8.8 out of 10

Manzanita Dr, Orinda

37.8967096743755 -122.202923200897
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Nightlife
  • Pest Free
  • Public Transport
  • Childcare
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish


5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 2/5

"No Sand Here, Just Lots o' Green"

Sandhill is the leafy hill neighborhood just to the north of the Orinda Country Club. It contains much of the country club’s golf course and Wagner Ranch Elementary. Like Sleepy Hollow, the neighborhood had it big growth spurt in the 1950’s, though you will have a hard time catching sight of many of the homes in this neighborhood to verify that they are indeed Ranch Homes because the windy roads are bordered by heavy tree cover.

Though most of the homes were built during the Baby Boom era, many have been refurbished and updated. These are large homes in many cases with wide stretches of land with pools, tennis courts and sometimes even decorative fountains. Along the curves of certain hilltop ways (like Vista Del Mar, for example) sight lanes open up and you can see north past the reservoir to the tapering Contra Costas. The homes along these stretches vary in architectural styles from touches of Tudor architecture to two story Prairie style homes. The latest model luxury cars parked along the immaculately cobbled front driveways and the quaintly arranged front lawns (so beautifully done that you would not allow your pouch to defecate on such a work of artifice without feeling as if a docent were about to jump out from behind a bush to take away Rover in hand cuffs for his temerity). The neighborhood is right out of picture book at times.

Of course, to enjoy such rarified air on a regular basis, you will have to pay the hefty price of admission. Most Sandhill homeowners (virtually no renters here) are among the upper management and owners of Bay Area firms, or high priced corporate attorneys that drive into the city to legal firms with their last names as part of the firms’ titles.

Sandhill families either send their kids to Sleepy Hollow Elementary or Wagner Ranch, both outstanding for their academic achievements, though those at Wagner Ranch sometimes are forced to mingle with the riff-raff from the poorer parts of Orinda—some of which barely break into the six figures (the horror!). Wagner Ranch border the Orinda Sports Field with its baseball courts that are largely puddled through the fall and lightly frosted by morning due through much of the winter. In the spring as things dry up, it is often used for little league practices though I haven’t noticed any actual games in the summer.

It is a wonderfully bucolic area, well worth the high costs for those who can afford them.
  • Beautiful Mansions
  • Great Schools
  • Bucolic Area
  • Expensive
  • A Bit Snooty
  • Hillside Living
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish

Best Streets in Orinda


Monterey Ter

"Orinda with an Alpine Feel"
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Brookwood Rd

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Cam Pablo

"A No Header--It's Great!"
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Unranked Streets in Orinda

Alice Ln

"The Heart of Lamorinda"
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Ardith Dr

"Quiet Suburban Street"
37.8497944534845 -122.149682430856
"Best Area for Orinda Renters"
37.8935616986039 -122.17041930534
"Ranch Homes and Raccoons"
37.889993273003 -122.205525265329

Dalewood Dr

"Great But Beyond Reach for Most"
37.9104134771574 -122.175709871396

Dias Dorados

"Beuatiful Winding Road Hugging the Country Club"
37.9011857212024 -122.188854816475

Katrina Ct

"For the Swim and Tennis Club Set"
37.9120321991323 -122.188466605044

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