Walnut Creek is centrally located in Contra Costa County and is the hub for business and entertainment for nearby cities due to its location situated at the junction of highways leading in several directions. Walnut Creek offers easy access to Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. There is also a BART station.
As were most cities in the area, Walnut Creek originated as a Mexican Land Grant. Ygnacio Sibrian was the grandson of the original grant holder and became the namesake for Ygnacio Valley. Eventually, a post office was established and Walnut Creek became an official name and community. The Southern Pacific Railroad arrived, leading to the town being incorporated. The railroad continued to operate and run through Walnut Creek until the late 1970s. Today the path of the railroad is a part of the Iron Horse Regional Trail.
Walnut Creek is well known for its performing arts center – The Margaret Lesher Theatre. Dean Lesher was the publisher of the Contra Costa Times and a generous benefactor of the center. The center opened in 1990 with performances by the late Bob Hope, Vic Damone, and Diahann Carroll with Joel Grey as emcee.
The theater, now known as the Lesher Center for the Arts, continues to entertain with live stage productions, musicals, music acts, opera, and ballet performances.
Walnut Creek is home to unusual museums such as The Lindsay Wildlife Museum whose mission is to rescue and rehabilitate injured animals and birds is always worth a visit. Located in Larkey Park, there are often as many as 100 live animals on display; here you might see an injured eagle or raccoon. The museum offers kids classes & camps, special events, and school field trips. The Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society houses a permanent 100 sq. ft. model train layout. The impressive HO scale train set has more than 4,300 feet of track. The club’s annual show is in November.
In addition to the Iron Horse Trail, Walnut Creek has several more trails, parks, and open spaces. There is also the Boundary Oak Golf Course. If outdoor activity isn’t your kind of recreation Broadway Plaza is home to high-end retailers such as Lucky Brand, J. Crew, Coach, Brighton, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Tesla Motors, White House/Black Market, and more.
Students are served by several districts. The Walnut Creek School District has five elementary schools and one middle school. Some residents of Walnut Creek real estate are served by schools within the Mount Diablo Unified School District, the Acalanes Union High School District, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, and the Lafayette School District.
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