El Cerrito is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, and forms part of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has a population of 23,549 according to the 2010 census. El Cerrito was founded by refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It was incorporated in 1917 as a village with 1500 residents. As of the census in 2000, there were 23,171 people, 10,208 households and 5971 families in the city. The top 20 employers in the city, according to the 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, include such entities as the West Contra Costa Unified School District, City of El Cerrito, Lucky Stores, Pastime ACE Hardware, and Honda of El Cerrito.
San Pablo Avenue stretches the length of El Cerrito and is the primary commercial and retail corridor of the city. El Cerrito is home to El Cerrito Plaza, a large automobile-oriented shopping center originally built as a regional mall in the 1950s, and the Cerrito Theater, a restored two-screen movie theater known for offering beer, wine, and a full dining menu. The shopping center is surrounded by other commercial and retail businesses along San Pablo Avenue and Fairmount Avenue, including Elevation 66 Brewing Company, fast food and an ACE Hardware store.
El Cerrito city parks include both recreation/sports parks as well as undeveloped nature areas. Most notable are the 80-acre (320,000 m2) Hillside Natural Area open space, Huber Park (Terrace Drive), Cerrito Vista Park (Moeser Lane and Pomona Avenue), and Arlington Park (Arlington Boulevard), Tassajara Park (Tassajara Avenue and Barrett Avenue), Poinsett Park (Poinsett Avenue), and the Canyon Trail Park and Art Center (Gatto Avenue). The City is home to a 2.6-mile (4.2 km) segment of theOhlone Greenway (named after the Native American Ohlone people), a trail that runs the length of the City along the BART right-of-way and is popular with walkers, runners, and bicyclists.
The city is home to Playland-Not-At-The-Beach, a popular amusement park museum.