Located across the bay from San Francisco, the primarily suburban Contra Costa County has about 1,000,000 people, and Martinez is the county seat. Fossils have shown that a wide variety of now-extinct animals populated this area in prehistoric times.
Later, there was an extensive settlement consisting of several Native American tribes who interacted with the Europeans that arrived with Spanish colonization. This was followed by a period when California was a province of Mexico, and that country in Contra Costa County made 15 land grants.
Mount Diablo is the most notable natural feature of the region at 3,849 feet. However, the county maintains dozens of parks and more than 1,200 miles of hiking trails, so it is a delight for outdoor enthusiasts. Contra Costa County also provides support to those wanting to do business in the area.
In regards to real estate, the county is generally divided into three sections.
Closest to the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays, this is the most diverse area that is becoming quite gentrified.
The public schools in this region are known to be of very high-quality, which draws many families with children. It is a mix of newer developments and older suburbs, with extensive shopping areas.
There are new bedroom communities here and highway improvements to reduce driving distances. Upscale homes can be found in Discovery Bay and Brentwood, while Discovery Bay also has gated communities.