About the Walnut Creek Downtown in Walnut Creek, California

The city of Walnut Creek offers big-name companies, beautiful scenery and even schools. The town was voted the best place to live in America by Forbes Magazine back in 2014 due to its proximity to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, as well as it being ranked high on quality of life indices such as air quality or walkability.

Nestled within what many Americans call “the East Bay,” it has been around since 1873.

Walnut Creek is just 20 miles from Oakland and Berkeley, and 25 miles from San Francisco. The downtown area offers a variety of options for your favorite things to do including art galleries, shopping centers, restaurants – even a farmer’s market! This article shares their favorites in this bustling city while also giving you an insider perspective on what it means to live here-from the lesser known neighborhood gems that locals love best to the neighborhoods with stunning views.

The beautiful town of Walnut Creek provides many different opportunities for entertainment such as dining out at one of its fine restaurants or visiting some exciting gourmet eats where they have great food specials.


Things to Do in Walnut Creek Downtown

Downtown Walnut Creek is a beautiful, quaint town in the East Bay that’s filled with things to do and see. It has a lot of great shops for shopping or picking up some new clothes. And if you love food, this area is perfect for exploring! You will never run out of fun attractions, shops, theaters, and galleries! Here’s a short list of our favorites:

1. The Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery | 1552 Bancroft Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

If you’re a garden enthusiast, or just someone who appreciates beautiful scenery and natural beauty, Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery is the place for you. The nursery was founded in 1944 by Ruth C. Bancroft and her husband Lawrence Bancroft as a way to preserve plants that were dying out due to drought conditions in California. In 1953, they purchased 150 acres of walnut ranch land with the intent of preserving it from development. Today, this property has over 3200 acres of open space which features more than 10 miles of hiking trails through oak woodlands, coastal scrubland and wildflowers meadows; all showcasing native plant species that thrive on the land today.

The Ruth Bancroft Garden is a foremost example of the art of garden design with drought-tolerant plants, and it can easily be called one of the finest dry gardens in the world. The Garden displays an expansive collection from around our world’s deserts and Mediterranean climates collected by Ruth for over 60 years. Every season offers something new to enjoy here at this wonderful gem where visitors will find themselves lost in awe at all that they see before them; boldness mixed with beauty, lines both straight yet curved sharply near or far away are found throughout every corner.


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2. Lesher Center for the Arts | 1601 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Located in Northern California, the Lesher Center for the Arts is an inspiration to anyone who appreciates good art. The center features performances from many acclaimed artists and entertainers throughout various genres of music, dance, theater and more.

It is one of many theaters that have been around since 1938 and it’s still going strong! The theater was originally opened as a movie theatre by Maurice L. Ransome who owned Paramount Publix Corporation which operated cinemas across America at this time, but today they’re mostly used to host live plays such as Blue Man Group or concerts from artists like Lady Gaga. John Reid Jr., an architect designed this building.


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3. Walnut Creek Farmers’ Market | 1799 Locust St, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

There are so many exciting things to see and do at the Walnut Creek Farmers’ Market. It’s open every Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and merchants sell everything from fresh fruit to baked goods to jams and jellies. But that isn’t all there is to it. There are also olive oils for cooking or dressing up a salad, vinegars with various flavors such as apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinaigrette, and honey ready to be enjoyed on its own or used to your favorite dishes! You never know what will catch your eye when you go along this market street, which is full with amazing surprises around every turn.


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4. Valley Art Gallery | 1661 Botelho Dr # 110, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Valley Art Gallery has been one of the East Bay’s top art galleries for almost 70 years. It was a forerunner in the concept that art enhances people’s lives. It presented its inaugural display, Outdoor Art Shows, in conjunction with Walnut Festival in September 1949, which featured paintings and sculptures for sale as well as live music played at City Park; this event became an annual tradition to promote local artists’ work.

The gallery’s mission statement is “to educate through exposure” because they believe their clients deserve high levels of service and exceptional art more often – not just once or twice a year when exhibitions come up. This ensures that visitors can enjoy viewing beautiful work anytime they visit the store.


