Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Concord, CA

  • Published 2022/11/11

Explore the beautiful and sunny city of Concord, California!

At the foot of the picturesque Mount Diablo, Concord is the biggest city in Contra Costa County.

Before it became Concord, it was a town called Todos Santos, named by the founder Don Salvio Pacheco II in 1869.

In 1869, they renamed the town to Concord, which many residents loved due to its euphony and harmonious meaning.

Apart from having a colorful history, Concord has a rich and warm climate, with more than 260 sunny days per year.

Visitors enjoy Concord because of its climate, which allows for most outdoor and indoor activities all year.

Journey to the city and discover the exciting attractions, historic sites, and stunning outdoor areas without breaking the bank!

Here are the 15 things to do in Concord, California:

Join an Audio-Guided Historical Walking Tour with the Concord Historical Society

Galindo house at Concord Historical Society

Sanfranman59, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go on a tour that will take you around all the historic sites in downtown Concord with the Concord Historical Society.

Along with Visit Concord, Concord Historical Society provides visitors of the city with historical walking tours where your guide is a mobile app.

This tour allows you to explore various historical sites while learning about their background and history through immersive music and narration.

The tour will begin at Todos Santos Plaza, where you will discover more about its history and role in the community.

You will also see the Veterans Memorial Building, which honors the veterans of the first world war.

This audio-guided tour will also take you to numerous historic homes, including Kelly House, Webb-Soto House, and Keller House.

Enjoy a fun and profoundly immersive experience as you walk around the city and uncover the stories about the different areas around you!

Spend the day with the Concord Historical Society.

Spot Unique Birds and Beautiful Butterflies at Brazil Quarry Park

Go birdwatching or watch butterflies hop from one flower to another at Brazil Quarry Park.

This beautiful four-acre park filled with birds and butterflies is on Kent Way, in a neighborhood on the eastern portion of the city.

Brazil Quarry Park sits next to Mt. Diablo Creek, a watershed that directs water from the mountain to flow to Suisun Bay.

This is a great spot to visit if you love to watch and identify different birds since it houses at least 80 other bird species.

You can also explore the Butterfly Garden near the park entrance and witness vibrant, colorful butterflies in their natural habitat.

Sit in the refreshing shade of tall trees when you need a break.

There are paved walking trails that will take you all around Brazil Quarry Park’s natural areas and a playground that kids will enjoy.

Hike the Vast Lime Ridge Open Space

Put on your hiking shoes and get ready to explore the wilderness at Lime Ridge Open Space.

This 1,200-acre patch stretches from the southern portion of Concord up to Walnut Creek.

Lime Ridge Open Space is a beautiful spot for nature lovers and birdwatchers, with an incredible variety of plant and animal life.

This vast space offers many opportunities for various physical activities, including hiking, biking, and running.

There are 25 miles of scenic trails that you can explore to your hearts’ content.

Bring your cameras as you check out all the native oaks, wildflowers, and breathtaking views around this area.

Splash around at Meadow Homes Spray Park

Meadow Homes Spray Park is perfect for beating the heat with your kids.

This free water spray park, located on Sunshine Drive and Detroit Avenue, is perfect for toddlers to have fun in the sun!

Spend time with your children as you run through the sprinklers and play around with the vibrant water-spouting structures.

Your kids will enjoy running around and playing with all the other children in the splash pad area!

There are also play areas for toddlers and teens within the park.

Meadow Homes Spray Park is the perfect place to go if you want a fun-filled day for your whole family.

Satisfy Your Inner Bookworm at the Contra Costa County Library

Contra Costa County Library in Concord is the best place to spend an afternoon if you want peace while reading.

This facility, located on Salvio Street in Downtown Concord, is a family-friendly library branch with an extensive collection of informative materials.

This library has everything you need to satisfy your curiosity, from books and magazines to DVDs and other visual media.

The warm and inviting atmosphere at this library is perfect for deep dives into research or long reading sessions.

If you want to meet up with your classmates to work on a project, this is also a great place to visit, as it has numerous resources you can use to your advantage.

Find a moment of peace to let your mind wander as you read a book in the serene Contra Costa County Library.

Enter an Earthly Paradise at Markham Nature Park & Arboretum

If you’re looking to escape the crowded city, Markham Nature Park & Arboretum is the place for you.

This park is Concord’s little paradise, located on La Vista Avenue.

You’d be surprised to find a gorgeous natural place like this right in the heart of Concord!

When you step into this park, you will enjoy roaming the 17-acre paradise filled with luscious greeneries and stunning landscapes.

Immerse yourself in the serene and peaceful atmosphere as you stroll around the camellia and rose gardens.

For those passionate about bees, there is a bee farm where you can watch them and learn more about their crucial role in the ecosystem.

Don’t forget to meet some of the staff and have informative discussions about horticulture, landscaping, and nature.

Kick Back with Your Loved Ones at Dave Brubeck Park

Are you looking for a place to relax and have fun with your family and friends?

Dave Brubeck Park is the perfect spot!

This trendy eight-acre park is on Concord Boulevard, right in the heart of downtown Concord.

The legendary jazz musician Dave Brubeck grew up in this city, inspiring them to name the park after him to commemorate his accomplishments.

This park has a colorful history, hosting the Concord Summer Festival from 1969 until 1974.

Today, the park has a stunning landscape filled with tall trees and grassy areas.

There are picnic tables where you can chill and hang out with your loved ones while having a meal.

Your kids can also have fun at the play area on the premises.

