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10 Best Things to Do in Brentwood, California

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Established in the 19th Century, Brentwood, California, is a growing community in the East Bay region of the greater San Francisco Bay Area. These are the best things to do in Brentwood.

This town emerged as an agricultural powerhouse in Northern California and continues to produce farm goods like cherries and peaches (making Brentwood farmer’s markets quite the place to go).

However, it’s no longer just fruits and vegetables among the hidden gems in this California town! Brentwood has become quite a dynamic town, and there is much to interest both those who live here and those visiting the area.

Today, while agriculture remains the top answer whenever anyone asks what Brentwood, California, is known for, there are other answers.

Answers like outstanding parks and recreation, premier restaurants, and attractions for the whole family to enjoy. The following is a look at just a few of the best things to do in Brentwood, California, to help you as you plan your exciting vacation or a big move to this lovely Northern California city!

TL;DR

The best things to do in Brentwood include visiting premier parks designed with young kids in mind, shopping at the local farmers market, and sipping delicious wines produced from local vineyards.

  • Most significant landmark – The John Marsh Stone House at Marsh Creek State Historic Park
  • Park to visit – Round Valley Regional Preserve
  • Free activity -Brentwood Farmers Market
  • Activity for kids – Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex for Summer & Rockin’ Jump for Rainy Days
  • Activity for adults – Hannah Nicole Vineyards & Winery
  • Place to eat – Shutters Brasserie
  • Nightlife – Enjoy an evening beneath the stars at Round Valley Regional Preserve

Things to Do in Brentwood, California

1. Brentwood Golf Club

Brentwood Golf Club Scenery
image by Brentwood Golf Club/Facebook

Address: 100 Summerset Dr, Brentwood, CA 94513, United States

Brentwood Golf Club offers three stunning courses in the foothills of Mount Diablo. Renowned golf course architect Ted Robinson designed each course, ensuring that they provided just the right mixture of fun and challenge for golfers of all skill levels.

The three courses here are the Creekside Course, the Hillside Course, and the Diablo Course. Each features nine holes, and all are available for tee time reservations any day of the week, or you can also often arrange a last-minute game.

Just make sure to call before you pack your clubs, as Brentwood Golf Club is a popular spot for private and community tournaments.

A big reason why they are popular for private tournaments is because of their other amenities. The Brentwood Golf Club also boasts several fully outfitted conference rooms, banquet facilities, an outdoor patio area, and a full sports bar with a comfortable dining area and lunch menu.

If you’re looking for hotels near the golf club or hotel in Brentwood, Booking.com is one of the best booking sites to find great hotel deals.

2. Hannah Nicole Vineyards & Winery

Hannah Nicole Vineyards & Winery Scenery
image by Hannah Nicole Vineyards & Winery/Facebook

Address: 6700 Balfour Rd, Brentwood, CA 94513, United States

Hannah Nicole Vineyards & Winery might not quite be fit for the whole family, but it is among the best places to visit in Brentwood, California, for adults who enjoy a good glass of wine!

It’s also a great place to learn more about that agricultural history, which harkens back to what is Brentwood, California known for – or at least best known for.

This popular Brentwood winery incorporates 80 acres across which grown ten varieties of grapes. Hannah Nicole Vineyards & Winery produce several outstanding wines, but their two flagships are the Viognier and Balfour “Meritage.”

Visit them any afternoon of the week to enjoy trying these or other fabulous wines on their outdoor patio that looks out across the estate.

See Related: Things to Do in Malibu

3. East Contra Costa Historical Society

East Contra Costa Historical Society Exhibit
image by East Contra Costa Historical Society/Facebook

Address: 3890 Sellers Ave, Brentwood, CA 94513, United States

The East Contra Costa Historical Society is both a group and a location. The group part of the society was started in 1970 by local citizens who wanted to preserve the unique John Marsh stone house (which we will touch on in the next place on our list of Brentwood, California, tourist attractions).

But their preservation interests quickly outgrew that one location and rather incorporated a number of historical places and artifacts sourced throughout the area.

Thus, the second part of the East Contra Costa Historical Society is its physical location, where visitors can come in and see the history and artifacts for themselves.

This museum portion of the East Contra Costa Historical Society is located within an 1880s home and property donated by former members Clelland and Marge Nail.

On this property, guests can also visit a 19th Century schoolhouse, a Burlington Northern Railroad train caboose, and hundreds of photographs, documents, and other unique artifacts offering glimpses into the local history. Anyone interested in American history will enjoy a visit to this museum portion of the East Contra Costa Historical Society.

