Its semi-rural atmosphere makes it a special place for residents who prefer quiet residential living.

Welcome to Orinda

Small-town living just minutes from the city


With a population of just under 20,000, Orinda was once named a “Friendliest Town in America” by Forbes, and as longtime Orinda residents, we wholeheartedly agree. This Bay Area town has a village-like quality and tight-knit community. Orinda is best known for its excellent public schools, leafy green setting, rolling hills, and inviting neighborhoods. Initially settled in the 1920s as a summer vacation destination for fog-weary San Franciscans, Orinda offers a quick but welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco and Oakland — with warmer weather and easy access to the city via BART or a short drive. 


While many people move here primarily for the schools, they quickly discover that there is much more to love about living here. 


What to Love

  • Welcoming community
  • Highly-rated schools
  • Country and swim clubs
  • Mom-and-pop shops and restaurants


Local Lifestyle

Orinda is considered a “semi-rural” town with quiet neighborhoods, lots of protected open space, miles and miles of hiking trails, and many parks and pools to enjoy. For instance, swim teams and clubs are a popular summer pastime for younger kids, many of whom go on to compete in high school swimming and water polo. 


Each of the four local elementary schools is near a neighborhood swim club — a perfect way for kids and parents to hang out and form friendships in the neighborhood. Swim institutions include:


  • Orinda Country Club - Long-established golf and country club offering swimming, tennis, golf, and a small gym 
  • Meadow Swim & Tennis Club - Near Glorietta Elementary; offers swimming, tennis, and a playground
  • Moraga Valley Swim & Tennis Club (MVP) - Newly rebuilt! Near Del Rey Elementary; offers swimming, tennis, a sports court, a large lawn, and summer camps
  • Miramonte Swim Club - Located at Miramonte High School; offers swimming only
  • Orinda Park Pool (OPP) - Located in the El Toyonal neighborhood near Wagner Ranch Elementary; offers swimming, barbeque areas, a playground, and a grassy lawn
  • Sleepy Hollow Swim and Tennis - Located near Sleepy Hollow Elementary; offers swimming and tennis.
  • Oak Springs Pool - Summer pool for recreational swimming (no swim team)
  • Moraga Country Club - Full-amenity country club offering golf, tennis, swimming, pickleball, a restaurant, and a new gym; opening in 2023 and located on the Moraga/Orinda border


Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Orinda’s downtown has retained its charm and conveniences, beloved by locals for many years. The Theatre District, south of BART and Highway 24, is home to the historic Orinda Theater and a handful of delicious restaurants and conveniences. Catch a game and grab a beer at The Fourth Bore or take the family to Casa Orinda for famous fried chicken in a kitschy western setting — followed by a scoop at Loard’s Ice Cream or a slice of pie at Nation’s. From ShareTea to your local hardware store, dry cleaner, and bank, it’s all right here.


Things to Do

Like its residents, Orinda is well-rounded, with many outdoor activities, regular events, and platforms for the arts. There is much green space in and around Orinda, so nature is at your fingertips. Nearby parks include:


The Orinda community also supports local events, performances, and displays by attending or volunteering. Orinda is home to festivals, markets, and events such as:



On the Village side of town, north of Highway 24 and BART, is Orinda Community Center, which offers fantastic all-ages programming. The OCC provides kindergym, adult dance classes, excellent summer camps, and sports leagues for kids — all run by Orinda’s Parks & Rec Department. Next door, the Community Park consists of playgrounds and tennis courts and is home to a weekly food truck line-up, outdoor concerts, and movie nights in the summer. 



Almost all families who move to Orinda come for our acclaimed public schools. The acclaimed Orinda Union School District comprises four elementary schools, an intermediate school, and a high school. Students may attend:


With heavy parent involvement and millions of dollars in annual donations via ONE Orinda, our schools are known for small class sizes, academic excellence, and rich programming.

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