Best City Parks: A refreshingly charitable approach to recreation
Affluent communities mean bigger, greener, more amenable parks and recreation, and Walnut Creek is synonymous with affluence. High-class retail stores like Tiffany have reshaped the suburb's downtown while the booming real-estate market continues to pour property tax money into city coffers. Both property and sales taxes fund Walnut Creek's recreation department to the tune of tens of millions of dollars per year. And courtesy of a bond measure, the city has 2,701 acres of open space, more per capita than anywhere else in California besides Palo Alto. Its set-asides include a 110-acre main park with aquatics and an Olympic synchronized-swimming team, as well as hundreds of programs and classes for all ages. Before you start getting all Marxist on the lucky few, remember that unlike other cities, Walnut Creek does not limit program enrollment to city residents. Everyone drops cash in the Dub-C, so everyone can play ball. Lastly, a brand-new lighted skatepark went in this winter and needs to be broken in. It's free, so all you rain-sogged grommets better get out there.