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10 Things to Know Before Moving to Walnut Creek, CA

10 Things to Know Before Moving to Walnut Creek, CA Written by Zach Spanton

Whether you’re drawn to the allure of upscale dining, yearning to explore the great outdoors, or seeking an ideal location for both work and play, Walnut Creek, California, has it all.

Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, Walnut Creek is a vibrant city with a population of 69,140 residents. This city is known for its picturesque landscapes, great neighborhoods, and thriving downtown scene.

Let’s talk about 10 things you need to know before moving to Walnut Creek, CA!

1. Proximity to big cities

Walnut Creek offers a convenient location for those who work in the city but prefer a quieter suburban lifestyle. Just a short drive away, you’ll find yourself immersed in the vibrant energy of three major cities: San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. With these three big cities at your doorstep, you have lots of options in terms of career opportunities and cultural experiences.

Also, the city’s proximity to major highways and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) stations makes commuting to these cities much easier. 

2. Visit downtown Walnut Creek or Broadway Plaza for a great dining experience

When it comes to dining in Walnut Creek, two major hubs stand out as culinary destinations: Downtown Walnut Creek and Broadway Plaza.

Downtown Walnut Creek, the heart of the city, is home to a vibrant dining scene with a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and bars. The downtown area offers a diverse range of cuisines to suit every palate. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, Asian, Mediterranean, or classic American fare, downtown Walnut Creek has it all.

Broadway Plaza on the other hand, is a premier open-air shopping center that not only offers an extensive selection of retail options but also features a variety of renowned restaurants, ranging from popular national chains to local favorites. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely brunch, indulge in a gourmet dinner, or grab a quick bite, the dining options at Broadway Plaza cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

Some popular restaurants you can visit in this city are Rooftop Restaurants and Bar, The Cooperage American Grille, and Va de Vi Bistro & Wine Bar.

3. Enjoy recreational activities at Heather Farm Park or Shell Ridge Open Space

Walnut Creek is filled with numerous parks and open spaces, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy the outdoors and soak in the natural beauty of the area.

Heather Farm Park is one of the largest parks in Walnut Creek. The park spans over 102 acres and features beautiful gardens, expansive lawns, multiple playgrounds, sports fields, and picnic areas. It is also home to the Gardens at Heather Farm, a horticultural oasis that showcases a variety of plant species.

Shell Ridge Open Space is also a popular recreational spot in this city. This expansive open space covers approximately 1,420 acres and offers a network of hiking trails. You can explore oak woodlands, meadows, and rolling hills while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

If you love engaging in outdoor activities, you can enjoy walking trails, visiting the pond, playing a game of tennis, or even exploring wildlife. 

4. Walnut Creek is home to 16 public schools

Walnut Creek is home to 16 public schools, including preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. There are also private schools in the city.

This city is known for its exceptional public and private schools, making it an attractive destination for families. The area is served by the highly regarded Walnut Creek School District and Acalanes Union High School District, which provide access to quality education from preschool through high school. You’ll find great school options for your kids here.

5. Vibrant art and culture scene 

Walnut Creek is a city that takes pride in its vibrant arts and cultural scene, offering a range of experiences that delight residents and visitors alike.

You can visit the Lesher Center for the Arts, which serves as the cultural hub of the city. This center is a renowned performing arts center that hosts a variety of captivating performances. It is home to multiple theaters, including the Hofmann Theatre and the Margaret Lesher Theatre, ensuring a dynamic lineup of events throughout the year.

You can also visit the Bedford Gallery, which showcases thought-provoking exhibitions featuring works by local, national, and international artists. 

6. The city has a pleasant climate

Walnut Creek enjoys a pleasant and temperate climate, bringing mild winters and warm summers to the city.

Winter temperatures range from the mid-50s to the low 60s Fahrenheit, with moderate rainfall. Summers are characterized by long stretches of sunny weather, with temperatures in the mid-80s to low 90s Fahrenheit, occasionally reaching higher during heatwaves. Spring and autumn offer pleasant temperatures in the 60s to 70s Fahrenheit. In short, the city’s weather encourages outdoor activities and a vibrant lifestyle all year.

Also, snow is a rare occurrence in the area. While Walnut Creek can experience a light dusting of snow during particularly cold weather events, significant snowfall is extremely uncommon. So, you don’t need to worry about snow affecting your daily activities in this city.

7. Get a job in the technology and healthcare industry

Job growth in Walnut Creek has been positive, and jobs have increased by 1.4% over the past year. The city has an unemployment rate of 3.5%, which is slightly higher than the national average of 3.4%. Living here means you have a high chance of getting a good job.

Being part of the broader San Francisco Bay Area, Walnut Creek also benefits from its proximity to a thriving job market. With industries ranging from technology and healthcare to finance and professional services, employment opportunities are abundant. And commuting to neighboring cities for work is also common due to the city’s strategic location.

Some of the top employers in this city include John Muir Health, Kaiser Permanente, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, Broadway Plaza, Safeway, Diablo Valley College, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

8. The city places focus on health and wellness

Walnut Creek places a strong emphasis on health and wellness. The city is home to several fitness centers, yoga studios, and outdoor recreational facilities, allowing residents to maintain an active lifestyle.

Additionally, there are numerous farmers’ markets and organic food stores, making it easy to access fresh and healthy produce. If you’re on a health and wellness journey, living in this city would make the journey easier for you.

9. This city offers a family-friendly environment

Walnut Creek offers a family-friendly environment with numerous recreational activities and attractions for children. The Lindsay Wildlife Experience, mentioned earlier, offers interactive exhibits and programs for kids. This must-visit attraction is dedicated to connecting people with wildlife, and they do this by offering interactive exhibits, educational programs, and engaging events that inspire environmental stewardship and foster a deeper appreciation for wildlife.

The city also hosts various family-oriented events throughout the year, such as outdoor movie nights and community fairs.  Walnut Creek is an excellent place to raise children and make beautiful memories with your family.

10. Participate in the Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival and concerts

Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival is held annually in the downtown area. This event features a wide selection of local wines and craft beers, live music, and a juried art show. Here, you can enjoy delicious food, browse through art exhibits, and participate in interactive activities.

The city also hosts concerts in the park. This is usually done during the summer months, often in Civic Park. These family-friendly concerts feature a variety of musical genres. This allows you to relax, enjoy live performances, and spend time with your neighbors.


With its ideal location, good schools, booking economy, family-friendly atmosphere, and an abundance of amenities, Walnut Creek offers a high quality of life for its residents. One thing’s for sure; you’ll enjoy living in this lovely city.

Learn More About Living in Walnut Creek, CA

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