Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Concord, CA

  • Published 2023/01/11

Have you ever wondered what to do in Concord, California?

Here’s a taste of what’s to come: shopping, dining, and activities aplenty.

Discover this pulsating metropolis as you prepare to pack your suitcases.

Contra Costa County’s major city is Concord.

According to the United States Census Bureau, 129,295 people live there as of 2019, making it the eighth-largest San Francisco Bay Area city.

Don Salvio Pacheco II, a well-known ranchero in California, established Todos Santos in 1869 and changed its name to Concord.

Located just 29 miles east of San Francisco, it is a prominent East Bay hub in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Conceived by Pacheco in 1869, the city of Concord was christened Todos Santos (“all saints”), and the primary city plaza and park are named after it.

When most of Pacheco’s population moved to Concord to avoid fire and water damage, it rose to prominence in the 19th century.

On February 5, 1905, Concord became a city.

Despite its size, Concord has a small-town charm.

To explore what this city has to offer, here is a guide to the best things to do in Concord, California:

Befriend Locals at Todos Santos Plaza

Playground at Todos Santos Plaza

InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As a public park, the Todos Santos Plaza serves as a gathering place for locals and a place for individuals to rest and unwind.

The plaza was originally the town square of the 20-block town of Todos Santos, which later became known as Concord.

It was established in 1869 by its pioneer founders, Don Fernando Pacheco, Don Salvio Pacheco, and Don Francisco Galindo.

View of Todos Santos Plaza

Geraoma, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Children’s playground, a variety of restaurants and businesses, and benches and picnic tables can be found at the plaza, which is located between Grant Street and Willow Pass Road.

A weekly Farmer’s Market brings the plaza to life with music and customers perusing and purchasing the wide variety of fresh vegetables and delectable handcrafted goods.

The grounds of Todos Santos Plaza

InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go Biking Through Contra Costa Canal Trail

Bike, jog, and horseback riders flock to the Contra Costa Canal Path, a paved multipurpose trail in the Park District system that follows the canal through central Contra Costa.

A safe off-road route connects Concord, Pleasant Hill, and Martinez with Walnut Creek, thanks to an agreement between the Bureau of Reclamation, the Contra Costa Water District, and the Parks Commission.

It links to various regional routes, including the Briones-to-Mt. Diablo Trail, the Iron Horse Trail, and the California State Riding and Hiking Trail.

It also provides access to commercial districts, public transit facilities, and educational facilities.

Get to Know the City Through the Downtown Concord Historic Walking Tour

Dedicated to preserving and promoting Concord’s rich history, the Concord Historical Society conducts a downtown historic walking tour of the city.

Twenty-eight landmarks make up the circuit, and visitors may learn about their significance.

The city’s first firehouse is one of the most notable features.

The cast-iron bell, installed in 1892, called firefighters and marked curfew.

Have a Retail Therapy at Sunvalley Shopping Center

Aerial view of Sunvalley Shopping Center

InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors from out of town are treated especially well at Sunvalley Shopping Center, which values all of its customers.

A Passport to Shopping can be yours if you travel more than 50 miles to Diablo Valley.

Entrance to Sunvalley Shopping Center

Jon ‘ShakataGaNai’ Davis, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Passport to Shopping is a terrific way to explore the mall and enjoy the benefits of offers and discounts from participating businesses and eateries.

View of Sunvalley Shopping Center

Steve Dufour, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go on a Date at West Wind Solano Drive-In

Marquee of West Wind Solano Drive-In

Kiddo27, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Are you an old soul?

Then catching a movie at a drive-in cinema is a pleasant experience for you.

This movie theater wants to continue providing visitors with the delightful sense of being in their automobile, yet still in public, while still being private.

As a bonus, there is a nearby park where you may play a few games before heading to the drive-in for your favorite movie.

It’s a good thing that drive-in theater parking spaces are slanted forward so that everyone may sit comfortably throughout the show.

It is a smart idea, and you’ll need to tune in to your FM radio to hear the movie.

Have a Picnic at Newhall Community Park

This community park is a favorite nighttime hangout for residents.

You’ll find a lot of families out and about in addition to picnic spots and playgrounds for children, soccer fields, well-maintained bathrooms, and free parking.

Additionally, there are paths nearby where you can go on an exhilarating trek up the top of the hill and take in the beautiful scenery there.

A dog park is available in the area for your pet to run about and play with other dogs.

Meditate at Shiva Murugan Temple

This temple in Concord, founded in 1957, is America’s first Hindu temple built from scratch.

To cater to the growing Hindu population in Concord, the temple, formerly known as the Palanisami Temple, was founded by Sivaya Subramuniya Swami, an American-born Hindu monk.

Besides the main god, Shiva, additional deities, including Lord Ganesha, Durga, and the Navagrahas, was added to the temple.

