Contra Costa County
Travelers whizzing through Contra Costa County on their way to San Francisco or San Jose might know the area only for its conveniently located rapid-transit stations—and that’s a shame, because this scenic and affluent slice of the Bay Area is worth visiting for the dog treats alone. Concord
and Pleasant Hill
are DogTrekker favorites, featuring affordable lodging, close proximity to the world-class wines of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, outdoor exploration and family and dog-friendly attractions.
Close by is the East Bay Regional Park District
, whose 64 parks span 108,000 acres and include 1,200 miles of trails in Contra Costa and neighboring Alameda
counties. In undeveloped areas of most of the parks, dogs are allowed to run free under voice command—a blessing for owners of hyper types and a joy for canines of all persuasions. In other areas, trails are shared with equestrians and cyclists, so leashes are the rule.
Point Isabel Regional Shoreline
, a 23-acre place for wet and wooly off-leash fun, is perhaps the best known and most utilized of dog-friendly Contra Costa parks, but there are others, both on the coast and in the hills, where you can have the landscape to yourself, at least for awhile.
Photo Credit: @clearerphish
This East Bay community of 35,000 is surrounded by hills that perfectly reflect its name. But while some may view its location (23 miles east of San Francisco and 73 miles west of Sacramento) as merely “close to" (as in “close to” the City by the Bay as well as Napa and Sonoma wine country), Pleasant Hill holds plenty of dog-friendly appeal on its own. more »
Diablo Foothills Regional Park - Photo Credit: @oaklandanne
Concord and neighboring communities are surrounded by thousands of acres of protected open space cherished by locals and visitors alike. At this time of year, the hills are neon green, the weather cool and the trails ideal for DogTrekking. If you’re new to the area and up for a jaunt of an hour or more, start on the Contra Costa Canal Trail, one of the most popular paths in the East Bay Regional Park District system. more »
The Hop Grenade Taproom & Bottleshop
Photo Credit: @thedoodriley
This East Bay community of Concord has a vibe all its own, not to mention reasonably priced lodging and all manner of indoor and outdoor places to explore with your dog by your side. It might be discovering a new brew while exploring the thriving craft beer scene, trying poke for the first time or making an excursion into a nearby slice of wine country you never knew existed. more »
McKay's Taphouse & Beer Garden - Photo Credit: @kamperdoodle
Think of a trail, and you probably envision a path for hiking or biking, right? In the Tri-Valley, however, not all trails are made for ambulating from place to place. The region also boasts a Beer Trail, a Wine Trail and an Ice Cream Trail. Each is a collection of establishments, many of them dog-friendly, where you can indulge in your passion for brew, vino or tasty treats. more »
Photo Credit: @gio.n.theo
The Tri-Valley is nothing if not progressive when it comes to providing DogTrekkers and other residents with outdoor opportunities, and the Iron Horse Regional Trail is a great example. This 32-mile, multi-use path, paved all the way, runs between Concord and the Pleasanton/Dublin BART station along the abandoned Southern Pacific Railway right-of-way. Shared by cyclists, equestrians and pedestrians (including those of the four-legged variety), it connects schools, business centers, parks, regional trails and public transportation. more »