Which Orinda Neighborhood Is Right for You?

  • Paddy Kehoe
  • 09/7/21
Orinda is a beautiful community with stunning hill views, lots of parks, and playgrounds. This charming enclave is an ideal journey’s end for families and Bay Area commuters. Orinda comprises several smaller neighborhoods, each with its appeal; these neighborhoods include Alice, Claremont, Northwood, Orinda Country Club, and Orindawoods. Discover the distinct offerings of each area below.
 
 

Alice / Ivy Drive

Credit: Orinda Park and Recreation Foundation
 
Alice is a quaint enclave in Orinda that covers less than one square mile of land. This is an affluent, suburban neighborhood with tranquil nature areas bordering. With most attractions being just outside of Alice, the community is almost exclusively residential.
 
Just north of Alice lies the Lafayette Reservoir. This nature area is open daily for hiking, jogging, fishing, boating, and picnicking. The east lawn offers a children’s playground, several picnic tables, and BBQ grills at your disposal. In addition, there is a reserved area available for rent for your next company meeting, kid’s birthday party, or private event. You can rent rowboats and pedal boats to set sail on the reservoir. There are two main hiking trails to explore, with an additional 928 acres of open space for wildlife viewing and photography, roaming, and taking in stunning vistas.
 
Enter the 11-acre Orinda Oaks Park at the southeast corner of Alice. Here you can enjoy picnics, play some volleyball, horseshoes, pétanque, or simply unwind. Orinda Oaks Park is also a trailhead to the connecting 110-acre Orinda Oaks Open Space Preserve. The preserve is brimming with trails that feature stunning views, complete with a 360-degree panoramic view of Mt. Diablo and the surrounding neighborhoods.
 
If you enjoy a peaceful environment to enjoy your home, with outdoor recreational opportunities in proximity, Alice is an ideal destination for you.

Claremont / El Toyonal

Residential and tranquil, Claremont is an adorable third of a mile community. Considering how small Claremont is, knowing your neighbors is a sure thing. Though this pocket is relatively minor in size, there are a couple of recreational ventures within reach, as well as restaurants to enjoy just outside the neighborhood boundary.
 
The Orinda Sports Field is a natural turf field featuring two baseball diamonds and a large soccer field in between. Host your next little league baseball game or company soccer game here. Just outside the community lies the Orinda Park Pool. Daily hours are from 10 am to 8 pm, with adult swim every weekday morning from 6 to 8. Sleep in before hitting that adult swim at nine on weekends, and sign your kids up for summer camp, where they will learn and grow through various fun activities.
 
Orinda Way is home to a host of restaurants and services. Baan Thai Restaurant is great for grabbing some takeout on the way home from work, while your kids will adore movie night, complete with a pie from Zamboni's Pizza. If you’ve had a rough week and cooking dinner is the last thing on your priority list, stop by Genuine Goodness to pick up pre-ordered Take-and-Bakes, soups, salad platters, and Sweets-of-the-Week. For a much-needed night off, call up the babysitter and meet your significant other for a delicious sushi date at Niwa Restaurant.
 
For a cozy homefront with various amenities within reach, Claremont is your best bet.

Northwood

With the Lafayette Reservoir to the east and a range of shops and services to the west, Northwood has everything necessary for a comfortable and quiet life, complete with fundamentals.
 
Just east of Northwood lies the Lafayette Reservoir, an expansive nature area open daily for hiking, jogging, fishing, boating, and picnicking. There is a children’s playground and picnic areas with grills. Spend your Sunday picnicking and grilling burgers with family, or rent one of the reservable areas for your next family cookout. Rowboats and pedal boats can be rented daily to set sail on the reservoir. There are two main hiking trails to explore with an additional 928 acres of lush, open space for wildlife viewing, photography, hiking, and relishing the stunning scenery.
 
Head to Moraga Way to handle errands and get a bite to eat. Pick up a latte at Peet's Coffee to open those sleepy eyes before meeting friends at Shelby's for lunch. Get a fresh set of acrylics at Smiley Nail Spa - you deserve it. Afterward, stop by Sharetea for a boba pick-me-up. Stop by Saffron Indian Restaurant & Bar for a delicious Indian meal of lamb korma and vegetable samosas. Alternatively, head to Fourth Bore Tap Room and Grill for a Philly cheesesteak and Steel Beach lager.
 
Serene and reflective, or busy and sociable -- you decide in Northwood.

Orinda Country Club

Credit: Top 100 Golf Courses
 
Established in 1924, Orinda Country Club is East Bay’s premier private family country club. Through various social activities, Orinda Country Club residents never feel alone or experience a dull moment. OCC dedicates many efforts to create a tight-knit community. Expansive, high-end homes are the norm here. If you revel in a secluded, lavish lifestyle where everything you could possibly need is in your backyard, look no further than Orinda Country Club.
 