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5. Broadway Plaza, 1275 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Broadway Plaza, one of the greatest locations to visit in Walnut Creek, has something for everyone! This outdoor shopping complex has upscale stores as well as a variety of restaurants and services such as hair salons, dry cleaners, and nail salons. There are also lots of things for children to enjoy, such as an interactive play area with slides and games!

Talking about restaurants and retail outlets, you’ll find big names like Nordstrom and Macy’s as well as some of the best places on the block for lunch or a light snack such as True Food Kitchen, Boudin Bakery & Restaurant, and P.F. Changs! It also has Industrious – an office space where you can work remotely.


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Living in Walnut Creek Downtown

Walnut Creek is great for those who want to live close to everything. From your doorstep, you can walk or bike to all of the best places in town and never be bored with things happening around every corner! If something more than what’s on your street happens, public transportation will take you anywhere within Walnut Creek so that parking won’t get in the way of seeing family members when they come to visit from their airport or train station.

With easy access like this at any time during day-to-day life as well as special occasions such as holidays where relatives are traveling far distances it makes sense why living downtown would make anyone feel right at home.

In addition to the many shops and restaurants along Main Street, residents are afforded plenty of opportunities for spiritual renewal. In particular, there is a large variety of churches in all shapes and sizes within walking distance from most houses:

1. Cornerstone Fellowship Walnut Creek | 111 N Wiget Ln, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Cornerstone Fellowship, a church in Walnut Creek California, has adopted the motto “Authentic Christian Community” as its guiding principle. They are an independent evangelical congregation that believes the Bible to be an inspired word of God and their final authority for faith and practice. They offer a variety of ministries including worship services with live music and Sunday School classes for all ages. Cornerstone’s Children’s Ministry also has children attend on Sundays and during weekday evenings. Cornerstone also employs a full-time Children’s Minister, who along with other staff members helps families grow spiritually through teaching, discipleship, counseling, and mentoring.


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2. Northcreek Church | 2303 Ygnacio Valley Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

NorthCreek is a teaching church and they are committed to the proclamation and application of scripture. Therefore, you’ll notice that everything from the songs they sing, the classes they offer, to art on their walls are all related to scripture.

NorthCreek is a part of the Evangelical Free Church of America. But in addition to their Statement of Faith, they have adopted five more Articles which fall mainly in the realm of Systematic Theology and Practical Theology; all designed to help guide members through life’s important decisions.


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3. Walnut Creek Church of Christ | 500 Minert Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

This church has served Walnut Creek for more than 60 years and they’d like to keep a few things in front of their minds when going about their work:

Responding to the call from God.
Responding to the needs of other people within the congregation and beyond.
And anticipation for an even better future.

The Walnut Creek Church of Christ family is made up of people saved by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus. They are grateful for their Savior’s act that occurred centuries ago, which has turned them from selfishness to service.


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4. Shell Ridge Community Church | 200 La Casa Via, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Shell Ridge Community Church was founded in 1974 from the merging of two area Baptist churches, both planted with American Baptists during the 1940s and 1950s. These two congregations, which flourished to various degrees, faced challenges in the early 1970’s and chose to unite. The two existing properties were sold and the new congregation purchased land on La Casa Via in Walnut Creek. In 1979, the church moved. In 1996 it changed its name to Shell Ridge Community Church and has been bringing together people for worship, service, learning and fellowship ever since.

For 50 years, Shell Ridge Community Church has fostered uplifting and inclusive worship services with ministries to those in need. Additionally, personal and spiritual growth are valued as lifelong endeavors of the congregation so that their concern for social justice and human rights is a regular part of what they learn at SRCC.

5. Unity of Walnut Creek | 1871 Geary Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Unity of Walnut Creek offers a positive, practical approach to spirituality and daily living. At Unity, each person is viewed as a whole and perfect expression of God. They empower all people to fulfill their divine potential through service work in the community while also providing plenty of opportunities for personal spiritual growth where you can experience an accepting environment with like-minded others who are yearning for deep connections within themselves spiritually too!


