Orinda -- A Delightful Place to Visit
Tucked into an enclave of the rural country hills of Contra Costa County, the small village of Orinda is big on wealth but perfectly small on size. Located just outside such Bay Area metropolitan areas as Oakland, San Francisco and the farther-a-field San Jose, Orinda is a well-defined suburb that wears the crown of a charming country town.
Orinda offers the perfect combination of big-city sophistication cloaked in classic country charm. With an eye towards the arts, Orinda is host to such internationally renowned theater and film festivals as the Orinda Film Festival and the California Shakespeare Theater. On one side it is family-oriented and semi-rural, on the other side of the street it is lavishly entertaining and indulgently inviting. In other words, Orinda has a little bit of everything, making it “A Delightful Place” to visit.
Points of Interest
Orinda’s gastronomical table is set to serve an ecliptic array of tastes and appetites. Regardless of what you are in the mood for, the quaint collection of dinning available on the downtown streets of Orinda have a focus on gourmet and a flavor that favors luxury. At the head of the table is Casa Orinda, a down-to-earth diner that reminisces of a home cooked meal chased by a delectable martini. True insiders head for the off-the-beaten-track Yu Sushi and to La Cocina Mexicana for old style tamales. Other not to miss spots include La Piazza, Europa and Nation’s Giant Hamburgers.
For unique boutique shopping, head to Theater Square, home to the world famous Orinda Theater. Theater Square is a colorful Spanish influenced downtown shopping area. Along these adobe surrounded and fountain refreshed pedestrian alleys is a wide selection of designer and one-of-a-kind shops. For book browsing, try Orinda Books followed by a required coffee at Starbucks. The Orinda Frame Store specializes in whimsical frames and decorative prints while Hediyeh has all of your gifts covered. For name brand retail there is the Orinda Village Square Shopping Center.
Despite its small size and rural setting, Orinda boasts an internationally acclaimed entertainment bill. The California Shakespeare Theater is located in a picturesque, eucalyptus tree shaded open-air theater and puts on numerous performances, both classical and avant-garde. Enjoying a picnic prior to a play is considered by many as one of the Bay Area’s best attractions. The Orinda Film Festival has been building a reputation as an up-and-coming event since it was launched in 2002. The focus of this volunteer-based event is on the artistry of independent filmmakers and hosts such categories as narrative, shorts, documentaries and animations.
Did You Know?
- Orinda is home to some of the Bay Area’s most wealthy residents, with most earning six-figure salaries and living in million-dollar homes.
- The total population of the city is roughly 17,599.
- The city gets its name in honor of Katherine Philips, a poet who went by the nickname Matchless Orinda.
- Orinda’s schools, which include elementary, middle and high schools, are part of California’s highest ranked school district.
- Several members of pop-punk rock band, Green Day call the quiet neighborhoods of Orinda home.
Orinda’s focus is on the arts and its natural, rural setting makes it an ideal location for recreation and relaxation.
A Focus on Recreation
Not to miss is catching a film at the classically neon Orinda Theater. Not only is this classic, Hollywood heyday cinema the home of its namesake film festival, it also shows the latest films on a nightly basis. Orinda is a haven for competitive swimming. Its Orinda Moraga Pool plays host to the annual Championship Meet, where over 2,000 swimmers compete for regional titles. For outdoor recreation and relaxation, the green spaces of Tilden Park, San Pablo Reservoir, Lafayette Reservoir and Briones Open Space all offer ample opportunities for hiking, biking, picnicking and other leisure activities.
Getting There and Around
Orinda is within close proximity to the Bay Area and is served by the city’s international airport. Orinda also sits along the Bay Area Rapid Transportation (BART) system line. Two County Connection buses serve destinations within the city and the Cal Shakes free shuttle connects the BART station to the Shakespeare Festival.
However, in order to ensure you get to where you want to go when you want to get there, you need dependable transportation. Renting a limousine, classic car, sedans, vans, shuttles, coaches or tour buses will give you the flexibility to take control of your Orinda and Bay Area transportation needs. With your own Orinda Limousine or sedan, you can explore Orinda on your own time and according to your terms.
When you are in control of your transportation needs, you do not have to depend on overpriced taxis or late trains, thus allowing you to have an absolutely delightful visit in the delightful city of Orinda.