Walnut Creek Places

TripWhat's travel guide to Walnut Creek; our list of the best things to see, including Ruth Bancroft Garden, Lindsay Wildlife Museum and Downtown Walnut Creek.
  • The best place in Walnut Creek: Ruth Bancroft Garden

    Ruth Bancroft Garden

    1552 Bancroft Rd
    Preserving an exceptional example of Southwest American garden design, The Ruth Bancroft Garden demonstrates the beauty and excitement possible in a water-conserving landscape. Internationally recognized as one of the finest private gardens in North America, The Garden was the first in the United States to be sponsored by The Garden Conservancy. The garden showcases rare and unique species of cactus, succulents, palms, and desert trees while still maintaining a lush and manicured style appropriate to Northern California. The Garden is open for visitors seven days a week from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.
    food nearby
  • Lindsay Wildlife Museum

    Lindsay Wildlife Museum

    1931 First Avenue
    Wed–Fr 12PM–5PM (opens 10AM in the summer), Sat–Sun 10AM–5PM. $7 for adults, $6 for seniors 65+, $5 for children 2-17. Well-worth a visit for the opportunity to see owls, hawks, and other wildlife up close and (often) not from behind glass or cages. This museum is actually a wildlife rehabilitation and educational center that focuses on native California wildlife and natural history. The museum exhibits live, non-releasable native wildlife. Founded in 1955, the museum operates the oldest and one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation hospitals in the United States, treating more than 6,000 injured and orphaned wild animals each year.
    eat nearby
  • Downtown Walnut Creek

    Downtown Walnut Creek

    More interesting than Broadway Plaza are the many stores comprising downtown Walnut Creek. After your next shopping spree to Baby Gap or Pottery Barn for Kids, make a detour down Locust and Main Streets. Downtown Walnut Creek complements its mall counterpart and preserves Walnut Creek's small town feel. The downtown stores and restaurants offer a variety and unique quality that would be impossible to find in Broadway Plaza, and you may find that you like them more. Many restaurants offer sidewalk or patio seating except in mid-winter, creating a Mediterranean pedestrian feel. Occasionally, Walnut Creek will close down one of the downtown streets for an "art festival."
  • Lesher Center for the Arts

    Lesher Center for the Arts

    1601 Civic Center Dr
    The City's performing and visual arts center, opened in October 1990, houses the 800-seat Hofmann Theatre, the 300-seat Margaret Lesher Theatre, the 130-seat Knight Foundation Stage 3 theatre, the Bedford Gallery [4], offices and rehearsal space. Pretty impressive for a suburb, but not exactly The Met. Originally opened as the Regional Center for the Arts (RCA). The name was changed to The Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts after a donation from the Lesher Foundation. The word "Regional" was removed to encourage patronage from the greater Bay Area.
    food nearby
  • Farmer's Market

    Farmer's Market

    CFMA is a non-profit mutual benefit corporation providing Certified Farmers’ Markets for the Bay Area since 1994.www.cafarmersmkts.com
    eat nearby
  • Tomatina


    1325 North Main St
    One of the more popular restaurants in town offering high quality food and a casual atmosphere. At its opening, the restaurant was affiliated with award winning celebrity chef Michael Chiarello's Tra Vigne restaurant in Napa, but he is no longer invested in the local mini-chain. One can order brick-oven pizza there with a variety of interesting toppings, or the specialty, "piadine," which is flat bread with a "salad" on top of it. The polenta appetizer is also a must try with baked polenta, parmesean cheese, and tomato sauce.
  • Va de Vi

    Va de Vi

    1511 Mt Diablo Blvd
    Walnut Creek's take on small plates done in chef Kelly Degala's California Asian Fusion Style with several wines. This restaurant was once touted by famed San Francisco Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer as worth a drive from San Francisco for its stellar food and inviting indoor-outdoor atmosphere, although a second location was opened in San Francisco's Presidio District in 2006. Many wines are offered by the glass in addition to flights (tastes of three different wines). Weather permitting, try to eat outside by the oak tree; it's several hundred years old and perhaps one of the oldest remaining wild trees left in all of Walnut Creek.
  • Havana Restaurant