Rajagopuram, a Shiva shrine, and a space for worship are all part of the temple’s offerings, as are several activities, such as Pradakshina and Program.

Tour the Don Francisco Galindo House

Exterior of Don Francisco Galindo House

Sanfranman59, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to 19th-century architecture, the Don Francisco Galindo House, also known as the Galindo House and Gardens, is a stunning example.

The home, built by Francisco Galindo and Maria Dolores Manuela, his wife, is one of the few intact Victorian ranch houses in the city and the county.

Today, the home sits on 1.5 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds.

It serves as a house-cum-museum where visitors may learn about the Galindo family’s history and daily life in the late 1800s.

The Concord Historical Society operates the museum and provides guided docent-led tours on Sundays by appointment only.

Grab Some Fresh Produce at Concord Farmers’ Market

This farmers market is located in the heart of Concord and features a large variety of merchants offering a variety of goods.

Farm fresh fruits and vegetables are often the focus of attention, yet they are only the tip of the iceberg.

A wide variety of prepared foods such as salsa and cheese will also be available.

As a popular lunch destination on certain days of the week, it serves up turkey drumsticks and wood-fired brick pizza.

Check out kid-friendly activities like face painting while you’re there.

Go Fishing at Ellis Lake Park

Ten acres of well-kept rolling grasses and a lake where you may go fishing, feed the ducks, or just watch the turtles emerge from the water to bask in the sun are just some of the features of this enormous park.

Playgrounds for children are available at two locations, where kids may enjoy slides, monkey bars, and swings.

A stroll or a light jog around the park’s perimeter is also an option.

See Spanish Architecture at Don Salvio Pacheco Adobe

View of Don Salvio Pacheco Adobe

Junglebunny925, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This ancient home was constructed of adobe, the Spanish word for mud brick, in 1835.

This mansion is adorned with intricate woodwork and flawless tilework imported from Spain as a tribute to Spanish civic architecture.

The house is available to the public and may be toured by anybody interested in seeing it.

It’s a joy to study the materials used to construct this house if you’re interested in Spanish architecture.

Visit the aRt Cottage

Since World War II, the San Francisco region has served as a draw for artists, musicians, and other misunderstood free spirits eager to escape their shackles in less desirable parts of the country.

aRt Cottage, a prominent gallery and studio in Concord, California, features vivid works by Bay Area artists and is located on Mount Diablo Street.

The gallery was started by a German immigrant who arrived in the United States in the ’50s.

At its frequent open house events, art-lovers may meet and mingle with the artists whose work is on display and admire their work.

Pay Respects to Fallen Heroes at Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial honors the 320 Americans who perished in the 1944 Port Chicago catastrophe when two ships laden with weapons and ammunition exploded.

Forty miles east of San Francisco, a massive explosion occurred at the Port Chicago Naval Weapons Station.

If you want to visit Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, you must arrange a ranger-guided tour on Thursdays or Fridays or Saturdays if you don’t want to wait in line.

Catch a Show at Concord Pavilion

People at Concord Pavilion

Sterling Munksgard /

Live Nation and the City of Concord own and manage Concord Pavilion, a public arena with a maximum capacity of 12,500 people.

It was previously known as the Sleep Train Pavilion and the Chronicle Pavilion, but Frank Gehry and Peter Walker, a landscape architect, created the Concord Pavilion.

Since its inception in 1975, it has held a broad range of amateur and professional musical performances, including high school graduations, concerts, and local community activities like the Battle of the Bands and the yearly Jazz Festival.

A performer at Concord Pavilion

Sterling Munksgard /

Get Your Adrenaline Rushing at Diablo Rock Gym

The central coast of California is flat compared to the hilly regions to the north and south.

But there is a fantastic alternative for individuals who want a refresher in mountaineering without taking a long road journey.

Diamond Way in Concord is where Diablo Rock Gym is situated.

Experienced rock climbers gather to train and share their knowledge with others who want to learn more about the sport.

Check out its website before setting out to climb; age and physical fitness requirements apply.

Have a Blast at Pixieland Amusement Park

Visiting Pixieland Amusement Park is essential for growing up in Concord, New Hampshire.

Little ones may spend all day on the Dragon Roller-coaster shrieking in delight.

When they take the Pixieland Express, they may let their inner train director go.

They’ll be going on air in the Red Baron Airplane, so be ready to snap a picture of them as pilots.

The Pixieland Amusement Park is ideal for children ages ten and under, thanks to its bright and cheery colors.

It’s a treasure trove of pleasure and excitement that you may have to pull their small hands off the exit gate.

Explore the Markham Nature Park and Arboretum

Located on La Vista Avenue in Markham, Ontario, the Markham Regional Arboretum is a native arboretum and stunning botanical garden that is currently a work in progress.

