Concord is 29 miles east of San Francisco, meaning that the commute through the Caldecott Tunnel and across the Bay Bridge can be done in approximately 30 minutes when traffic is light, but may feel like an eternity when traffic is heavy. The area of the city is 31.13 square miles, and with over 120,000 residents Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa County.
Concord is perhaps best-known for the De La Salle High School football team, which between 1992 and 2004 established a national record-winning streak of 151 games, shattering the previous record of 72 games. During this time the team was named ESPN national champion in 1994 and USA Today national champion in 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003.
Another of Concord's claims to fame is the famous people who grew up in the city. Concord is the birthplace of actor Tom Hanks. Also, Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck is from Concord and one of Concord's several parks is named in his honor.
Concord, like most of the East Bay, has hot summers and cool winters. Rain is a rare sight during most months of the year and any rain occurs in monsoon-like periods of fairly heavy rain that last for a few days and then give way to dry weather again. These wet periods often occur in late December or during January and February, but never occur during the summer.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stops at the Concord and North Concord stations.
- 1 Buchanan Field Airport (CCR IATA). JetSuiteX connections from Burbank and Las Vegas. Also for small private planes and helicopters.
Unless you enjoy walking or biking long distances you'll want a car to get around in Concord. This city is asphalt America at its finest, and while motorists are generally respectful of bikers and pedestrians, the auto is the king of the road. County Connection buses also service the city, along with several taxi services.
- 1 , ☏ (reservations). Tours available Th-Sa at 12:45PM (allow 1.5 hours). Not all dates and times may be available. No public access Su-We. This memorial honors 320 people (including 200 young African American men) who were killed in a munitions accident during World War II while loading munitions and bombs onto ships bound for the Pacific Rim. Following the explosion many of the enlisted men refused to work, resulting in the Navy's largest mutiny trial and eventually helping to push the US Armed Forces to desegregate. The memorial is located on an active military base and as a result reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance and all visitors must be US citizens or permanent residents. Reservations can be made by calling or via an online reservation form. All visitors are shuttled to the memorial from John Muir National Historic Site in nearby Martinez.
- 2 Don Francisco Galindo House. One of the few remaining Victorian homes left in the area, a 19th-century home built in 1856, open to the public for daytime use.
- 1 Concord Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Rd. A 12,500-seat amphitheatre that hosts dozens of major concerts each year. The amphitheatre is configured with approximately 8,000 reserved seats and, for the more frugal and potentially rain-tolerant music lover, 4,500 lawn seats. Upcoming concerts can be found on the pavilion's online calendar.
- 2 California Waterworld, 1950 Waterworld Parkway (exit I-680 at Willow Pass Road and head two blocks east). A waterpark featuring slides, pools, and other manner of devices meant to use the Bay Area's limited water supply.
- 3 Brenden Theatres Concord 14, 1985 Willow Pass Rd (corner of Concord Ave & Salvio St.). Fourteen screens of movie magic with stadium seating, greasy popcorn, and thundering sound systems. Brenden Theatres was the anchor tenant of downtown Concord's rebirth in the late 1990s.
- 4 Diablo Creek Golf Course, 4050 Port Chicago Hwy. An 18-hole golf course with a large practice putting green, pro shop, lighted driving range. It also has a sports bar and restaurant.
- 5 Pixieland Amusement Park, 2740 E Olivera Rd, ☏ . A small amusement park for children from toddlers to age 8, including a train, carousel, and other rides. Pack a picnic (no alcoholic beverages, outside pizza, or barbecue grills). Admission is free; $2.25–$4.50 per ride.
- 6 Solano Drive-In, 1611 Solano Way, ☏ . This drive-in is part of the West Wind chain and features digital projection and sound transmitted directly to the car stereo. The latest movies are shown, most as double features, with a 15-minute intermission between films to grab food at the snack bar, or you can bring your own food and tailgate (no alcohol is allowed). Tickets are not sold online, so arrive early for popular films to ensure a ticket and a good parking spot are available, and be sure to bring a blanket or jacket on cold nights. $7.95 general admission ($5.25 on Tuesdays), $1.25 per child.
There is a campus of Cal State East Bay in Concord.
Strip malls, grocery stores, fast food restaurants, electronics megastores, and all other manner of American consumerism are readily available; following any major street will inevitably lead to some sort of shopping area.
- 1 Sunvalley Mall (located off of I-680 along Willow Pass road). Concord's lone mega-mall caters to all manner of teenage fashion fantasies, the appliance fetishes of middle-aged women, and shopping phobias of middle-aged men. The main area is two stories with escalators, stairs, and a large glass elevator. The mall includes a JC Penney and a Macy's. In front of the elevator is a lounge area which is also used for live entertainment and the annual Christmas Santa event.
- 2 Willows Shopping Center, 1975 Diamond Blvd (near the Willows Pass Rd exit from I-680), ☏ . While not quite the labyrinth of Sunvalley, this mall features an REI Outdoor, Any Mountain Sports.
- 3 Half Price Books, 1935 Mount Diablo St, ☏ . A Concord branch of the famous Berkeley bookstore, right on Todos Santos plaza.
