Contra Costa County—the name means “opposite coast,” as in located on the opposite side of the bay from San Francisco—is a haven for outdoor recreation lovers, as well as for those desiring easy access to San Francisco and the Bay Area. Here are some of our top reasons for buying a home in this scenic locale.
With rolling hills, idyllic valleys, reservoirs, majestic mountain peaks—plus access to several rivers and bays—Contra Costa County boasts abundant recreation for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are some top destinations.
Mount Diablo State Park
Named for Mount Diablo—a nearly 4,000-foot-tall peak with smaller surrounding peaks—state park amenities include hiking, camping and an observation deck with panoramic views of the East Bay area, extending on clear days past the Golden Gate Bridge.
Several other protected recreational areas are directly adjacent, including Diablo Foothills Regional Park, Morgan Territory Regional Preserve and Round Valley Regional Preserve.
Briones Regional Park and Reservoir
Boasting picturesque canyons and verdant hills, Briones Regional Park is one of Contra Costa County’s true natural gems. Its 6,255 acres afford a wide variety of activities, from hiking and horseback riding to archery and camping. And just to the east, you’ll find more splendor at Briones Reservoir, featuring a 13-mile loop for hiking, biking and equestrian activities.
This charming recreational area is great for visitors of all ages, featuring a playground, barbecues, picnic areas, trails, fishing and boating—including pedal boat rentals!
Los Vaqueros Reservoir and Watershed
With 18,500 acres of protected land and 1,900 acres of water, Los Vaqueros is one of the county’s premier outdoor attractions. Explore over 50 miles of trail, rent a boat for a relaxing day on the water, learn about the wildlife—including bald eagles, foxes and mountain lions—or try your hand at fishing.
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
This protected area features over 6,000 acres of protected land, which used to be the site of multiple coal mining and sand mining operations. Camping, hiking and mine tours are some of the activities offered at this historic location.
Bays and Rivers
Contra Costa County’s northern and western borders provide incredible access to the waters that feed into San Francisco Bay—including the San Joaquin River, the Sacramento River, Suisun Bay and San Pablo Bay. There are also plenty of launching-off points for boaters, such as Martinez Marina and Antioch Municipal Marina.
Contra Costa County features several Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Amtrak stations, providing public transportation throughout the East Bay and the Bay Area, with access to business and entertainment hubs, plus Oakland International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.
Cities in Contra Costa County vary from a Mediterranean to a semi-arid climate, with warm to hot summers and mild winters—providing ideal conditions for year-round outdoor activity.
Interested in a new home in Contra Costa County? Check out our communities in the area!