Living in Hercules

Questions & Responses:
Next great *affordable* city/town/neighborhood? (9 responses)
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Questions & Advice about Hercules Related Pages

2009 - 2014 Discussions

Just moved to Hercules -need todo's for a 5yr old

April 2013

We recently moved out to hercules and were curious about some if the extra curricular activities out this way. There are generally little to nothing on Hercules. Any experience with camps? Martial arts classes? Recreation programs? Etc thx! Lynn

There are great programs through the Hercules and Pinole Recreation Depts. If you want a very good martial arts school, I recommend Dragon Martial Arts in El Sobrante. My son went there for many years and it is excellent training and the owners really care about their students. The East Bay Silver Dolphins is a fabulous year round swim team at the Hercules Pool. Lakeridge Athletic Club is a great family health club with a fantastic swimming pool. It is in El Sobrante and they have a summer camp for kids. There are a lot of things in the area for kids. Another good resource is the Contra Costa Marketplace magazine that is delivered free to homes in Hercules. If you happen to like yoga, check out Tierra Yoga in Hercules. I love this studio. It's small, intimate and has great teachers. Hercules mom

Looking for Mom group in or near Hercules

July 2010

I'm looking for a mommy's group for me and my 2 1 /2 year old to join. Does anyone have any recommendations? I would like to meet other new moms in the Hercules/Pinole area. Thanks! Isadora

Hi, I live in Pinole and have an 18 month old and belong to a Mom's group that is organized through, we're called the Busy Bees of Contra Costa. Its an active group that mainly plans activities on the weekends, though there are some weekday activities starting. I've already made some good friends. I hope you join! Jessica
This website has a huge listing of all the parent groups in Contra Costa County: Hopefully, they have something for you. joj

2004 - 2008 Discussions

Considering buying in Hercules

Nov 2005

I have read the postings on the Web site about Hercules but most of the information is five years old. We are considering buying in Hercules and wanted to hear from current residents. We are curious about which areas to buy in Hercules for a good school district and how long the commute is to both SF (via public transport) and Walnut Creek (via car) on weekdays and weekends. Can you buy a decent 3 bed/ 2 bath for $600,000? Is the planned ferry to SF something that will become a reality or is it just a dream of the city's? Amanda

Have you ever thought of coming across the bridge over to Benicia? It's rated the 3rd best city to live in California according to the money magazine. It's 15 mins to Walnut Creek and 45 plus minutes on the ferry across the bay. My husband commutes to Oakland and I commute to SFO about 10 times a month. Good school district as well although we send our little ones to a Montessori school in Emeryville that teaches Japanese and Mandarin. Although Benicia is a small town and may lack on culture but it's very safe little sleepy town. Email me if you like more info and also know of a great realtor as well.

2003 & Earlier

Moving to Hercules soon

April 2003

I will be moving to Hercules soon. I would like any feedback about their community center classes/programs, pediatricians or alternative practicioners, events, Westcat transit center, etc. Any tips or input regarding Hercules would be appreciated. Melissa

The community/swim center in Hercules is the best way to learn about city events/activities. Check out the Hercules City website at and then click on 'Recreation' to learn about activities/classes. Regarding quality of classes that the center puts on, I am a bit biased since I teach prenatal/postnatal exercise classes there - but other classes that I've attended have been good quality. The pool is fabulous for children. I plan to take my daughter to the infant/toddler swim hours there this summer. Regarding pediatricians, a few weeks ago the newsletter had pediatrician recommendations in the Pinole/Hercules area, so you might want to take a look at that. I don't think there are many Herculeans on the Berkeley Parents Network, so you may not see many responses to your posting. Feel free to email me directly if you have specific questions.

Thinking about moving to the Promenade complex

Sept 2002

We have seen the previous recommendations but would like more advice. My family is thinking about moving to one of the homes in the new Promenade complex in Hercules but we are very nervous about our decision because you have to make a commitment before the homes are built (the models aren't even complete yet). Any advice about this particular housing complex (Western Pacific) or surrounding area, city plans for this area (ie town-center), school districts associated with this area and general comments about Hercules will be highly appreciated. We have an 8 mth old daughter and we need to make a decision v. soon.

