With a population of around 25,000, Lafayette is the largest of the three towns that make up the Lamorinda area and it offers a unique combination of quaint “village” lifestyle and sophisticated amenities like world-class restaurants and fantastic shopping. Of course, like all of Lamorinda, Lafayette’s schools are among the highest rated in the state, with excellent choices from kindergarten through high school.
Commuters are always thrilled to learn that Lafayette has its own stop on the rapid transit system that goes into San Francisco and beyond (BART). And for those who crave being close to nature, Lafayette makes it easy: there are recreational areas within minutes of every neighborhood. I especially love meeting a friend or my sister for a morning stroll around the Lafayette Reservoir.
Even if it wasn't my hometown, Orinda would be dear to my heart. It’s beautifully quaint. It’s surrounded by legendary hiking and biking trails. It’s just a few BART stops from San Francisco.
But perhaps my most favorite thing about Orinda is the people. Families who want to raise their children in a peaceful environment with room to roam. Empty nesters who treasure the long-time neighbors. Older folks who love being close to their grandkids.
And while it’s a bit smaller than Lafayette—about 18,500 people—it still has plenty of amenities for modern families including terrific restaurants, a grand movie theater, world-class schools (every Orinda school is a California Distinguished School), and plenty of recreation opportunities.
I’ve lived in Orinda for almost my entire live, and most of my family still lives here, too. I know and love every inch of it and can give you a unique insider’s perspective that can help you pick your perfect home.
If you’re looking for a more pastoral setting with kid-friendly cul de sacs and good neighbors, you might want to consider Moraga. It’s the smallest of the three towns in Lamorinda—16,700 people—and a bit further from the freeway.
Home to Saint Mary’s College, Moraga offers a lovely sense of community through its terrific schools, volunteer opportunities, and swim clubs. Most kids walk to both elementary and middle school, so there’s more of an “old-fashioned” scene of kids and families out and about.
On Sundays, you can get your fresh vegetables at the bustling farmer’s market and in summer, enjoy free live music at the Concert in the Park series at Moraga Commons. A truly special place to raise a family.