SEARCH: City Spotlight Orinda, California

Orinda, California
by Laurel Anne Hill


Picture a semi-rural community. Narrow roads wind their way around wooded, home-studded hillsides. Oaks and conifers provide habitats for clever raccoons, acrobatic squirrels, and many species of birds—including wild turkeys. Deer munch on gardeners’ favorite plantings while daytime visits from curious fawns remain a thrill. Welcome to Orinda, California, likely named by a nineteenth-century sheriff’s wife after the seventeenth-century English poetess, Katherine Fowler Philips, also known as “The Matchless Orinda.”

Orinda was established as a town in the 1920’s by Edward Ignacio de Laveaga and was incorporated as a city in 1985. Close to nineteen thousand people now live there, many families drawn by the excellent schools. Orinda does not rate high on the diversity scale, yet in 2012, Forbes magazine listed the place—with an area of nearly thirteen square miles—as one of America’s friendliest towns. Specifically noted was the annual Fourth of July Parade with its all-volunteer marching band….continue reading the Spring issue of SEARCH Magazine.

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