Top Things To See And Do In Walnut Creek

Mt. Diablo, CA USA
Mt. Diablo, CA USA | Photo by Ronan Furuta on Unsplash
Soraya Renteria

Nestled in the shadow of Mt. Diablo, Walnut Creek is Contra Costa’s leading cultural and commercial center. With miles of hiking trail and scenic vistas, the city is a nature lover’s paradise and a cultural hub. Visitors to Walnut Creek can enjoy galleries, theaters, and culinary delights. Here are the top ten things to see and do in Walnut Creek.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Downtown Shopping

Downtown Walnut Creek has something for every shopper. From unique jewelry to items for your four-legged companion, downtown is the place to go. Stores range from high-end boutiques to popular clothing stores. Even if you are not looking to buy, downtown’s picturesque, tree-lined streets make it the perfect spot to spend a few hours window shopping.

Walnut Creek Downtown, 1666 N Main St, Walnut Creek, CA, USA

Swan’s Fine Books

Swan’s Books is a book lover’s nirvana. This bookstore offers a unique collection of used, collectible, and rare volumes. All books are carefully chosen by staff and vary in price. You can find a first edition fine press book or a hard to find tome on California history. Not sure what you are looking for? Swan’s staff is always happy to help you find the perfect book. The bookstore also holds evening events such as lectures and book club meetings.

Swan’s Fine Books, 1381 Locust St, Walnut Creek, CA, USA +1 925 935 1190

Ruth Bancroft Garden

Step into the Ruth Bancroft Garden and enjoy a relaxing afternoon surrounded by local flora and fauna. This dry garden features a drought-tolerant design that is as lovely as it is eco-friendly. The garden features an extensive collection of succulents and cacti. There is also a nursery on location which sells a variety of plants and offers gardening workshops, in case you get inspired to start your own eco-friendly garden.

Ruth Bancroft Garden, 1552 Bancroft Rd, Walnut Creek, CA, USA +1 925 944 9352

Old Borges Ranch

Take a stroll back in time at the historic Old Borges Ranch. Originally built in 1899 by the Borges Family, the ranch provides visitors with a glimpse into an early 20th-century cattle ranch. The ranch is made up of seven original and restored buildings, including the Borges family home. There are also a number of animals living on the ranch that you can visit year-round. Moreover, the ranch is a gateway into the Shell Ridge open area, which features several hiking trails.

Old Borges Ranch, 1035 Castle Rock Rd, Walnut Creek, CA, USA +1 925 943 5860

Lesher Center for the Arts

Enjoy a concert or a play at the Lesher Center for the Arts. The center stages a variety of theatrical productions in three intimate theaters. Productions feature local and traveling theater companies, musical groups, and dance troupes. The Lesher Center offers visitors a night of culture at a reasonable price. Check the Center’s website for upcoming shows and to book tickets.

Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek, CA, USA +1 925 943 7469

Bedford Gallery

Located inside the Lesher Center for the Arts, the Bedford Gallery puts on four to five art exhibitions each year and is one of Contra Costa’s best places to see contemporary art. The gallery also displays historic and modern artists. The Bedford Gallery is dedicated to providing public programs for the community. In addition to taking in great art, you can take a docent tour or participate in a panel discussion.

Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek, CA, USA +1 925 295 1417

A Sweet Affair Bakery

Indulge your taste buds at this scrumptious local bakery. A Sweet Affair offers fresh baked goods daily. All bread and pastries are made from scratch on site. The bakery also offers soups, salads, and a selection of sandwiches. Go for the food and stay for the ambiance. The bakery evokes an old-time feel, with vintage decorations and friendly service.

Mt. Diablo State Park

Mt. Diablo State Park offers dozens of trails that range from leisurely strolls to an arduous climb up Contra Costa’s tallest mountain. On a clear day, you can see up to 200 miles out from the summit of Mt. Diablo. If you are looking for a more relaxing adventure, take a scenic trail around the mountain foothills. For the best experience, visit the park during spring or fall, when the hills turn a resplendent green and the weather is mild.

Broadway Plaza

Broadway Plaza is the perfect spot for an evening stroll. In summer you can take in live music as you make your way through this pedestrian shopping center. During the winter, the plaza buzzes with activity as shoppers fill the decorated streets. The plaza features shopping and dining, as well plenty of benches on which to sit and watch the world go by. Easily accessible by public transportation and offering valet parking, Broadway Plaza is a bustling city center.

Broadway Plaza, 1275 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, CA, USA +1 925 939 7600

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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