OCC offers amenities galore. The pool is enjoyed year-round by members of all ages. The professional staff provides youth programs for children ages 3-18 and adult programs, cultivating life-long growth and camaraderie. In addition to everyday free swim, the pool is used for family gatherings and regular club functions. OCC provides five tennis courts lit for night play, with scenic views of Lake Cascade. The Tennis Committee keeps a full family-friendly calendar of tournaments and events throughout the season. Just next to the tennis courts lies the fitness center.
 
Active folks are thrilled with the fitness center’s 15 pieces of cardio equipment, 11 weight machines, dumbbells, and stretching area. There are locker rooms, showers, sports drinks, and energy bars to cool off and fuel up after your sweat sessions. Head to the Fitness Studio to participate in a broad range of fitness classes. If you prefer a quieter activity that still involves swinging at balls in the great outdoors, head to the golf course. The golf course architecture remains a classic Watson design, featuring wide and rolling fairways, relatively small greens, and beautiful bunkering - all nestled amidst mature oaks and sycamores.
 
In addition to all the fabulous luxury amenities, the club offers the historic Spanish Mediterranean-style Clubhouse, terrace, and nature preserve for life’s special occasions, both large and small. The Clubhouse boasts hand-carved beam ceilings and ornate mahogany balconies, a perfect place for an intimate wedding reception or a golden 50th wedding anniversary. The terrace offers sweeping San Pablo Valley and Orinda Hills views. Let the OCC executive chef prepare an exquisite custom menu with wine pairings for your next exclusive event. With the help of the chef, catering team, and club staff, your private soiree will undoubtedly elicit memories that last a lifetime.

Orindawoods

Orindawoods is central to the best features of Orinda. The area is a mere 0.7 miles in size, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in affluent residents. According to City-data.com, a significant amount of households had a median household income of over $200,000 in 2019. Eateries, services, recreation, and more - Orindawoods provides various amenities fit for a fulfilling life.
 
Orindawoods comprises 258 residential properties and provides residents with the Orindawoods Tennis Club. Though the club is private, it is open to Associate Members, granting them access to the excellent tennis facility. Keep it local, free, and outdoors with a trip to the Orinda Community Park, featuring a large open grass area, two playgrounds, picnic tables, three lighted tennis courts, and one practice court. The community park also features a small pavilion that accommodates up to 30 people, with four picnic tables and two small camp-style charcoal grills. So dress the kids, grab some hotdogs and buns, and head to the park for a fun-filled day of romping the playground and grilling.
 
The year-round Orinda Farmers' Market is hosted on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm in front of Rite Aid and the Community Park. Countless vendors sell their local, seasonal produce, cheese, baked goods, nuts, meat, prepared foods, and artisanal products. Once you’ve had a full day between the park and farmers’ market, grab some Chinese takeout from Yu Bistro.
 
So grab a cappuccino at Cafe Teatro, stock up on farmers’ market goodies, get some sushi at Niwa Restaurant with friends, and revel in the beauty that is Orindawoods.

Sleepy Hollow

Located just south of the Briones Reservoir, you’ll find the quaint and beautiful neighborhood of Sleepy Hollow. This is one of Orinda’s most coveted areas for young families looking to raise their children somewhere peaceful with a great sense of community.
 
Sleepy Hollow is a quiet residential neighborhood, so you won’t find any streets clogged with shops or restaurants. Instead, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the wide tree-lined streets, leafy green spaces, and calm atmosphere! Homes are typically located on large lots, so your kids will have a nice backyard to enjoy.
 
Spend time at the Sleepy Hollow Swim & Tennis Club, a family-based club where members can enjoy the fantastic amenities, including a recreational pool and an eight-lane competition pool as well as eleven tennis courts. The Club hosts fun social events like the Annual Summer Soiree dinner party, Tennis Mixers that are great for the whole family, and a Last Day of School celebration. Members can make new friends on Social Thursdays, relaxing and grilling by the pool while the kids splash in the water.
 
Students attend Sleepy Hollow Elementary School, which is one of four elementary schools within Orinda Union School District. The K-5 school is small and close-knit, with less than 400 students, ensuring that your child will get plenty of attention from his or her teacher. Parents can get involved in the community by joining the Sleepy Hollow Parents’ Club, which holds regular meetings.

Wilder

Wilder is a luxury community 20+ years in the making of 245 exceptional single-family homes nestled among 1,500 acres of verdant rolling hills of Orinda. Just minutes from downtown San Francisco, this discrete community offers a peaceful retreat yet close enough to public transportation and Bay Area attractions.
 
Imagine driving home on a private road past professionally maintained soccer fields, to clusters of carefully designed residences surrounded by miles of pristine wilderness. Take a dip in the heated outdoor infinity pool before gathering with friends at the inviting Spanish Colonial Revival clubhouse. Get your daily workout in at the newly renovated gym. All this, without ever losing sight of some of the East Bay’s most spectacular views and hiking trails.
 
If one of these Orinda communities has appealed to you, you’ll surely want to dive into the world of Orinda real estate. Let the Paddy Kehoe Team aid in your search to find the perfect Orinda homes for sale. With the help of Paddy’s 20 years of experience and his professional team, you’ll indeed be guided through an unrivaled real estate negotiation.
 
 
 

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