See Related: Most Famous Landmarks in California to Visit

4. Marsh Creek State Historic Park

John Marsh House in Marsh Creek State Historic Park
image by Robin Mayoff (RHM Images) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Address: 21767 Marsh Creek Rd, Brentwood, CA 94513, United States

The Marsh Creek State Historic Park is not fully open to the public yet, but local groups are hosting select tours and gatherings, and the state has set it to open later this year or early next.

Once it is fully opened, most agree it will become a flagship park for this region of Northern California, so we just had to include it on our list for those who love local history and are planning a future visit!

At the heart of the Marsh Creek State Historic Park is the John Marsh stone house (that building the Contra Costa County Historic Sites Society was founded to protect). This stone building is comprised of sandstone and, when completed in 1856, was the first ranch home in all of California.

Visitors to this park will also enjoy a network of trails meandering over 3,500 acres of natural habitat.

Are you looking for a side trip? Book a San Francisco Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour or enjoy a San Diego Harbor Sightseeing Cruise.

See Related: Fun Things to Do in San Diego

5. Round Valley Regional Preserve

Round Valley Regional Preserve Scenery
image by sfbaywalk is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Address: 19450 Marsh Creek Rd, Brentwood, CA 94513, United States

Round Valley Regional Preserve is a bit further west on the same road as the Marsh Creek State Historic Park. It is a good backup plan if the former is still closed during your visit and you’re hungry for outdoor activities. This natural area covers 2,191 grassland, shrubland, and woodland areas.

Multi-use trails cross-cross all of this varied terrain and are open for hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling. There is even a designated camping site complete with picnic tables, but it must be reserved at least five days in advance for one group that cannot be larger than 25 persons.

As beautiful as Round Valley Regional Preserve is, there are some important warnings to understand before striking out on one of its trails. Most importantly, the climate here is very arid, with temperatures that commonly surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the height of the summer months.

This extreme heat and minimal shade make it a poor choice for inexperienced hikers and those with young children during summer. But fall, winter, and spring are all enjoyable for the whole family. Also, dogs are not permitted anytime within Round Valley Regional Preserve.

A great way to spend an evening in Brentwood is to take advantage of that campground park and enjoy an evening camping out beneath the stars and surrounded by nature at your campsite.

See Related: Things to Do in East Bay

6. Brentwood Farmers Market

Brentwood Farmers Market
image by davidwilson1949 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Address: Oak St &, 1st St, Brentwood, CA 94513, United States

The Brentwood Farmers Market is one of the most popular events in town, and it happens every Sunday! Remember, Brentwood started as an agricultural community and remains largely an agricultural community.

The Brentwood Farmers Market is often filled with the best examples, with fresh fruit and vegetables gracing many vendor tables.

Vendors at the Brentwood Farmers Market start setting up their wares around 7 to 8 am every Sunday and will keep things out until noon. Consider bringing cash, as most but not all vendors are equipped for credit card processing. Every third week of the month, the Brentwood Farmers Market includes a special crafts market as well as the ever-present food market.

7. Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex

Address: 195 Griffith Ln, Brentwood, CA 94513, United States

The Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex should not be confused with more tourist-oriented water parks. Still, it should be put on the list of must-visit locations for local families and any traveling family with young children.

Especially if you are in Brentwood during July or August, temperatures can often creep up to and even beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit when water activities are most appreciated.

Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex features a lap pool, general swimming area, and a beach-like kids’ swimming area that allows children to slowly enter the water up to the height they are comfortable with, as well as play structures for them to enjoy once in the water. There is even a partially covered slide that dumps riders into its protected pool area.

See Related: Things to Do in Bishop

8. John Muir Interpretive Center

John Muir Interpretive Center Building
John Muir Interpretive Center / Contra Costa Water District

Address: 19 Walnut Blvd, Brentwood, CA 94513, United States

The John Muir Interpretive Center was named in memory of that famed naturalist and preservationist. Still, this location focuses primarily on the cultural history as well as the plant and wildlife history of these lands.

The John Muir Interpretive Center is nestled amidst the oaks on the north side of the local dam. Exhibits within the John Muir Interpretive Center include those on traditional Native American practices and how those indigenous people operated in harmony with the surrounding nature and wildlife.

Visitors will also learn how the local reservoir serves nearby cities like Brentwood, and outside, you can take walking trails to the reservoir and the creek that feeds into it.

