Travel & Day Trips

Is Walnut Creek a Good Place to Live? A Local Answers

Walnut Creek is a vibrant and dynamic city in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Its natural beauty, thriving arts scene, and excellent amenities make it an attractive destination for people looking to settle down.

But is it a good place to live? Let’s explore.

First, a quick note about me. I lived in Walnut Creek for four years, from 2013 to 2017. I now live one town over in Lafayette, so I’m still in Walnut Creek almost daily.

Location and Connectivity

BART serves Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek is conveniently located, with access to major highways and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) stations.

This means residents can quickly get to other parts of the Bay Area including San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley.

There are actually two BART stations that are effectively in WC. There’s the downtown Walnut Creek station, but also the station in the Contra Costa Transit Center, which sits right on the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill border.

Nature and Outdoor Activities

Walnut Creek is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, from the picturesque Mount Diablo State Park to the tranquil Lafayette Reservoir nearby.

Residents can enjoy hiking, cycling, and picnicking, among other outdoor activities.

I love Walnut Creek’s parks. Heather Farm is one of the best East Bay parks. And WC has lots of open spaces for more intense hikes.

Quality of Life

The city offers a high quality of life with its clean and safe neighborhoods. There is a strong sense of community, with plenty of parks, recreational facilities, and events throughout the year that bring people together.

Yes, there has been more crime downtown lately. But overall, most of Walnut Creek remains a very safe place to live.

Economy and Job Opportunities

Walnut Creek boasts a thriving economy with a diverse mix of businesses. From large corporations in the downtown area to small businesses scattered throughout the city, job opportunities abound for professionals across different fields.

The only challenge lately has been an exodus of stores from downtown Walnut Creek. It’s a problem faced by many small cities. There’s still a lot downtown on Main Street, but it’s challenging for small stores.


The city is served by the Walnut Creek School District and the Acalanes Union High School District, both of which are known for their high-quality education. There are also several private schools and colleges, making Walnut Creek an excellent place for families with children.

Arts and Culture

The city is rich in arts and culture. The Lesher Center for the Arts hosts performances ranging from Broadway musicals to ballet. Art galleries, antique shops, and the historical downtown area also add to the city’s cultural appeal.

Cost of Living

While Walnut Creek offers many advantages, it’s essential to note that the cost of living is higher than the national average, primarily due to housing costs.

However, residents often feel the quality of life, the amenities, and the opportunities in Walnut Creek make it worth the investment. WC is cheaper than pricey Lafayette and Orinda, but more expensive than most of Concord and Martinez.

In conclusion, Walnut Creek offers a high quality of life with its excellent location, robust economy, quality education, and vibrant arts scene.

While the cost of living is higher than average, many residents believe the benefits outweigh the costs, making Walnut Creek a great place to live.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

Leave a Reply

Back to top button