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The East Bay boasts a diverse collection of neighborhoods and lifestyles for residents to choose from, providing something suitable for everyone from young professionals seeking quick access to city life in Oakland or Berkeley to families searching for affordable homes in quiet suburbs such as Walnut Creek or Piedmont.
Oakland and Berkeley (click here for their city guides) are both top urban destinations of the East Bay, while charming towns such as Alameda and Pleasanton provide small-town charm with quick commutes into San Francisco or beyond.
Southeastern Contra Costa County features mountainous terrain with canyons that show off its diverse geography, as well as Murray Township – home to Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore as well as significant unincorporated areas such as Sunol.
Alameda County is home to University of California Berkeley, drawing many students and visitors. Alameda is also one of California’s most racially diverse counties. Temperatures soar during summer but rarely reach intolerable levels; snowfall occurs only on mountains. Amtrak services Emeryville with Amtrak service available throughout Alameda’s cities by BART service.
Contra Costa County
Contra Costa County lies immediately to the east of San Francisco along the Bay Area’s shores and includes numerous affluent suburban communities like Concord, Clayton, Danville, Walnut Creek, Martinez and Antioch – home to around one million residents.
Martinez County was one of California’s 27 original counties when California became a state in 1850, named for “opposite shore,” in Spanish. Mt. Diablo towers over this part of California at 3,849 feet from its summit location.
The county’s population growth trends lag behind those of California as a whole, although they have outpaced the national average during the 1990s and 2000s. This can be seen by their lower share of California population today than they had back in 1969. Furthermore, the chart depicts how its pyramid has changed with time as well as how age, sex, and gender distribution has altered within its population base.
Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County boasts 15 cities as well as numerous census-designated places and unincorporated communities, and boasts one of the highest populations in the Bay Area with approximately 1.92 million people as of 2020.
Silicon Valley, or Santa Clara County, is home to numerous high-technology firms including chipmakers AMD, Nvidia and Intel; computer/consumer electronics titans Apple and Hewlett-Packard; as well as search engine provider Google.
Santa Clara County is also home to Levi’s Stadium, home of the NFL San Francisco 49ers; California’s Great America amusement park; and historic Mission Santa Clara de Asis which is one of California’s oldest Jesuit missions.
San Mateo County
San Mateo County is famous for its scenic coastal areas and redwood forests. Additionally, it hosts major technology companies like Facebook and Oracle; being close to Silicon Valley contributes to its vibrant economy.
San Mateo County boasts an inclusive population, vibrant atmosphere and comfortable climate in an urban-suburban environment, featuring ample open space, clean air and rural opportunities. Bound by the Pacific Ocean on one side and San Francisco and Silicon Valley to its south – it makes San Mateo County an idyllic place to reside.
San Mateo is an ideal location for families, boasting low crime rates and plenty of recreational activities. Attractions of note in San Mateo include San Mateo Central Park, CuriOdyssey and the San Mateo History Museum – not to mention its tranquil views and mild climate; San Mateo is considered one of California’s safest cities.