For a side quest outside Brentwood, join a Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood or explore Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge Bay on a Boat Cruise.

9. The Streets of Brentwood

Sip and Scoop ice cream parlor in Brentwood offering a variety of flavors and treats

Address: 2455 Sand Creek Rd, Brentwood, CA 94513, United States

The Streets of Brentwood is a wonderful pedestrian-oriented outdoor shopping mall that enables visitors to enjoy the fresh air as they partake in Brentwood shopping.

Within this shopping area, you will find movie theaters, premier brand stores, restaurants with happy hour menus, an outdoor spa area, fun activities for children, and hidden gem local shops to support.

There are also plenty of outdoor benches and picnic tables to relax and take a shopping break amidst beautiful, well-maintained landscaping.

See Related: Places to Visit in Southern California

10. Delta Kayak Adventures

Kayaks of Delta Kayak Adventures
image by Delta Kayak Adventures/Facebook

Address: 5 Marina Plaza, Antioch, CA 94509

Admittedly, Delta Kayak Adventures is not in Brentwood proper. Still, it is within one of its nearby cities and offers such a fun activity that it deserves a place on this list and is definitely one of the best things to do in Antioch.

Delta Kayak Adventures is a multi-faceted outfitter that’s located on the southern banks of the San Joaquin River. They offer both guided tour options as well as straightforward kayak and paddle board rentals that enable you to explore the waterways on your own.

If you want to move to Brentwood or otherwise be in this area for extended periods. In that case, Delta Kayak Adventures is also a great place to purchase paddling equipment for all your future water activities. They offer both new and used kayak and paddleboard sales.

Getting around Brentwood, California

Aerial photography over a suburb in Brentwood, California with homes, lake and green hills in the foreground and a mountain in the background
Rich Lonardo / Shutterstock

 Despite having a significant amount of farmland, Brentwood, California, is considered pedestrian-friendly, at least in its core neighborhoods. If you stay at lodgings near The Streets of Brentwood, you will especially appreciate how easy it is to get to nearby shopping and dining attractions.

If you are trying to travel regionally, Brentwood, California, unfortunately, does not have its own BART station to connect with nearby cities like San Jose and West Sacramento. Instead, taking the BART to Antioch and catching a Tri Delta Transit bus from there would be best.

 If you want to enjoy more outdoor recreational areas on the outskirts of Brentwood, like the John Muir Interpretive Center and the Round Valley Regional Preserve, a car rental through an established brand like Enterprise would probably serve you best.

I’d recommend getting a Brentwood rental car sorted through someone like Kayak. Don’t forget to get travel insurance on your trip.

See Related: Things to Do in Northern California

Where Should I Stay in Brentwood, California?

Aerial photo of a community in Brentwood, California
Rich Lonardo / Shutterstock

Before you finalize which places to visit in Brentwood, California, are best for you, you should also consider where you want to stay. Some accommodations in this area will have such great attractions that you don’t want to go far. Orwood Resort is an excellent example, as its waterfront location offers various water activities like boating, fishing, swimming, and more. 

If you are not into the more camp and outdoor style of lodging, you can also search through the excellent Brentwood VRBO offerings — VRBOs throughout Brentwood, including some on the outskirts in more agricultural areas. You might also choose a fabulous waterfront location like this Full Apartment With a Deck in Discovery Bay

1. Mount Powell Court, Antioch, California Top Recommendation

Mount Powell Court is a homestay located in Antioch, California. It has free parking, and guests can enjoy a garden view from all rooms. The apartment features air conditioning, heating and a flat-screen TV. Towels and bed linen are provided at Mount Powell Court.

2. Hampton Inn Brentwood

Hampton Inn Brentwood is located right off Highway 4 and near Antioch Prewitt Water Park. It offers an outdoor swimming pool, free Wi-Fi and a friendly staff. A 37-inch flat-screen TV and an alarm clock with MP3 connectivity are provided in each spacious room at the Brentwood Hampton Inn. A work desk and safety deposit box are also included, as well as a guest laundry facility with free on-site parking.

3. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Brentwood, an IHG Hotel

Offering an outdoor pool and a fitness centre, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Brentwood is located in Brentwood. Free WiFi access is available in all areas. All rooms are equipped with a TV and cable channels. Each room comes with a private bathroom fitted with a bath or shower. The nearest airport is Oakland International Airport, 52 km from the property.

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