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Contra Costa County

Contra Costa County is one of the nine counties that make up the larger San Francisco Bay Area. It is situated in northern East Bay, with Martinez as its county seat. Unlike the more urban parts of the Bay Area, Contra Costa County is a suburban area with plenty of largely residential neighborhoods. Its most prominent geographical feature is Mount Diablo, which towers over the whole county. According to the latest population estimates, Contra Costa County is home to approximately 1,135,100 residents.

Covering a total area of roughly 804 square miles, Contra Costa County’s sprawling expanse is home to 19 cities, 30 census-designated places, and a couple of unincorporated communities. Contra Costa County is also home to several recreational sites, state parks, national protected areas, and regional preserves.

Communities within Contra Costa County include

  • Martinez (county seat)
  • Danville
  • Moraga
  • Lafayette
  • Orinda
  • San Ramon
  • Brentwood
  • El Cerrito
  • Walnut Creek
  • Blackhawk


Contra Costa County’s list of historical settlers include groups of Native Americans (during the pre-colonial period) and waves of Spanish and other European explorers. Although there were no missions that happened in Contra Costa County during the Spanish colonial period, Spanish influence is widely felt in the area, starting with the name itself, which means “opposite coast.”

In the 19th century, areas of Contra Costa County were given as land grants, with several ranchos established in the region. Exclusive land ownership ended, however, when John Marsh of Rancho Los Meganos started to encourage Americans from the East Coast to come to California. It is because of this that his ranch became the finishing point of the California trail.

Notable events in Contra Costa County include the Bear Flag Revolt in 1846, the Mexican-American War. In 1850, California became a state and Contra Costa County was one of its first 27 counties.

Real estate and property types in Contra Costa County

Contra Costa County is one of the top choices in the San Francisco Bay Area for suburban and upscale living. Real estate offerings include single-family residences, townhomes, condo developments, multi-family residences, and luxury properties. Here and there, the urban landscape gives way to vacant land, acreage, as well as ranch and farm properties.

The best way to get a better idea of the home offerings in Contra Costa County is to explore its communities. For example, Brentwood is a bicycle-friendly community that features acreage and single-family homes. The city of San Ramon is home to beautiful custom homes as well as the planned community Windemere. Meanwhile, the census-designated place that is Blackhawk boasts well-appointed homes – some of the finest luxury homes in the Bay Area –among other real estate options.

Living in Contra Costa County

  • Extensive networks of beautiful trails and parkland – Contra Costa County’s landscape is littered with wide swaths of trails and parkland, from the 32-mile Iron Horse Trail to the rolling terrain of Wildcat Canyon and Las Trampas Regional Parks. Contra Costa County’s crowning jewel, however, is the domineering Mount Diablo, which can be seen from just about anywhere in the county. The John Muir National Historic Site is also located in Contra Costa County.
  • Convenient location – Plenty of residents in Contra Costa County work or study in San Francisco and in other areas in the East Bay. To make the commute easier, there are several Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stations located in the county. Not that you’ll need to go far for jobs – Contra Costa County offers plenty of career opportunities for those who aren’t keen to work outside the county.

Find your home in Contra Costa County

Contra Costa County offers a wealth of opportunities. To learn more about Bay Area real estate, browse our website. You can also get in touch with The Knapp Team at 925-389-8920 or


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