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
is a DogTrekker favorite, 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.
“Dogs Welcome Here!” isn’t just a tagline in Concord. Pups are central to the community’s fabric, and you’ll see that in the way hotels, restaurants, breweries, bars and parks put out the welcome bowls for four-legged visitors.
In fact, this dog-friendly city just produced a dog-gone great guide to the Concord Perro Trail. Named in honor of the community’s Hispanic heritage, the free, downloadable map covers Concord’s very dog-walkable downtown plus nearby parks and open spaces.
Here are some of our favorite places to hike, eat, grab a drink and stay in Concord:
Pups love the Mt. Diablo Region.
Get tails a’waggin’ on trails at one of the East Bay Regional Parks District preserves serving Contra Costa and Alameda counties. The 73 preserves include between them 125,000 acres of open space and 1,250 miles of trails. Yes, that’s a lot! Start, perhaps, by exploring Lime Ridge Open Space, held jointly by Concord and Walnut Creek. Its 1,200 acres are criss-crossed by 25 miles of dog-friendly pathways. more »
Maya headed for Concord.
Looking for a new, not-faraway place to explore with your dog for a day or a weekend? Think Concord— and bring your appetite and your hiking shoes. You’ll need them both in this East Bay city at the foot of iconic Mount Diablo. Settle in for a night or two at the dog-friendly Hilton Concord, certified “Clean & Safe” in light of the fading Covid-19 pandemic. more »
Courtesy of the East Bay Regional Park District
The very dog-friendly East Bay Regional Park District is partnering with Outdoor Afro to commemorate Juneteenth by waiving park entry fees on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Juneteenth is an annual recognition of the 250,000 enslaved Black Americans in Texas who were notified of their freedom on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.
“There is no better place than parks to reflect on Juneteenth, the end of slavery, and today’s ongoing social justice issues,” said Park District Board President Dee Rosario. “The District embraces diversity, inclusion and promotes equal access for all.” Learn more here. more »
The Contra Costa County town of Concord calls itself a “Northern California Original,” and it’s easy to see why. With a booming craft brew scene, creative dining options and a thriving music scene (it’s the birthplace of jazz great Dave Brubeck and the Concord record label), quick access to thousands of acres of open space and massive Mount Diablo looming in its backyard, it’s an East Bay oasis for outdoorsy types. more »