Top 10 Things To See And Do In Walnut Creek

Photo of Soraya Renteria
9 February 2017

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.

© m01229/Flickr

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

Canvas and Cabernet

Looking for something unique to do on an evening out with friends? Unleash your inner artistic genius while enjoying some wine at Canvas and Cabernet. Canvas and Cabernet is all about having fun – no artistic aptitude required. Classes focus on a different theme each evening. You will learn basic acrylic painting techniques while enjoying a glass of wine or beer. You can check out the class calendar and reserve your spot on the website.

Canvas and Cabernet, 1421 Locust St, Walnut Creek, CA, USA +1 925 350 8913

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

Bakery, Pastelaria, American, Pastries, $$$
A Sweet Affair Bakery, Walnut Creek
A Sweet Affair Bakery, Walnut Creek | © Miguel Vieira/WikiCommons
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

Mount Diablo State Park North Gate Entrance Station, Walnut Creek
Mount Diablo State Park North Gate Entrance Station, Walnut Creek | © Utilizer/WikiCommons
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
By Soraya Renteria

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