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If you are looking to live in the Bay Area in a city that has the feel of small town then Brentwood is the place for you. Located in Contra Costa County along the San Joaquin delta, it is agriculturally rich, producing cherries, apricots, plums, peaches and corn. It has a beautiful landscape with fruit orchards, rolling hills and lots of big trees. Brentwood has always been a farming community. It was established in 1878 by John Marsh who was one of the richest men in California. He aimed to use the land to grow produce. He encouraged migrants to settle on his ranch – they would provide much needed labor. Eventually it was incorporated into a city.

The population of this small city is quite small – there are just over 50,000 people living there. Because the community has changed from an agricultural one to a modern residential one it is what is referred to as a bedroom community – most people who live there work in neighboring cities. The community is largely made up of families, which makes it a very good place to raise kids. The population is ethnically diverse and people are friendly – you can expect to be chatting with your neighbors quite a bit.

Living in Brentwood

Brentwood is one of the most liveable places in the Bay Area. It enjoys great California weather – hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The cost of living is only 1% higher than that of California, it has low crime rates, it has a median income that is 44% higher that the state average and median home values are lower too. The average cost of a home in Brentwood is about $390,000. This is a great place to move to if you are looking to reduce your cost of living. The community is quite welcoming and the population has been growing steadily because there is a steady stream of new residents.

There are 7 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and you have a selection of 4 high schools all which perform above the state average. Unfortunately there is no university campus in this city – you have to travel to surrounding bigger ones for that. You can, however, attend Los Medanos Community College. According to Wikipidea, “Los Medanos College began operating a satellite facility (Brentwood Center) at Sand Creek Road and Brentwood Boulevard in the city. The existing Center has outgrown its limited space in a former grocery store, where it has no room for expansion. The Brentwood Center has acquired property in the southwest part of the city, where it plans to build a new 18 acres (7.3 ha) campus. Construction is expected to begin in 2018 and classes are expected to begin in the spring of 2020” The city has a public library. Again, from Wikipidea, “The Brentwood branch of the Contra Costa County Library is located at 104 Oak Street, across from the Civic Center and City Park. This building site served as a temporary facility, pending construction of a new library. The Brentwood City Council approved the design for the new facility in September, 2016. The current library will be closed for two weeks, while its contents are moved to the new Community Center, adjacent to the new City Hall. Then the 104 Oak Street building and two other city-owned buildings at 118 and 120 Oak Street, are demolished. The three structures will be replaced by a 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) building for the new library. The $12.2 million project is being funded by the remaining bond money that was originally raised to build the new City Hall, Community Center and parking garage. Bids will be let in January 2017, and the project is expected to be completed in 18 months.”

Health buffs will love it in Brentwood, where there are vendors on many streets selling fresh fruit and produce that comes straight from surrounding farms. Here is what one resident had to say on “Another great feature is the abundance of FRESH fruit & produce you can find at roadside stands fronting the fields where the food is actually grown. Brentwood white corn is very well known and simply delicious!” There are several companies in the area that deliver fresh produce at home for the busy professional.

Things to do in Brentwood

This city has 1,000 miles of delta waterways and man golf clubs so there is plenty to do outdoors. You can go fishing, hire a boat and go out in the water, enjoy a round of golf with your neighbors and guess what, since the Sierras are just 1.5 miles away you can even go out to the ski slopes. If you love to shop Brentwood will be perfect for you – as quoted in, “The increase in population and average household income in Brentwood have made it one of the top ten growing retail markets in California in 2007. There’s a whole range of shopping available in the area, and lots more in the pipeline.”

If you have never worked in a farm before Brentwood offers you the perfect chance – in the spring more than 30 farms open their gates for volunteers to pick fruit such as cherries, strawberries and peaches. There are all several festivals throughout the year staged to celebrate art, wine, music and so on. There is also a Hometown Halloween as well as a Holiday Parade.

Rock’in Jump is Brentwood’s trampoline park and there is lots of fun to be had there. They have a huge open trampoline jump area, trampoline dodge-ball, slam dunk basketball courts, a climbing wall, a huge stunt airbag and the well loved X-Beam jousting arena. The Harvest Park Bowl is also open from nine in the morning until late in the night and families can while their time away there.

As you can imagine, the food in Brentwood is awesome, and there are all kinds of restaurants that serve both local and international cuisine. Better yet, you can take a city sponsored tour. Here is what says about it: “There is also the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored “A Taste of Brentwood” restaurant tour where you can sample participating restaurants in the area. This sells out easily, so make sure you check with the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, mark your calendar to catch the next one!”

In a nutshell, Brentwood is definitely one of the better cities in the Bay Area. Here is one review from that paints a picture for you.

“I love living in Brentwood. Our city planners and workers have done an excellent job in creating a beautiful city filled with trees, parks, well- planned communities, preserved farmlands, and shopping hubs. No matter where you drive in Brentwood, you will find beauty. What little blight we have, our city is working to remove it. Our police department has kept the crime lower than the other cities in the Bay Area. Most of all, the people are friendly. I’ve travel to many places in the world and I am always so happy to return to beautiful and serene Brentwood.”