One of the original 27 counties of the state of California, Contra Costa County was incorporated in 1850. Located in the San Francisco Bay area, its county seat is the city of Martinez; its population was approximately 1,049,025 as of the 2010 census. The phrase “Contra Costa” is Spanish for “opposite coast.”
Although Contra Costa is primarily suburban, if offers a wide variety of interesting attractions. Briones Regional Park, for example, is a wilderness area surrounded by the towns of central Contra Costa. From its highest peak, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Mount Diablo, the Diablo Valley, the Sacramento River and Delta and the East Bay hills.
The Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site was the home of America’s only Nobel Prize winning playwright. The author chose to live in Northern California at the climax of his writing career, isolated from the world. Here O’Neill wrote his most memorable plays; The Iceman Cometh, Long Day’s Journey into Night, and A Moon for the Misbegotten.
Water World offers kids of all ages the ultimate H20 action with more slides and attractions than any other water park in northern California, including the Big Kahuna, the area’s largest tube slide.
Getting around in Contra Costa is easy with public transportation options. The ACE Train, otherwise known as the Altamont Commuter Express Train, offers free parking at each ACE station and an extensive network of shuttles bound for destinations throughout the Tri-Valley and Bay Areas.
The AC Transit Bus System serves the East Bay and offers bus service into San Francisco. Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, connects the San Francisco Peninsula with cities in the East Bay.
The median income for a household in Contra Costa County is $63,675, and the median age is 36. Politically, Contra Costa County has become a Democratic stronghold. The last Republican presidential candidate to win a majority here was Ronald Reagan, in 1984.