Walnut Creek, California

Arroyo de las Nueces

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What's it like to live in Walnut Creek?

How do younger people enjoy living in Walnut Creek?

I noticed you keep asking if it's safe. It's one of the safest spots I know in the Bay Area. Moved back here this year, and I recently began walking around downtown to get some thinking time and fresh air after a lot of the shops shut down (around 10-11 pm). Never had any issues. All the homeless live under bridges instead of on the streets so you don't see them and aren't harassed by them. I grew up here and it's felt as safe as it did when I was a kid.

As for nightlife, I still go to Oakland or SF for that. Oakland is like 20-30 minutes away, and SF is a bit farther, but BART accessibility is great. There are a handful of bars and a couple of dives both in and away from downtown that I used to visit in my 20s, and I think they still get busy on the weekend if you just want to go out for some drinks in a fun noisy environment.

The brunch game is strong, good parks, a movie theater, cozy downtown with good shopping, and easy access to major freeways and BART. It's all the perks of upper-middle-class Southbay with a bigger downtown and more access to Oakland and SF.

Overall very comfortable and easy living, not super exciting, but unless you're in certain parts of SF or Oakland you're not going to get that anyway.

How do younger people enjoy living in Walnut Creek?

No SF is not the only place for singles haha. I’ve lived in the east bay my whole life and I would say Walnut Creek is a good place for someone your age to date around. Keep in mind that the cities in the east bay are very close to each other. So it wouldn’t be hard to, for example, meet and date someone in SF or Oakland etc, while you live in Walnut but creek.

You may actually like Oakland more that Walnut Creek. But it has more crime.

I’ve seen a lot of discussion here that it is a suburb but it’s not a traditional family only suburb kind of place — if that makes sense. And especially if you live near downtown.

Actual suburbs I wouldn’t recommend for dating like would be San Ramon, dublin pleasant hill.

Moving to Walnut Creek

Congrats on your Bay Area move! I relocated here four years ago and chose Walnut Creek as well. I also work in the city. I’ve since moved to Berkeley, but I enjoyed my time in WC. Here’s a quick pros and cons list of living in Walnut Creek and working in SF.


WC is relatively clean, quiet and safe.

The schools are decent.

A lot of good shopping, ok food options.

Mount Diablo is insanely scenic.

Very mild winters.


The commute. If you drive, crossing bay bridge alone can sometimes take 45+ minutes. You also have to pay 7 bucks every day. A lot of people choose BART (myself included), but that has its own set of downsides. The trains will often have delays. And you likely won’t get a seat, so you’ll need to stand for about an hour. Net-net BART is the easier option, IMO.

Weather: I don’t mind warm weather, but WC gets hot. Like really hot. The last summer I lived in WC, there was a heat wave where temps went north of 110 degrees.

Oh, and Avalon apartments are decent.

Hope this helps!

Should I move to Walnut Creek?

26m living in Danville. Lived here my whole life minus some years up in Oregon (my grandparents are in Rossmoor too). I go to grad school for urban planning in SF and have most of my friends in the city. I do have a few remaining in Walnut Creek who live in the apts in WC. I think my perspective can be of some assistance as a fellow young person who has a solid understanding the area.

Of the suburb cities in greater Diablo Valley Walnut Creek is by far the most urban. There's a walkable downtown with a good bar mix. The shops are definitely bougie the closer you get downtown. I personally feel the sensation that I'm walking through a city form of a mall. But, you can still get wasted at relatively affordable bars and shop at target on Ygnacio. There's some good cougars too who just got divorced, which is nice. There's also good people out here, which is better.

You're close to Bart and can zip into Oakland/Berkeley/SF fairly easily. There's also a free bus shuttle into downtown WC from Bart you can take advantage of.

Housing is relatively diverse for the area, with a mix of affordable - luxury units. Depending on price range you can find a spot easily. Some extremely affordable units opened up near the WC library that is close to downtown. They are also adding mixed use upzoned towers constantly (complexes with like a burger joint or a hair salon at the bottom), particularly close to Bart, which is an extremely dope thing to see as a a planner. Like others have posted, you can get a spot on the Pleasant Hill/WC border affordably if needed, tho not necessary.

If you're active, WC runs directly adjacent to Mount Diablo. You can access trails (if you know where you are going) directly from downtown. You're also close to Briones, which is a cool spot.

For your purposes, of the potential town/suburb cities, it's the closest to Rossmoor, while also being relatively young people friendly.

I'm presuming you might also be looking Lafayette. It is closer to Rossmoor, but much less young people friendly, tho it is starting a change gradually. Not as much housing options, while also being extremely family oriented. Prices are inflated, tho it does have BART access, which is nice.

I wouldn't look at Alamo or Danville. It's bougie af out here and also not that cool for a young person. San Ramon is basically shitty WC. They're building a weird af downtown from nothing, which is extremely whack.

WC is your best bet if staying in greater Diablo is a priority for you. Oakland/Berkeley/SF are much cooler to be for a young person, but also cost restrictive. Being near BART, tho an imperfect transit system, makes it much easier to get into the downtowns where you'll be able to have more fun. WC baby!

The Pros and Cons of Living in Walnut Creek!