Welcome to Hercules
In the context of the region, Hercules has a familiar history. The town was originally founded to support local industry, in this case, a dynamite factory of the same name. As time progressed, the city slowly transitioned to support other industries and commercial endeavors. Eventually, as the national economy shifted, the industry left, and the city once again had to redefine itself. A thriving community, modern Hercules is primarily a bedroom community for San Francisco and Oakland as well as serving as a regional transit hub.
Lay of the Land
Hercule is located along the western edge of Contra Costa County. Unlike cities located in the eastern fringe of the county, Hercules is pushed against San Pablo Bay, making it a clearly recognizable member of the Bay Area. Aside from the waterfront, the city is bounded by Rodeo to the northeast and Pinole to the southwest. Additionally, the area is dotted with several small, unincorporated county locations. With a total population of 24,848 Hercules is an averaged sized city for the county. The estimated median household income is $97,173 while the median home value is $384,104.
Hercules is uniquely positioned and well connected to all sections of the Bay Area and northern California. Interstate 80 connects the city to Vallejo and Sacramento to the north, and Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco in the south. Additionally, State Highway 4 connects Hercules to the central and eastern sections of Contra Costa County while also connecting to Highway 680.
Hercules is also well connected to the surrounding region via public transportation. The Western Contra Costa County Transit Authority operates several bus lines which connect the western section of the county. This includes line which connect to local Bay Area Rapid Transit stations as well as direct service from Hercules to the San Francisco Transbay Terminal. Finally, service is available from Hercules to both the San Francisco International Airport and the Oakland International Airport.
The city of Hercules places a significant emphasis on providing a high level of municipal services. This includes the traditional array of youth and teen recreational programs and athletic activities. However, it also includes year-round child care provided by the city as well as extensive senior services provided at the local senior center. The city also sponsors a full range of community events. This includes enrichment programs like the city beautification day, the city wide garage sale, and sponsored clothing drives. Additionally, the city organizes a full range of seasonal activities and events, including a 4th of July parade and community tree lighting event.
As is the norm for northern California, Hercules features a significant amount of undeveloped open space and land developed for community use. The city houses approximately 950 acres of open space dedicated to undeveloped locations and regional hiking trails. Additionally, the city currently maintains two community parks and a total of five neighborhood parks. The community parks include Refugio Valley Park, which accounts for 66 total acres of parkland and also contains the Community Swim Center in addition to traditional park facilities. While smaller in scale, the local neighborhood parks represent a total of 32 acres of dedicated space, which includes facilities and lightly developed wilderness.
On the commercial side, Hercules has a definite utilitarian slant. The retail locations and eateries within the city are primarily dedicated to functionality and meeting resident needs. However, many of the eateries are located along the local waterfront, which despite their practical nature, makes for an amazing ambiance.
Finally, Hercules is in the midst of breaking ground on a new region of the city simply named the Hercules Waterfront District. The project includes plans for a rejuvenated historic downtown sector as well as over 167 acres of mixed use urban development. The project is primarily focused on providing the city with a modern retail sector while also meeting increased housing needs.