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Parks, Schools & Other Points of Interest in Walnut Creek Downtown

Walnut Creek’s downtown area is full of historic buildings, parks, schools, and other points of interest that make for a pleasant stroll. Have you seen all the great things to do in Walnut Creek? Here’s a short list you might want to check out:

1. Heather Farm Park, 301 N San Carlos Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Heather Farm Park is family-friendly with activities that will keep kids entertained throughout the day. Younger children have a playground designed just for them and they also get to interact with animals like chickens, ducks, goats, pigs or other critters. They can play at the mud pit and go down numerous slides as well. Families are welcome to bring their own snacks and have a picnic. One of its hiking trails is named after John Muir, honoring the naturalist.

It provides swimming facilities at the Clarke Swim Center, tennis courts, picnic areas, a community center and equestrian center. It also has a skate park and dog parks where you can walk your dog off leash. There are also bike paths for those who prefer to cycle rather than walk. The amenities also include six athletic fields with restrooms.


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2. Lime Ridge Open Space, Ygnacio Valley Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Lime Ridge has been known as a beautiful location for locals and visitors alike. The area is home to some of the last remaining chaparral in Walnut Creek, as well as plenty of beautiful plants. Lime Ridge is a great location to enjoy multiple hiking trails as well as bike trails. You can also find areas of ancient oak trees, mixed coniferous forest or scrub oaks, and wildflowers to admire the landscape.

The open space is sectioned off into three spaces by two major roads speeding with traffic. Each section generally serves the directly adjacent neighborhoods, offering broad rugged trails through rolling grassland that are perfect for household walks or even jogs. Lime Ridge is an open space preserve featuring rugged trails and no facilities. The majority of trails are unmarked, but it would be hard to get lost in the small region. Trails ascending hills east of Ygnacio Boulevard are covered primarily by oak trees before transitioning into chaparral brush. These hills extend as far towards Mount Diablo State Park.


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3. Las Lomas High School, 1460 S Main St, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Las Lomas High School is a public school in Walnut Creek, California. It has a diverse student body with over 2,500 students enrolled. The school has many sports sites and recreational facilities available for students. Las Lomas High School excels not only in athletics but also in academics, with 100% of its students graduating and attending college.

Currently, 59% of students older than 14 have participated in Advanced Placement courses and exams. Las Lomas offers opportunities to take AP classes (27%), and 37% of students are from a minority population. The percentage of economically disadvantaged student enrollment at this school is 12%.


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4. Contra Costa Christian Schools, 2721 Larkey Ln, Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Contra Costa Christian Schools opened its doors to the public in 1978 as a high school, welcoming 85 students in grades 9-11. The high school expanded its program to include grades 9 to 12 in subsequent years. In the early 1980’s, families opened a separate school to serve K-8 age children. This school was called Woodlands Christian School and it purchased the current campus in order to rent space for celebrating high school education. Two schools are now one, and the merger of these separate entities creates Contra Costa Christian Schools spanning preschool through 12th grade. This process took a number of years to come to fruition but finally arrived in 2001 when East County Lutheran Preparatory School merged with West County Lutheran High School to create this expanded system.


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5. Diablo Foothills Regional Park, 1700 Castle Rock Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Diablo Foothills is both a gateway to the beautiful parklands of Mt Diablo State Park and Walnut Creek Open Space, as well as an imposing place itself. Diablo’s 1,060 acres are valued for its striking geologic formations, sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay Region and sweeping grasslands that borders it.

To see more than views of the slopes, visitors to the Diablo Foothills can also explore a variety of geologic features in nature, admire beautiful wildflowers in season and find animal life on 1,060 acres. Vegetation in the Pine Creek Grove ranges from grasslands on hills to riparian oaks near the creek. The crest of the Walnut Creek watershed, which drains 150 square miles of Central Contra Costa County into San Francisco Bay, is within this part of the Forest Service’s Mt. Diablo State Park.


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Map From Walnut Creek Downtown to Our Location




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