    Havana Restaurant

    1516 Bonanza St.
    A modestly priced Cuban-inspired restaurant serving various tapas and other Cuban/Caribbean-style dishes. Located in central downtown Walnut Creek, it's a short walk from Broadway Plaza and the Lesher Center for the Arts. It has an excellent bar that serves a variety of mojitos and other cocktails and it stays open until 11PM on Mondays-Wednesdays and 12PM on Thursdays-Saturdays.
  • The Duck Club Restaurant

    The Duck Club Restaurant

    3287 Mt Diablo Blvd
    Welcome new and loyal fans to the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa!
  • Pacific Bay Coffee Co.

    Pacific Bay Coffee Co.

    1495 Newell Ave
    Micro-roastery offers gourmet coffee and teas, live music, and free Wi-Fi access in a friendly, family-owned, neighborhood cafe. This family does everything itself: constructing the interior, roasting their own coffee, running the store themselves. A great place to relax on a Sunday morning.
  • Shadelands Ranch Historical Museum

    2660 Ygnacio Valley Road
    Built by early Walnut Creek pioneer Hiram Penniman, this 1903 redwood-framed house is a showcase for numerous historical artifacts, many of which belonged to the Pennimans. It also houses a rich archive of Contra Costa and Walnut Creek history in its collections of old newspapers, photographs and government records. The museum is on the National Register of Historic Places and belongs to the City, but is operated by the Walnut Creek Historical Society. Not part of the "official" description is the Shadelands growing collection of local smells, each smell maturing and gaining new flavorful dimensions with each passing year.
    eat nearby
  • Old Borges Ranch

    1035 Castle Rock Road
    The former ranch of early Walnut Creek pioneer Frank Borges is the home base for Walnut Creek's Shell Ridge Open Space activities. The ranch complex includes a blacksmith shop, numerous outbuildings, and farm equipment displays. It also features a barn and covered trellis available for group reservations. The Borges family home, built in 1901, houses historical displays of the early 1900’s. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Great place to go if you forgot or always wondered what growing up on a farm was like, or if you were inexplicably transported through time to the present when you were struck by a purple lightning bolt and are desperate for a taste of home in the 19th Century.
    restaurants nearby
  • Bistro at the Park

    Bistro at the Park

    3287 Mt Diablo Blvd
    Welcome new and loyal fans to the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa!
  • Pyramid Brewery

    1410 Locust St
    A combination brewery/restaurant, offering decent food and decent beers. A few years ago, this place had a great nitro stout, but have since discontinued it. If you like stout beer, be sure to ask for it and express your displeasure that it is no longer available. Prices are mid-range, and there is often live music on weekends. A nice Biergarten in the back to soak up some sun along with your beer.
  • Masses

    2721 N Main St
    Billiards, Billiards, and more Billiards. 30 some odd tables are arranged in this converted hardware store. The food is dreadful, but the billiards and beer are just fine. The local kids have made this the place to hang, so expect a line to get in on Friday and Saturday nights. A cute wait staff and a willingness to serve all but the most intoxicated drunks makes this bar a comfortable place to spend time. If you're prone to inner ear infections, do not go on karaoke night.
  • The Hick'ry Pit

    1495 South Main Street
    Main exit, next to Kaiser Hospital). Nothing fancy, just large portions or well-cooked American fare. The menus all feature crayon-drawn pigs from the restaurant's younger clients, which is fitting given the Hick'ry Pit's reputation for bacon offerings. If you want a place that fills you up with good food, and service that ensures your coffee cup never goes empty, this is about as good of an option as can be found in the Bay Area. Prices are just a bit on the high side, but given the portion sizes and the quality of the ingredients it's worth paying a couple of dollars extra.
  • Mr Lucky's Bar and Grill

