First inhabited by the Bay Miwok and explored by the Spanish during the 18th century, Concord was originally known as Todos Santos (All Saints) before being renamed in 1869 after a Puritan township in Massachusetts.
The city also has a major naval base on the outskirts of town, which played a major role during World War II.
Today, Concord has a unique vibe all its own, offering visitors the opportunity to explore its natural spaces and historical locations, while sipping on a craft beer. Here’s how to spend your day in Concord for $100 or less.
Hit the Ohlone Trail in Lime Ridge Open Space (Free)
Start your day with a heart-pumping hike in the Lime Ridge Open Space. From the Ohlone Trail parking lot off Montecito Drive (directly off of Ygnacio Valley Road), take the trailhead for a ways before syncing up with the Buckeye Loop for a moderate, 3.5-mile hike through rolling hills and shady groves for unobstructed views of the open space. You might even come across a herd of happily grazing cows during your trek.
Catch an Event at Todos Santos Plaza (Free, unless you buy something)
Concord’s historic downtown plaza is lined with shops, restaurants and boutiques, and is the go-to destination for the city’s events. Check out the year-round farmers market for some locally grown produce and goods, attend a free concert during the town’s popular summer concert series, or any other special events such as Tuesday Night Blues or Cool Concord Cars gathering.
Grab a Beer at a Brew Pub ($5 – $10)
Quench your thirst at a homegrown taproom or brewery for some excellent craft beer and a bite to eat. Conveniently located in Todos Santos Plaza, The Hop Grenade is a fan favorite offering an impressive 21 rotating taps to choose from, as well as tasty snack or meal options. Featuring a strong lineup of California craft brews — as well as a few other West and East Coast additions — there’s always something interesting on tap. Though for something brewed right in Concord, head to the apocalypse-themed Epidemic Ales brewery for fresh-tapped suds, food truck eats, and fun weekly events like Taco Tuesday and Geeks Who Drink Trivia every Thursday evening.
Take in some History at Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial (Free)
On July 17, 1944, residents around the East Bay were jolted awake by a large explosion that reportedly broke windows and lit up the night sky after two naval ships loaded up with ammunition, destined for the Pacific theater, exploded at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial. Known as one of WWII’s worst home-front disasters, you can visit the memorial (located at the Concord Naval Weapons Station) on Thursday, Friday or Saturday afternoon with a special reservation. You must reserve a slot for public access or a scheduled tour at least two weeks in advance, but a visit is worth the extra planning.
Dine on Eclectic Eats ($12.99 – $35)
Concord is home to a ton of restaurants, many of which are serving up unique and diverse flavors. For an interactive dining experience, one in which it’s socially acceptable to play with your food, grill your own galbi (72-hour marinated short ribs) at Ohgane for Korean barbecue. Or if “salad” is more your thing, experience a taste of Burma with Aung MayLiKa’s tea leaf salad — an enticing plate of lettuce piled high with fermented tea leaves, peanuts, sesame seeds, fried yellow beans, garlic chips, sunflower seeds, tomatoes and jalapeños. And for hearty plates of European comfort food, pull up a seat at DJ’s Bistro for classic Hungarian goulash and German jaeger schnitzel.