My family lives in the Coventry subdivision of Hercules (homes just below the new Promenade development). I'll can't speak much about buying a home before it is built, but there are some homes in Promenade that are pretty much finished (you will definitely be able to get an idea of the layout of the house). As for the neighborhood and city plans, I am very optimistic. Our neighborhood is filled with young families and lots of children. We moved into our home in July 2002 and we feel there is a very strong committment to Hercules' development, via the construction of the library, waterfront downtown area and the city will soon have a Home Depot store, bringing more revenue to the city. We have yet to examine the elementary schools ourselves but we have heard they are decent (with Hanna Ranch Elementary being the best of the 3), and there is talk that with all the new homes being built, a new elementary school should be coming as well. The wetlands area below Promenade (by Santa Fe Ave.) is environmentally protected from further development.

One thing to consider is the commute. I work in Berkeley and bring my 2 kids to daycare/preschool in Berkeley, so we use the carpool lane - takes about 25 minutes on a normal day. There is the local transit center in Hercules, but my husband, who works in the financial district in SF, drives to the Richmond Parkway transit center, and takes the AC Transit Transbay bus to the city. There are busses that serve Hercules that go to the El Cerrito BART, and while convenient, takes a bit longer.

All in all we are very satisfied with our decision to move to Hercules, and into a brand new home. There is a sense of community there that I have not experienced in a long time, and I am optimistic that the city's plans will succeed. Also, it appears that our home has already appreciated quite a bit since we moved in, which is a good thing!

Good luck! Jennifer

Living in Hercules, commuting to SF

Feb 2002

We are considering moving to Hercules, but don't really know much about day-to-day living there. Any advice/comments about daily commuting to SF, local public and private elementary schools, community, etc.? Thanks.

My husband and I moved to Hercules one year ago. We had been living in San Francisco and were looking for a place to live that is more affordable than the city and has a reasonble commute to the city and also to Marin County (I was working in Marin and my husband in the city).

The commute to Marin ranges from 30 minutes to 65 mintues depending upon the traffic, but if you time it well, 45 minutes is normal. Commuting to the city is a bit more unpredictable. If you're willing to do casual carpool from the Hercules Transit parking lot, then it isn't bad at all. You can count on getting there in about 45 minutes. But, then you have to take Bart back to the El Cerrito station and then a bus to Hercules to get home, since casual carpool coming back isn't as simple (have to wait a long time to find someone coming to Hercules in the city). My husband and I paid for a hotel for a night before moving here just so that we could try the commute in the morning and get a sense for it. It helped us determine if we could stand the commute or not.

There are three elementary schools in Hercules. All are considered to be OK, but of the three, Hanna Ranch Elementary test scores are significantly better. We decided to buy in only in the Hanna Ranch district, so that our child will be able to go there (she is now only 5 months old). The community is quite active in school issues. My husband and I went to a meeting last year about the schools here at the community swim center and were amazed at how many people attended. The gym was packed!

Day to day life in Hercules is pretty slow paced. Very different than what we were used to in the city. Lines aren't very long and parking is always available! We were worried at first that we'd miss the city, but we don't at all. We love it here. People are very friendly everywhere we go. The only thing that we really miss is the restaurants. There are almost no restaurants here (besides fast food), so if we want to go out for a nice meal, we have to drive to another city. But, we've found this is actually a good thing on our budget, since we don't go out nearly as often! All the basics can be found very close by -- hair salons, copy shop, grocery store, post office, dry cleaners, banks, movie theater, etc -- all within 10 minutes.

Finally, the other thing that we like very much about Hercules, is the diversity of people. There is a mix of many different races and cultures. Our neighbors are black, Filipino, white, hispanic, and Indian. We like this very much! anonymous