Introduction to Walnut Creek, California
The city of Walnut Creek is located in Contra Costa County, California, in the eastern region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The city is situated 24 miles east of San Francisco and 16 miles east of Oakland. Neighboring communities include Pleasant Hill (to the north), Danville (to the south), and Lafayette (to the west). Highways servicing the city include Interstate I-680, and California State Highways 24 and 242.
Originally called "The Corners" in reference to the convergence of roads leading from its north and west, Walnut Creek was later referred to as "Nuts Creek" before receiving its official name in 1862 when the first U.S. Post Office was established. Incorporated in 1914, the city for many years was known chiefly for its network of creeks and abundance of walnut groves. The city experienced a steady period of growth beginning in the mid-20th century and has in recent years initiated several major quality of life projects, resulting in its gradual transformation from a quiet suburb to a bustling city. Walnut Creek today, while lacking heavy industry, enjoys the status of a vibrant shopping and cultural hub serving the communities east of San Francisco.
Recreation and Culture in Walnut Creek
The Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, opened in 1990, is a 72,000 square-foot venue with three theaters, a classroom, and an art gallery. The facility is built to accommodate a variety of performing arts groups and is home to the California Symphony. Lovers of the visual arts can visit the Bedford Gallery, home to five to six exhibitions annually, in addition to workshops, panel discussions, lectures, and a wide array of public programs. Museums in Walnut Creek include the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, a facility which features stage presentations and opportunities for visitors to interact with live animals; and the Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society Museum, a wonderland for model railroad enthusiasts. Annual events in Walnut Creek include the Walnut Festival, a September event featuring a big parade, carnival, tennis tournament, and foot race; and the Walnut Creek Art and Wine Festival, held every June.