7.1 out of 10

Tiger Tail Ct, Orinda

37.9016775879604 -122.180096357772
Great for
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Nightlife
  • Pest Free
  • Shopping Options
  • Eating Out
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • LGBT+
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5

"Deer Yes, Tigers No"

Tiger Tail is a tiny neighborhood on the eastern end of Orinda. It is tucked up into the hills over the freeway but far enough back where you can’t really make the highway out. This area feels a lot like Lake Tahoe or Big Bear. The winding roads are filled with pines and when the wind blows you hear it in the tree tops.

This is a highly affluent neighborhood with the average household making well into the six figures. The homes here are a mix of newer and older, with a fair number of condos near the freeway and many flat Ranch and Prairie style homes in the hills. Here and there you also come across some Craftsman style homes in the Maybeck style. These redwood constructs seem as natural to this setting as they would to a ski resort to the east and they are often perched up on hillsides behind a cover of foliage.

Residents familiar with the area know that this is an alternate route to get into Orinda, and that you can follow Esperil down to the country club and Orinda Village—which some of them occasionally do.

Though this is a wonderful place to live there are some fairly obvious drawbacks. First, it is expensive. The mortgage crisis has not really made that much of a dent in the Orinda housing market and it continues to be expensive to buy or rent here (more than $2000 on average to rent). In addition, there are costs people often don’t think of when buying a home in this area. Wood decks require regular maintenance, for example, so that they do not wear out. Many of the homes built after 1980 in the Orinda area also have agreements with the city to maintain their own sewage lines and many have their own tanks which homeowners must pay to have emptied. A fair number of roads are also private and require fees from homeowners to maintain as well.

In addition to these concerns are safety concerns having to do with hillside living. Homeowners must be constantly vigilant of erosion on their properties as run off can weaken decks and flood foundations. You will see evidence on many hillsides where large plastic sheets are weighted down by sandbags to prevent the ground from becoming dangerously saturated.

In the dry season, the concern turns to fire. Reminders of the possible consequences have mostly faded, but those who have been longtime residents remember the Oakland Hills fire in the early 90’s and know the kind of devastation this can cause. Brush clearing is a must and is the responsibility of homeowners—though most residents realize that in the event of a full fledged fire no amount of brush clearing will protect them in this pine tinder box.

One more drawback of the area is that this is not really a sidewalk neighborhood. Though you can go on walks, you have to be careful of speeding cars tearing around curves at all hours of the day and night. Residents simply can’t allow their kids to bike on the streets here. Which also means that most every store run must be done by car adding to both pollution and fuel costs. That said, most homes are large enough and have enough property that kids could easily play outside without feeling overly confined.

Finally, there is also the “problem” of wildlife. Whenever you live in such a woody area, you soon come to realize that you are only really sharing your neighborhood with a number of wild critters who you will hear scampering across your roof, scurrying across your decks and crunching on the stones of your driveway. Squirrels will raid your feeders, field mice will find shelter in your basement, bees will try to hive behind your shingles, birds will try to nest in your eves, and deer will make lunch out of your rose garden if you do not watch out. For most residents these critters however are one of the great draws of the neighborhood.

As I have mentioned in other Orinda reviews, one of the central draws of the area is the schools. Orinda’s public schools are just as strong as private schools. I should also mention however that there are also several private school offerings in the area, including nearby Holden High School, a small private school in the Orinda Village area.

The central non-residential feature of the neighborhood is St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The church is a community hub and includes day trips and summer programs for the kids. I believe they may have a school attached to church as well.

Overall, Tiger Tail is yet another great Orinda neighborhood—especially for those that like the woodsy out-of-the-way feel, despite being in a fairly densely populated area. (The density is actually slightly above the Orinda average though you wouldn’t really notice it from driving through the neighborhood.)
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Great Schools
  • Country Feel
  • Expensive
  • Hillside Problems
  • Car Culture
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • LGBT+
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish

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