Markham Regional Arboretum Society was founded in 1981 to provide a peaceful respite from the bustle of the city, with trees, plants, and shrubs from all over the globe to enjoy.

The marine-influenced climates with hot days and mild nights are ideal for gardens that have only been minimally tamed and natural, flourishing fish in the marine-influenced environment.

Inside the gardens, open year-round from dawn to evening along the shady Galindo Creek, visitors may take a refreshing dip in the cool water.

Take on the Challenge and Solve the Puzzle at ATG Escape Rooms

Six physical escape rooms are available at ATG Escape Rooms, ready for an exciting day of fun!

It’s a timed competition of heart-pounding action and complex puzzles.

Two similar rooms are available for competition between teams of up to 24 players in one of the in-person themes.

Explore how your team operates as a unit by challenging everyone with some imaginative problems that need problem-solving.

After then, relax and enjoy your replay while taking in some food and beverages.

The exclusive party rooms will keep your children’s birthday party lively and memorable, whether you’re searching for a Character Theme or an Escape Room party.

Swing by for a Game of Golf at Diablo Creek Golf Course

Play a round of golf alongside friends or family at the 18-hole course, putting green, and driving range at Diablo Creek Golf Course.

Diablo Creek Golf Course provides the most competitive pricing for all your golfing requirements.

The facilities and qualified personnel offer the most recent instructional technologies and personalized club fitting year-round.

You may also take advantage of their Playing Session Package, which includes four private lessons and one on-course lesson.

After a fun-filled day of golfing, stop by the Pro Shop to look at the discounted items, or stop by the Sports Bar & Grill for a delectable snack to refresh you.

Grab High Quality, Refreshing Beers at Epidemic Ales

Beer tasting flight in Epidemic Ales

Emily Lawson /

Epidemic Ales is committed to producing high-quality beers that make a long-lasting impression.

Their beers have a distinctive flavor that sets them apart from most others on the market.

Epidemic Ales’ taproom first opened its doors on January 2, 2016.

They operate a 10-barrel brewing facility and serve beer at beer festivals, pubs, and taprooms.

Shop for Epidemic Ales merchandise, including hoodies, shirts, hats, stickers, and more.

Epidemic Ales provides a diverse lineup of locally produced appetizers, take-out beer, and giftable apparel.

Make the Most of Your Vacation at Concord Plaza / Walnut Creek Hotel

During your stay at the Concord Plaza / Walnut Creek Hotel, you will discover new levels of luxury and fulfillment, whether exercising in the onsite fitness facility, unwinding by the pool, or resting in your suite!

Each of their 323 rooms has a complete array of deliberately chosen amenities.

You’re welcome to bring your pet buddy along to the Concord Plaza/Walnut Creek Hotel on your following trip.

The Vineyards Lobby Bar is now open, offering beverages, cocktails, beer, burgers, fries, sandwiches, and other menu items.

Whether you’re swinging by for a casual meal or catching up with friends for a fantastic night out, the delectable cuisine and welcoming ambiance ensure a great experience!

Furthermore, The Concord Plaza / Walnut Creek Hotel offers approximately 20,000 square feet of customizable event space, making it the perfect location for social events.

Make a Toast at Eureka!

Eureka! is a restaurant in the Willow Shopping Center specializing in American staples with a modern edge and a sizable range of craft beer and small-batch whiskeys.

It offers the neighborhood’s residents a hip, laid-back environment where they can eat, drink, and mingle while attending weekly special events.

In a modern yet rustic setting ideal for patrons of all ages, Eureka! provides customers with a distinctive dining experience.

It is fully stocked with small-batch whiskeys, exquisite regional wines, and 40 American craft beers on tap.

Eureka is the place to be if you’re searching for all-American cuisine, the greatest craft beer selection, and the greatest whiskey bar in Concord.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Enjoy the Outdoor Adventure at Mount Diablo State Park

A trail at Mount Diablo State Park

Chris LaBasco /

Mt. Diablo State Park is just a 15-minute drive from Concord, a 20,000-acre park with gorgeous views and lovely fauna.

The park’s eponymous peak, Mount Diablo, is what attracts the most visitors, though.

Landscape of Mount Diablo State Park

Chris LaBasco /

Mount Diablo State Park’s spectacular granite formations may be viewed from horseback or bicycle.

It’s possible to trek to the park’s 3,849-foot (1,173-meter) top!

Scenic view of Mount Diablo State Park

Chris LaBasco /

Final Thoughts

Concord’s charming small-town atmosphere is enhanced by the city’s numerous calm neighborhoods, various parks, and other interesting family activities.

It also has one of the best weather in the world.

Concord’s Mediterranean climate is a treat to experience.

However, don’t forget the sunscreen—Concord has an average of 260+ days of sunshine per year.

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