Which Lafayette Neighborhood is Right for You?

Which Lafayette Neighborhood is Right for You?

  • Paddy Kehoe
  • 05/31/21

Lamorinda is an area within Contra Costa County, CA, and comprises three towns: Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda. Lafayette is the most densely populated city of the three and offers residents a lively, close-knit community feel with plenty of things to do and see.This 15.21 square-mile city encompasses several neighborhoods with varied offerings. 

Whether you prefer a peaceful country retreat or wish to be close to the bustling downtown area, Lafayette has the right community for you. 

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Happy Valley

Happy Valley is situated in the northwestern part of Lafayette and is known for its luxury properties atop large acreage plots. This small niche also has its share of smaller homes and charming streets. Located close to Highway 24, slightly over a mile from the BART station, and bordering Orinda, Happy Valley is a popular destination for commuters. Families love the excellent schools and the solitude of this small suburb. 

Custom estate homes of varying architectural styles are peppered throughout Happy Valley and are the key feature of the area. Home architecture styles include craftsman, ranch, traditional, and contemporary, with a suitable home for every resident. This affluent community features homes ranging in price from $1 million to over $10 million. Many estates reside on hilltops with scenic views, while base valley residents enjoy the surrounding lush landscape. Happy Valley is suitable for a quiet suburban lifestyle in proximity to Downtown Lafayette’s urban scene.

The community is home to several prestigious schools.

Happy Valley Elementary School, Public, TK-5, provides the Summer Reading Challenge program for kids to learn and explore multiple ways to have fun reading.
Stanley Middle School, Public, 6-8, features various Lunchtime Clubs, including the Bollywood Club, Ukulele Club, Diversity and Equity Awareness Club, and Pride Club. 
Acalanes High School, Public, 9-12, provides students with several performing and visual arts programs, including Choral Music, Drama, and Digital Design. 
Bentley School, Private, K-12, education involves physical fitness, world languages, emotional health, and college preparation. 

Reliez Valley 

Reliez Valley is situated in northeastern Lafayette and boasts lush, picturesque hills, pastoral vineyards, and a rural feel. Featuring many hillside homes, this quaint community is a reminder to residents of Lafayette’s rich farming history. This area is ideal for families and nature enthusiasts who desire access to outdoor recreational opportunities. Any nature enthusiast and their family would be pleased to call Reliez Valley home. 


Given the stunning landscape of Reliez Valley, its best features are nearby nature areas. There are several opportunities for hiking and nature walks throughout neighboring parks.

Briones Regional Park features 6,255 acres of shaded canyons and grassy hills and is home to various deer, squirrels, red-tailed hawks, and more. The highest point in the park offers scenic views of Mount Diablo, Diablo Valley, the Sacramento River, the East Bay hills, Mt. Tamalpais, and Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park. Bring your family for a lovely picnic, do some birdwatching, or photograph the wildlife and surrounding landscape. Hiking trails are open to nature lovers and their on-leash dogs, with some paths accessible to equestrians. The Briones Archery Club range is available to archers of all ages and is accessible off the Crescent Ridge Trail from the west Bear Creek Road entrance. Picnic sites and BBQ stands are peppered throughout, with two reservable areas located at Oak Grove and Newt Hollow that accommodate 50 to 150 people, respectively.
Dinosaur Hill Park is a perfect spot for a short hike or leisurely reflection of your week’s events. The overlook has stunning views of Contra Costa County and Mt. Diablo. 
Springhill Valley Trail is a short 1.4-mile trail ideal for a relaxing nature walk, hiking, jogging, bird watching, and bringing your canine companion along for the ride. You can even spot some local wildlife if you’re lucky.

Schools are close by and offer students a quality education.

Springhill Elementary School, Public, K-5, offers music and visual arts programming.
Stanley Middle School, Public, 6-8, features various Lunchtime Clubs, including the Bollywood Club, Ukulele Club, Diversity and Equity Awareness Club, and Pride Club. 
Acalanes High School, Public, 9-12, provides students with several performing and visual arts programs, including Choral Music, Drama, and Digital Design. 
Contra Costa Christian Schools, Private, PK-12, Christian, offers various athletic programs and summer camps.

Burton Valley

Burton Valley is a family-friendly community situated in southeastern Lafayette. With plenty of community parks, local swim clubs, and a top-rated elementary school, it’s no wonder why families love Burton Valley. Close to Downtown Lafayette with enough distance to enjoy tranquility, Burton Valley is a welcoming suburb. 

