half-day's drive.
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