Concord is a city of approximately 120,000 people in the East Bay
. It is just around thirty minutes east of San Francisco
, via I-80, Highway 24, and I-680. The closest large city would be Oakland, CA
, also on the east side of the Bay. Concord is in Contra Costa County.
Where I used to live in Concord, it appears that the major ethnic group is Hispanic. I've also seen Oriental areas. There must be other ethnic groups present, though I haven't really looked too hard.
Concord is also home to a United States Naval Weapons Station on its north end. This is a large station, with one part right in Concord and one part farther north on the bay. Word on the street is that nuclear weapons pass through the station and that there was some sort of accident there years ago.
What To Do
Here's the big problem with Concord - there's not much to do. There are a variety of small neighborhood parks in the city. Those are fine if you've got a family. There's a square area in downtown with the occassional event, though I haven't been to any of those. There is Concord Pavilion, which attracts concerts from people I have at least heard of.
The main shopping attraction is the Sunvalley Mall, which is just barely in Concord. It's a typical two-story place with all the usual mall stores. I guess that's where the cool kids hang out. I personally can't stand malls, so I won't talk about it too much.
If you're more into outdoors things, you will need to get a bit away from Concord. Nearby parks include Mount Diablo (highly recommended, but you'd have to be crazy to ride your bike up it), Briones Regional Park (good for day-hiking), and large amounts of wilderness land to the south. None of these are really in Concord, but are certainly within striking distance.
Bike riding in the town itself is not advised, since people drive a little crazy and the roads don't seem to be bike-friendly. In particular, I-680 and Highway 242 cut straight through the middle of town and essentially form walls through which it is very hard to ride. However, some roads do have bike paths on them. There's also the Contra Costa Canal Trail, which is a paved trail that follows the canal. I have yet to ride on that, but it sounds fun.
If you really want something to do, hop in your car and get far away from Concord first. Or, jump on BART and ride into San Francisco. Those are my two recommendations.
What To Eat
Not much food in Concord, either. For national chains, we have Chili's, IHOP (not open 24-hours), Spaghetti Factory, and Applebees. If you're willing to go into Pleasant Hill, there's also an Outback. Fast food includes Jack In The Box, Subway, Burger King, McDonalds (yuck), Quizno's, and so forth. A good selection. We also have pizza: Delicious Pizza (highly recommended), Pizza Hut (delivery only), Domino's,
and Papa Murphy's. There are a few local restaurants, but I have not checked them out too much. Again, hop on BART and go into San Francisco for lots of good food.
There are two BART stations in Concord: one within a short bike ride or walk of downtown, and one on the north end. I've never gotten off at the north station, so I don't know anything about it. However, the downtown station includes ample parking and lots of taxis at all hours of the day (until BART closes, of course). So transportation from the station is no problem.
There's also the County Connection - the local bus system that covers much of Concord, as well as all the other cities in area. Schedules are posted on their website. Using the County Connection in association with BART, it is possible to get from anywhere in Contra Costa County all the way out to SFO. And it's reasonably priced, too. Public transportation
is one of the Bay Area's strong points.
Towns close to Concord include Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek. These towns are so close that they all sort of blend together. I call this the Tri-City Area, though I don't think anyone else does. A little farther out is Martinez, Clyde, Pittsburg, Clayton, and Lafayette. Walnut Creek is the more upscale town, while Martinez is the big industrial region -
lots of oil processing plants.
Since I no longer live in Concord, I can't really talk about it too much longer. Other people should feel free to add to this node, though!