Properties feature lush lawns and oak trees with ranch and traditional style architecture and often display updated Craftsman-style accents. Families are typically barbecuing in the temperate climate, enjoying outdoor recreation and gardening, while kids run around and ride bicycles. A suburb with fantastic activities for folks of all ages, Burton Valley is ideal for raising a family. 

Recreational opportunities are an easy find in Burton Valley.

Las Trampas Pool is a member-owned swim club open to locals and their guests from May through September. Las Trampas Seahorses Swim Team is for youth ages 4-18 and is an excellent opportunity to learn teamwork, personal responsibility, and sportsmanship. Building life skills in a competitive atmosphere has led many team members to lead successful high school and collegiate swimming careers.
Lafayette Rink is a free, multi-sport facility equipped with basketball hoops, hockey dasher boards, and pickleball courts. Year-round sports classes and leagues are held in the rink, and the rink is open to free-form use at all other times. Call the rink if you wish to use the courts for casual skating to ensure it isn’t being rented at the time. 
Lafayette Community Center provides ten rooms of various sizes for special events, classes, programs, lectures, and meetings. The center’s rooms are available for rent and are ideal for your next company meeting or even your children’s birthday parties. 
Lafayette Community Park hosts opportunities for wildlife viewing and recreation. There are several picnic tables available for family outings and a reservable group picnic area for organized gatherings. There’s a tot playground adjoining the picnic area and the two sports fields for baseball and soccer. Enjoy a relaxing hike along the nature trail weaving throughout the park, with views of Las Trampas Creek, wildlife, flora, and towering oak trees.

Schools near Burton Valley offer exceptional educational opportunities to residents.

Burton Valley Elementary School, Public, K-5, provides students with hands-on physical, life, engineering, and earth and space sciences experiments.
Stanley Middle School, Public, 6-8, features various Lunchtime Clubs, including the Bollywood Club, Ukulele Club, and Diversity and Equity Awareness Club. 
Campolindo High School, Public, 9-12, provides a wellness center to students with various resources addressing social issues, self-care, and mental health.

Downtown Lafayette

Downtown Lafayette is the urban center within the suburb that is Lafayette. Brimming with adorable boutiques, eateries, and local attractions, this development offers an exciting locale to the community. The Lafayette Library, BART station, creeks, playgrounds, and bike trails are all in close proximity. 

This urban area features condos, apartments, small cottages, and lavish properties. Many homes were built in the 1940s through the 1960s but have since been modernized with high-end upgrades. There are various single-family homes ideal for raising children alongside swanky condos fit for professionals. Whether you’re a professional who needs close access to the Bay or a family that requires excellent schools and recreation, Downtown Lafayette is perfect for you.

Mt. Diablo Boulevard is where the bulk of the action happens. Head to Starbucks for your morning latte before getting your weekly groceries at Whole Foods Market or Diablo Foods. The next stop is Bevmo for stocking up on libations. Head to La Fiesta Square to get your retail shopping, recreation gear, and weekly errands underway. 

Restaurants are plentiful with options for every palate. Hideout Kitchen is a local favorite serving comforting biscuits and gravy for brunch and savory grilled lamb chops for dinner. Enjoy some seasonal Cali-French dishes in the modern digs of Metro Lafayette, including croque madames and wild fish tacos.  

Recreation is a stone’s throw away in Downtown Lafayette.

Lafayette Reservoir is a local treasure fit for picnicking, biking, reveling in nature with your children and furry friend, and hiking by the lake. Fishing in the lake makes for a tranquil pastime while your kids climb the playground on the east lawn.
Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail is a 7.65-mile park intended for equestrians, hikers, and cyclists. 
The Park Bistro & Bar is an upscale location for adults to enjoy a fine meal and take a load off with a cocktail after a long day. The Revival cocktail should do the trick. It is prepared with local gin, banana liqueur, dry curacao, absinthe, and fresh lemon. 
◾ The downtown area is near Lafayette Rink, Lafayette Community Center, and Lafayette Park for various recreational activities. 

Schools in Lafayette are excellent, Downtown Lafayette included.

Lafayette Elementary School, Public, K-5, offers the LAFSD Music Program and Summer Reading Challenge.
Stanley Middle School, Public, 6-8, features various Lunchtime Clubs, including the Bollywood Club, Ukulele Club, and Pride Club. 
The Contra Costa Jewish Day School, Private, K-8, Jewish, provides drama, music, and art education, STEM programs, Jewish studies, and more.

Contact the Paddy Kehoe Team today to get one step closer to finding your dream home in Lafayette.



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