Moraga, previously Rancho Laguna de Los Palos, Colorados, was once a Mexican land grant to Joaquin Moraga and his cousin Juan Bernal. Located in Contra Costa County, this cozy town has a population of 16,600. Joaquin Moraga’s home still stands today, on a small hill overlooking Miramonte High School. It is still a private home and is designated a California Historical Landmark.
In the early 20th century, the Rancho became known as The Moraga Company, farming pear orchards and fields of walnut trees. As a company town, it was almost complete with ranch buildings and offices. Eventually, the pear and walnut orchards gave way to lush vineyards, and the area became known for its wine production. Today, that tradition is supported by the Lamorinda Winegrowers’ Association; its members are growing over 21,000 vines.
During the warm summer months, Moraga Commons Park is the place to be. Offering picnic areas, tot lots, swings, water play, sand volleyball, horseshoes, bocce ball, half-court basketball and don’t forget the nearby Lamorinda Skatepark. The Bandshell, opening to a large hillside for lawn seating encourages picnicking during the free concerts every summer. Set amidst the rolling hills at the outskirts of town, Rancho Laguna Park has tot lots, picnic areas, a par course, and an amphitheater.
Nestled among spectacular ridgelines, find the six-mile Rocky Ridge for a moderate hike, the King Canyon Loop begins the web of trails supported by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (also known as East Bay MUD). Don’t forget your trail use permit here! The Moraga Country Club golf course has panoramic views of the countryside. Golf Review magazine says “beautiful fairways, greens, and scenery”.
Students in Moraga attend schools in the Moraga School District or the Acalanes Union High School District. There are six preschools, 3 elementary, 1 intermediate, and 2 high schools. Additionally, there are 3 independent schools including St. Mary’s College.
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