If you schedule your visit correctly, you could join a community event, such as car shows or the yearly Singing Flag celebration.

Lend a Helping Hand at Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Exterior of Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Checkingfax, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Habitat for Humanity ReStore is the perfect place to volunteer if you want to make a difference in your community.

This store on Monument Boulevard is a non-profit operation that offers new and pre-loved home improvement products.

All of the proceeds from this store go towards supporting Habitat for Humanity’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Shop here and find high-quality items while supporting the advocacy of the organization!

You can also volunteer to help out in the store by sorting donations, assisting customers, or working with other staff behind the scenes.

If you have extra items back at home, you can also show your support by donating them to the store.

Take the first step to making a difference by stopping by or volunteering at Habitat for Humanity ReStore!

Remember the Fallen at Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial commemorates those who died in the tragedy at Port Chicago.

The Port Chicago Naval Magazine Accident happened on July 17, 1944, instantly killing 320 men.

The accident occurred when munitions exploded at the port.

This event is known as one of the deadliest accidents to ever occur in United States Navy history.

Today, visitors can visit the memorial and see where this tragic event happened.

You will even have the chance to stand right where the munitions exploded.

Explore the memorials and read through the dedications that show the names of those affected by the accident and details about the historic event.

Ask the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial staff to learn more about the tragedy.

Feel the Refreshing Breeze along the Iron Horse Regional Trail

Feast your eyes on the San Ramon Valley view as you bike your way through the Iron Horse Regional Trail.

The Iron Horse Trail is a 32-mile multi-use trail that stretches throughout Contra Costa County.

It connects two adjacent counties and a total of twelve beautiful cities.

The trail passes through Dublin, Pleasanton, Danville, San Ramon, Alamo, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek.

Established in 1891, this trail features a bridge once used as a railroad but has been converted into a pedestrian bridge.

If you want to adventure while riding your bike, this is a great trail to follow!

Bike along the Iron Horse Regional Trail and see all the picturesque sights within the city and other nearby towns.

Check Out Unique Artworks from Local Artists at aRt Cottage

Take a gander at gorgeous works of art made by talented artists from the Bay Area at aRt Cottage.

This art studio and gallery on Mt. Diablo Street is a great spot where art enthusiasts can check out beautiful artworks and artists can meet and critique their works.

aRt Cottage is spelled the way it is because the owner wanted to emphasize the “R,” meaning that this place is “OUR cottage.”

If you are looking for a place to foster your creativity, create artwork, and share it with others, check out aRt Cottage!

Join other artists as they create paintings, drawings, and different types of art at this cozy facility.

There is also an area here that features a potter’s wheel where you can play with mud and create pots.

You can bring along your furry best friend and create art with them since this facility is pet-friendly!

Bring Your Friends to Matteo’s Dream

Matteo’s Dream is an ideal spot for your children to have a good time.

First opened in 2007, this playground is an inclusive playing facility perfect for kids who want to run under the sun.

It is on Olivera Road and is the biggest playground in the city.

Here, your kids can have fun and play around with other children at the different play structures throughout the park.

They can slide, swing, and hang on the climbers while bonding with other kids.

Matteo’s Dream is also a safe space for kids of all abilities, allowing children who cannot hear, see, or walk to have fun with other kids.

Bond with Your Furry Best Friend at the Newhall Community Park

The Newhall Community Park is the ideal place to bring your dog for a fun day of playing fetch and exploring.

Located on Newhall Parkway along Galindo Creek, this park features a dog park called the Paw Patch, where you and your dog can spend quality time together.

The Paw Patch is a fenced section where your dogs can roam off-leash.

You can freely run around with them and play with other pups and pet owners.

When you get tired from chasing after your pet, you can also put them on a leash and explore the rest of the park.

Hang out in the picnic areas or go and see the ponds near the creek.

Newhall Community Park is a great place to bond with your friends and family.

Pay Tribute at the Vietnam War Memorial

The Vietnam War Memorial is a moving tribute to the brave individuals who went missing or were killed during the Vietnam War.

This memorial sits on Wildcat Lane at the top of a 350-foot-high hill.

Here, you can gaze at the scenic countryside of the northern section of California.

The Vietnam War Memorial is surrounded by 32 oak trees representing the 32 Concord residents lost during the war.

This quiet and serene setting is the perfect place to remember and pay tribute to these individuals.

Find the Statue of the City’s Founder in Todos Santos Plaza

The grounds of Todos Santos Plaza

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

Bring your friends and loved ones to Todos Santos Plaza and see if you can find the statue of Don Salvio Pacheco II.

Todos Santos Plaza is a 2.5-acre plaza on Willow Pass Road in downtown Concord.

It’s a popular gathering place in the city for all the community members.

The sculpture in the middle of the plaza is of Don Salvio Pacheco II, who founded the city and named it Todos Santos before it was changed to Concord.

View of some buildings from Todos Santos Plaza

Geraoma, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Here, you can enjoy strolling around and checking out the different establishments in the plaza.

If you visit at the right time, you might even catch an outdoor concert.

You can also visit the public park at the core of Todos Santos Plaza, hang out at the picnic tables with your loved ones, or appreciate the trees all around.

Final Thoughts

Many activities in Concord, California, won’t cost you a dime.

Whether you’re looking for a place to bond with your loved ones, exercise, or have fun, these free things to do in Concord, California, will guide you to the right place.

Plan your exciting adventure and experience this city’s fun and free activities!

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