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Martinez, CA

The city of Martinez is the county seat of Contra Costa County in northern California. Martinez has seen two building booms in its long history as a major shipping and trading port along the southern shore of the Carquinez Strait in California's Bay Area. The first occurred during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s, when the ferry across the strait played a major role in transporting prospectors and Pony Express riders. The second, in 1915, was sparked by the construction of a Shell Oil refinery in the area, which remains a major employer of Martinez residents today.

A great many of the original buildings and homes remain, leaving a physical record of the town's extensive history as one of the Bay Area's busiest ports, while Martinez's location between the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers also provides abundant opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore more than a dozen parks, miles of hiking trails, a marina and three nearby mountains.


Martinez is divided into two sections:


The Shell Oil refinery has been a major employer in the Martinez area for over 100 years. And while its stacks, cooling towers, oil tanks, and large tankers give Martinez the reputation of an oil and industry town, that isn't truly the case.

Shell is only the area's third-largest employer, with government and health care being the top employers.

County government positions make up the largest number of jobs in Martinez, with over 50 percent of city employees working for the regional government.

The medical industry, including the local Kaiser Permanente office and the Veterans Administration Medical Center, employ nearly 2,000 residents.


Downtown Martinez hosts numerous events and festivals along Main Street and throughout the year. Notable activities include:




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