Spend Some Time in Walnut Creek
Centrally located in the East Bay Area is an urban city with small town charm — Walnut Creek. If you’re staying in the region, a stop here will give you plenty to do, see and experience. Pedestrians will love this walker-friendly community as they stop at one of the premier shopping locations like the picturesque Broadway Plaza. And with over 100 different restaurants of all types, Walnut Creek is a foodie’s heaven.
Most people just pass through this area on their way to San Francisco. But earlier settlers discovered this lush landscape at the foot of Mount Diablo was worth exploring. In 1821, a Mexican rancher and her two sons settled here. The valley and a road still bear the names of the men, Ysidro and Ygnacio.
American settlers started arriving 30 years later, and with the gold rush of the 1850s, the population exploded. Agriculture replaced ranching, and the area was known for its fruit and nut orchards that filled the valley, thus the name Walnut Creek.
The area remained relatively secluded until 1936 and 1937, when the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Caldecott Tunnel opened, respectively, connecting the region to San Francisco. Between 1950 and 1970, Walnut Creek became the fastest-growing community in California, expanding from 2000 to nearly 40,000 residents.
Since then, the area has only grown and thrived. However, the people who live here recognize the importance of honoring the beautiful land in which they live. That’s why the city contains 16 parks and more than 3000 acres of protected open space where people can enjoy the outdoors and see wildlife in their natural habitat.
Places to Stay in Walnut Creek
- Renaissance ClubSport Walnut Creek Hotel: Have a luxurious stay in Walnut Creek at this location, which is more like a resort than a hotel. Relax poolside or take advantage of the massive fitness center outfitted with top-notch equipment and racquetball courts. There’s even a helpful childcare center for your convenience.
- Holiday Inn Express: This is the perfect launching point to explore the gorgeous Bay Area. The relaxing atmosphere will give you the perfect place to recharge. Plus, the friendly staff will ensure you have everything you need to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.
- Walnut Creek Marriott Hotel: Enjoy views of Mount Diablo and the surrounding landscape as you stay in this stylish and comfortable hotel. From here, you can set off and explore the East Bay Area, or head over to San Francisco. Then return and eat at the delicious restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Visitor Attractions in Walnut Creek
Although the East Bay Area has tons to do and see, Walnut Creek boasts of three types of attractions — the arts, the outdoors and the historical.
Artistic Things to Do
The arts are alive and thriving in Walnut Creek. In fact, artistic expression plays a significant role in the fabric of the community. While you’re in town, be sure to see a show, take in an exhibit or enjoy some other form of the arts. Here are local venues to check out:
- Bedford Gallery
- California Symphony
- Center for Community Arts
- Center REPertory Company
- Lesher Center for the Arts
- Public Art Program
Outdoorsy Things to Do
If you want to get out into nature, there’s plenty to explore in and around Walnut Creek. Tour a beautiful garden or hit the trails at the state park. Whatever you love, hiking, biking or horseback riding, there’s something for you here. You’ll even find a place where you can come face to face with some wild critters. Here are some of the most popular local outdoor attractions:
- Diablo Foothills Regional Park
- The Gardens at Heather Farm
- Lindsay Wildlife Experience
- Mount Diablo State Park
- The Ruth Bancroft Garden
Historical Things to Do
Explore the history of the early settlers to Walnut Creek at these locations:
Where to Eat in Walnut Creek
In addition to the town’s many attractions, Walnut Creek is chock-full of places to enjoy a satisfying meal. Some of the best include:
- Broderick Walnut Creek: Broderick is an exciting dining experience located in what was once the historic Hubcap’s Diner. They continue the tradition of delicious comfort food made from scratch. You can enjoy craft beer, cocktails and brunch every Saturday and Sunday.
You won’t want to miss their signature fries, in exciting flavors such as Buffalo Bleu and Gorgonzola Mushroom. Broderick doesn’t limit their burgers to beef. Be sure to try their bison, lamb, boar and duck burgers as well as a variety of scrumptious sandwiches.
- Va de Vi Bistro and Wine Bar: Va de Vi means “it’s all about the wine” in Spanish. Your palate will love their assemblage of incredible wines from around the world, which you can sample in pre-arranged flights. But it’s not just about the wine — it’s also about the food. A variety of small plate size portions allows you to explore global flavors.
Try artisanal cheese plates. And you won’t want to miss Tempura Battered Squash Blossoms or Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates. Then, wrap up your delightful dining experience with a dessert like panna cotta or profiteroles.
- Yalla Mediterranean: Take-out doesn’t have to be heavy or unhealthy. Yalla Mediterranean is redefining the fast and casual eatery. Our food is freshly prepared every day. But we go beyond simply fresh ingredients. We work with local farms to ensure our products are of the highest quality — locally grown and produced.
When you eat one of our incredible meals, you’ll feel energized and refreshed, not heavy and tired. And we only serve what’s growing this season. So be sure to stop in on a regular basis to see what’s fresh off the farm. No matter what your diet entails — gluten-free or vegan — we have something for everyone.
We’re also committed to customer convenience. We understand a busy vacation doesn’t always allow for a long sit-down meal — that’s why we offer online ordering. Pick a time, and your meal will be ready when you arrive. Or, if you’re exhausted after a long day of exploring the East Bay Area, get your meal delivered straight to your hotel room using DoorDash.
Annual Events in Walnut Creek
No matter the season, Walnut Creek has exciting events your whole family will love. Summer kicks off in June with the Walnut Creek Annual Art & Wine Festival, a time of merriment for wine lovers, brew meisters and art appreciators. Then in July, your whole family will love the Chevron Family Theatre Festival, a day of affordable family entertainment.
When winter approaches, Walnut Creek on Ice opens to the public, so be sure to go get your skate on.