    1527 Locust St
    Mr Lucky's is the last "old fashioned, honest bar" you will find downtown. Friendly, no-nonsense bartenders pour proper drinks at reasonable prices. Can be a scene thu/fri/sat nights, with a line to get in and lots of fun inside. Bring your ID, they are 100% strict on this. Surprisingly good lunch menu. Open late, the place can liven up when other spots shut down.
  • Dan's Irish Sports Bar

    Dan's Irish Sports Bar

    1524 Civic Dr
    The "Irish" and "Sports" portions of the bar's title may be questionable, but amongst Walnut Creek's trendier offerings, Dan's stands out as a true "Bar". Bands on weekends, a raucous crowd, great happy hour specials ($3 Fat Tire drafts on Tuesdays, $2 domestic drafts other days), and pool in the back make this a worthwhile alternative to some of the other Walnut Creek hotspots. The $3 weekend cover can be a small turnoff, but it's Walnut Creek - you can't have everything.
  • Prima Ristorante

    1522 N. Main St
    An expensive California-Italian restaurant. Probably one of the better restaurants in Walnut Creek, but not on par with chi chi restaurants in San Francisco. Has a very nice wine selection for those so inclined. Waiters can be a little snooty but are still friendly (to your face) and can help you pick the perfect wine to complement your food. Next door is Prima's wine shop, Prima Vini, where you can buy exclusive and hard-to-find vintages.
  • Walnut Creek Coffee Company

    1550 Newell Ave
    Come experience true quality: Espressos, teas, smoothies, paninies, quiche, calzone, pastries & desserts. The best chai in town! Stop by and see why so many folks are finding this new coffee house a great place to hang out, to meet up with friends and colleagues, to sit quietly and work online... Book Club, Knitting Club, Art exhibit from Civic Arts.
  • Rocco's Ristorante & Pizzeria

    2909 Ygnacio Valley Rd
    Deep, deep, deep in the suburbs is one of the best pizza places around. Rocco's is your typical red-checker table cloth suburban pizzeria, serving pasta along with pizza dishes. The pasta isn't worth the trip, but the pizza is (I suggest Anthony's East Coaster). Go during the special on Sundays and Mondays --- pitchers of beer are half off and Large pizzas are around $12. Otherwise go to the website and use the coupon to save money that you can apply toward the gas you spent driving out there.
  • Lindsay Wildlife Museum

    Lindsay Wildlife Museum

    1931 1st Ave
    Lindsay Wildlife Museum is a family museum and wildlife rehabilitation center in Walnut Creek, California. The museum is one of the oldest wildlife rehab centers in the United States, and a popular family museum in the San Francisco East Bay Area. Founded in Walnut Creek in 1955, the museum’s programs “connect people with wildlife to inspire responsibility and respect for the world we share.” The museum houses an interactive discovery room for children, a pet education section with small domestic animals, and rotating natural history and art exhibits. The on-site wildlife rehabilitation center treats nearly 6,000 injured or orphaned wild animals each year.
    food nearby
  • A Sweet Affair

    Ygnacio Valley Plaza
    Located in a suburban strip mall about 2 miles outside of downtown Walnut Creek, A Sweet Affair Bakery and Cafe is an outstanding, homely bakery with traditional pastries, such as the cranberry danishes, cinnamon rolls, or blueberry scones. For lunch and dinner, they offer succulent sandwiches on thirteen different freshly-baked breads. They also offer a wide variety of cakes, cookies, muffins, brownies, and coffee/espresso. There is something for everyone.
  • Color Me Mine of Walnut Creek

    1950 Mt Diablo Blvd
  • Models Inc Agency

    38 Quail CtSte 201
  • Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society

    Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society

    2751 Buena Vista Ave
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EDIT THIS ITINERARY Our list of places in Walnut Creek uses some content from Wikipedia and Wikivoyage.