- 1 Benihana, 1989 Diamond Blvd, ☏ . Concord is one of the few Bay Area locations for the well-known chain of Japanese restaurants where the chefs cook and entertain at your very table. The prices are somewhat on the pricey side - plan $6-14 for lunch and $15-40 for dinner - but it's good food and better fun. So we are happy to fork out the bucks for sushi or "Hibachi Steak" dinner: griddle-fried beef served with shrimp appetizer, choice of rice and grilled vegetables.
- 2 Digger's Diner, 1895 Farm Bureau Rd, ☏ . This is a family-run diner that got its unique name from the father of the family's unusual job digging graves. Although this is not his current occupation, there is a huge mural inside the establishment depicting a comical graveyard next to a bustling diner. Their friendly staff makes for a great atmosphere, and they are quick to serve and very good about special orders. The prices are usual for any diner; you could definitely get by eating lunch for under $10.
- 3 Guadalajara Grill # B6, 5446 Ygnacio Valley Rd, ☏ . The super chicken burrito runs about $7.95 for lunch and $8.95 for dinner, and when combined with the never-ending chips and salsa is guaranteed to leave you full. Super fast service and free Tootsie Roll Pops seal this establishment's top-notch reputation. Serving lunch and dinner from 11AM to 10PM.
- 4 Taqueria Los Gallos, 1747 Willow Pass Rd, ☏ . Daily 8AM-11PM. Try the carne guisada, a rare find in Mexican restaurants; this ranchero style beef is mildly spicy and majorly flavorful. A full salsa bar is a welcome plus. Less than $10 per person.
- 5 Old Spaghetti Factory, 1955 Mount Diablo St (downtown Concord), ☏ . Yes, it's a chain, but the food is decent and the prices aren't unreasonable. Besides, what other restaurants in Concord offer specials that include ice cream?
- 6 Swagat Indian Cuisine, 1901 Salvio St (across the street from Brenden Theatres), ☏ . Excellent Indian restaurant. Great lunch buffet, and dinner buffet on Friday and Saturday evenings. Food is served fresh and hot.
- 7 The Mediterranean, 1847 Willow Pass Rd, ☏ . Tasty shawarma, kebab, falafel, dolmus, pita, hummus and fuul.
- 8 Claim Jumper, 1975 Diamond Blvd. Part of a chain of tasteful Old West-themed restaurants featuring large proportions of good food. Especially recommended is the steak.
- 9 Naan 'n Curry, 2068 Salvio St. An alternate choice for Indian food in the center of the town. Don't miss the exquisite lamb and prawn biriyani. $10-$20 per person for lunch.
Those looking for nightlife are better served by visiting neighboring Walnut Creek, although there are a few drinking establishments that are worth a visit.
- 1 Legends & Heroes Sports Bar, 4050 Port Chicago Hwy, ☏ . For those wanting to get their football, basketball or baseball fix while downing a few brews, Legends offers the TV and taps necessary to help you out.
- 2 EJ Phair Brewing Co. & Ale House, 2151 Salvio St, ☏ . Brewpub with a great ambiance and a rotating selection of home-brewed beer and selected microbrews right on Todos Santos plaza. There are two large, free parking garages in the adjacent blocks.
- 1 Best Western Heritage Inn, 4600 Clayton Rd, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Catering to the business crowd, this hotel is unlikely to surprise anyone who has stayed in a Best Western anywhere else in the world. Single $70-90.
- 2 Days Inn, 5370 Clayton Rd, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 2 PM, check-out: 11 AM. Offering free wireless internet and continental breakfast. The Concord Pavilion is one mile away.
- 3 Hilton Concord, 1970 Diamond Blvd, ☏ , fax: . Close to I-680. Single $150-220.
- 4 Clarion Hotel, 1050 Burnett Ave, ☏ .
- Walnut Creek - The downtown Walnut Creek area offers shopping, bars, and restaurants.
- Clayton - One of Concord's next door neighbors, Clayton is a bit more rural than other communities and still offers somewhat of a small-town atmosphere.
- Pleasant Hill - This neighboring town is primarily a typical family suburb, but it does offer options for food and shopping.
- Mount Diablo State Park - This 20,000 acre park is southeast of Concord and provides great hiking opportunities on a mountain that dominates the landscape for most of central and eastern Contra Costa County. It offers an incredible viewshed, with views on clear days stretching 181 miles to Mount Lassen.
- Berkeley - Eclectic, political and always interesting, Berkeley is a 20- to 25-minute drive away. Alternatively, using BART, either a) transfer at the MacArthur station and exit at Downtown Berkeley, or b) exit at Rockridge and walk ~2 miles to downtown.
- San Francisco - Although "the City" feels a world away, it's a 45-minute BART ride to the Embarcadero or a 35-minute to 1.5-hour drive, depending on traffic.
|Routes through Concord|
|Benicia ← Martinez ←||N S||→ Pleasant Hill → San Jose|
|Hercules ← Martinez ←||W E||→ Bay Point → Stockton|