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County: Contra Costa Population: 63,486 Weather: Walnut Creek Weather City Website: Walnut Creek Website

Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek is an incorporated city located 16 miles east of the city of Oakland. It lies in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. While not as large as neighboring Concord, Walnut Creek serves as the business and entertainment hub for the neighboring cities within central Contra Costa County, due in part to its location at the junction of the highways from Sacramento and San Jose (I-680) and San Francisco/Oakland (SR-24).

The area is characterized by a cool Mediterranean climate with cool, moist winters and warm to hot dry summers. Average annual rainfall approximates 20 inches , with slight variations occurring in microclimates based on elevation and topography. Winter daytime temperatures average in the mid 50s with little daily variation, while summer daytime temperatures average in the high 80s. 100 degree weather occurs numerous times during summer heatwaves, while occasional light frosts may occur during clear, calm winter nights. The climate allows for the successful cultivation of many plants and crops, being warm enough for citrus yet cold enough for apples. The Ruth Bancroft Garden is a renowned botanical garden that showcases the diversity of plants that can be successfully grown.

Walnut Creek owns more open space per capita than any other community in the state of California. In 1974, Walnut Creek voters approved a $6.7 million bond measure that allowed the city to purchase 1,800 acres of undeveloped hillsides, ridge lines, and park sites. Walnut Creek owns parts of Lime Ridge Open Space, Shell Ridge Open Space, Acalanes Ridge Open Space, and Sugarloaf Open Space. There is open space in the retirement community, Rossmoor.

Walnut Creek residents attend schools in 5 public school districts. The Walnut Creek School District (K-8) has 5 elementary schools and one middle school in the city. Some residents are served by schools from the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (K-12), the Acalanes Union High School District (9-12), the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (K-12), and the Lafayette School District (K-8).

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