Small-Town Spotlight: Walnut Creek

Small-Town Spotlight: Walnut Creek

By Alejandra Saragoza | Photos by Brin Hanson November 12, 2019

Nestled amongst the hills of the East Bay Area, about 30 minutes away from San Francisco, the charming town of Walnut Creek may not be very large, but it’s rich in riveting arts and culture, picturesque scenery, world-class restaurants, and high-end boutiques. 

While Walnut Creek was once a quiet Contra Costa County community, it has boomed in recent years thanks to an influx of new residents and posh housing developments. Now, the social scene is hotter than ever, and the town is quickly becoming a trendy destination for locals and tourists alike—and it’s easy to see why.

Whether you want to savor farm-to-table eats and innovative tapas, take in rooftop views, catch a theater show, enjoy a leisurely bike ride, treat yourself to a blowout, or indulge in some retail therapy at upscale shops, this suburban oasis with urban flair has you covered. 

Here are some of the must-see spots in downtown Walnut Creek.

Created by local developer Brian Hirahira, the 1500 Mt. Diablo Boulevard building is a Walnut Creek hot spot, housing a rooftop restaurant, a Spanish eatery, an acclaimed pizzeria, and a collection of retailers.
Neiman Marcus is merely one of the many high-end department stores in Walnut Creek drawing droves of shoppers every weekend. 
The three-story Nordstrom Broadway Plaza features an array of designer clothing, shoes, handbags, cosmetics, and accessories—plus an outdoor cafe serving up mouthwatering fare. 
Walnut Creek's Broadway Plaza is a shopping mecca featuring 80-plus popular retailers, including Banana Republic, J. Crew, Zara, Madewell, Lululemon, and Athleta. 
Upscale boutiques such as Everything But Water, Saje, Daskalos, and Brighton also line the sidewalks of Broadway Plaza. 
Free People is a fairly recent addition to Broadway Plaza, offering fashion-forward, boho-inspired apparel for women. 
Shoppers can take a break on a bench in the picturesque plaza, where they can admire the charming fountain, smell the fragrant flowers, and watch the passersby. 
Many locals choose to work in the scenic, inspiring environs of Broadway Plaza. 
Walnut Creek is home to one of the select few Apple stores in the East Bay Area. 
Spanning 30,000 square feet, Anthropologie in Walnut Creek is nearly three times the size of the average Anthropologie store and comes complete with a bridal salon and design center. 
Aside from being a prime shopping destination, Walnut Creek also offers numerous fast-casual eateries, such as Poke Bar and Ike's Sandwiches, alongside more elevated dining options like Ruth's Chris Steak House. 
North Main Street leads past the longtime eateries, specialty food shops, and unique boutiques dotting the idyllic downtown Walnut Creek. 

Have you been to Walnut Creek? If so, tell us about your favorite spots in the comments below! 

WRITTEN BY
Alejandra Saragoza

WRITTEN BY Alejandra Saragoza

Alejandra is the managing editor of California.com. She's a California native based in the Bay Area and enjoys writing about all things food and travel related. Her work can also be seen in Diablo, T…

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