(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

Diablo Valley is the place to visit this summer. Located in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, there are events and activities for people of all ages. Whether you are a family on the hunt for adventure, a couple looking for a getaway or even a great place to host your wedding, or a group of co-workers scouting out your next retreat, Diablo Valley has it all. And as of May 29, when the City of Concord launched the “Diablo Valley — Defying Expectations” series, the summer has officially started and is already heating up.

Below are 10 great reasons to visit Diablo Valley this summer. If you are looking to get out of town, consider these activities and events to make this summer truly one to remember. And of course, these are just some highlights. There’s more to do in and around the region. Learn more by visiting www.DiabloValleyCA.com.

Music and Market Series

Todos Santos Plaza
2151 Salvio St.
Concord, CA 94520

Dates: Now through September 11, 2014

Come out for the Concord Farmers’ Market and free music concerts at Todos Santos Plaza, highlighting a terrific lineup of Bay Area musicians. Check out the music schedule (PDF) in advance to find out who is performing.

Annual Photographic Exhibition Event

The aRt Cottage
2238 Mount Diablo St.
Concord, CA 94520
(925) 956-3342

Dates: June 3 through June 30, 2014

The Diablo Valley Camera Club will host an Artists Reception at the aRtCottage on June 7 to introduce its second Annual Photographic Exhibition of over 50 photographs from a dozen or more photographers. The aRt Cottage gallery is conveniently located near Todas Santos Square in Concord.

Annual Fallen Heroes, Rising Stars

Diablo Valley College Theater
321 Gold Club Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(800) 838-3006

Date: June 27, 2014

Annual Fallen Heroes, Rising Stars: A Juneteenth Celebration Through Dance is a special celebration of the Grown Women Dance Collective is a family-friendly and inspiring commemoration of dance, music and American history. The Grown Women Dance Collective was founded in 2009, and is formed by retired, professional dancers. Its original mission to “create a positive and nurturing environment for mature, female dancers to create beautiful work that is relevant and accessible to diverse audiences” continues to guide the collective and the distinct communities it is positively impacting.

The Stars & Stripes 5K Run & Walk

Todos Santos Plaza
2151 Salvio St.
Concord, CA 94520
(925) 676-8298

Date: July 4, 2014

The Concord Police Association presents its fifth Annual July 4 Stars & Stripes 5K Run & Walk, a community event in downtown Concord. The event will benefit Monument Crisis Center and Bay Area Crisis Nursery, organizations that help families and children in need. This year organizers expect more than 1,000 participants at the 3.1-mile route. The 5K entry fees are $25-$30, with online registration recommended. Stay for the after-race Fourth of July Parade, an all-American tradition with floats, bands and dancers. There is an optional pancake breakfast and hot dog lunch for $5 per person at the Rotary booth.

John Muir National Historic Site

4202 Alhambra Ave
Martinez, CA 94553
(925) 228-8860

Dates: Open Wednesday through Sunday

Visit this beautiful nine-acre park and its pathways to wander through fruit orchards that bloom throughout the season. Begin your discovery at the visitor center to learn more about Scottish-American Author and Wilderness Preservationist John Muir’s life and influence. Then explore the house and grounds on your own. Bring family and friends, along with a hearty picnic basket, and enjoy lunch while relaxing under the towering trees.

Concord Antique Faire & Collectibles

Todos Santos Plaza
2151 Salvio St.
Concord, CA 94520

Dates: Third Sunday of each month

The Concord Antique Faire is a monthly event where 65 or more vendors line the perimeters of Todos Santos Plaza to display and sell their items, including antiques, collectibles, one-of-a-kind treasures and handmade and original arts and crafts. You just may find a new family treasure.

Waterworld California

1950 Waterworld Parkway
Concord, CA 94520
(925) 609-1364

Waterworld California is right in Concord, where perfect summer temperatures invite visitors to cool off while having loads of fun. This 23-acre water park boasts 10 major attractions. New for 2014 is the “Break Point Plunge,” for those brave riders willing to ride up to a six-stories height, take in the awesome view and then brace themselves for a heart-pounding, 270-foot looping adventure to the runout below.

Diablo Valley Breweries


Concord is home to some great breweries offering award-winning beers, ales and lagers all paired with some mighty tasty, high-quality dishes, live music and events that will satisfy just about any brew fan. Visit the link for a list of Concord breweries and bars.

Concord Pavilion

2000 Kirker Pass Road
Concord, CA 94521
(925) 676-8742

The Concord Pavilion is a Live Nation outdoor venue in Concord, California. This 12,500-seat, unsurpassed outdoor showplace is nestled in the Mount Diablo foothills, providing an amphitheater-style seating arrangement with clear acoustics and great viewing from all points. There is free parking, but be sure to arrive early enough to grab a space and avoid the long line of cars waiting to park. Headliners this summer include OneRepublic, Steely Dan, Journey and Steve Miller Band, Chicago with REO Speedwagon, Aerosmith and Marc Anthony, to name a few top performers.

Shopping in Diablo Valley

Attractive, pedestrian-friendly retail centers with high-quality shops make shopping centers in Diablo Valley major regional shopping destinations. There are several excellent locations including Todos Santos Plaza in vibrant downtown Concord, Sunvalley Shopping Center and Willows Shopping Center in Concord and Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek, which is currently undergoing a makeover and in a few years will offer an even more beautiful shopping experience.


Visit CBS San Francisco’s section Introducing Diablo Valley


to continue planning your next East Bay adventure


Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.