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10 Fun & Best Things to Do in Brentwood, California

10 Fun & Best Things to Do in Brentwood, California

Established in the 19th Century, Brentwood, California, is a growing community situated in what’s called the East Bay region of the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

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 grown to become quite a dynamic town, and there is a lot to interest both those who live here and those visiting the area.

Today, while agriculture remains the top answer whenever anyone asks what is Brentwood, California is known for, there are also 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!

TLDR

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
  • Best park – Round Valley Regional Preserve
  • Best free activity -Brentwood Farmers Market
  • Best activity for kids – Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex for Summer & Rockin’ Jump for Rainy Days
  • Best activity for adults – Hannah Nicole Vineyards & Winery
  • Best food – Shutters Brasserie
  • Best nightlife – Enjoy an evening beneath the stars at Round Valley Regional Preserve
  • Best all-around accommodation – Orwood Resort

Best & Fun Things to do in Brentwood, California

1. Brentwood Golf Club

Brentwood Golf Club Scenery
image by Brentwood Golf Club/Facebook

Address: 100 Summerset Drive, Brentwood, CA 94513

Brentwood Golf Club offers three stunning courses in the foothills of Mount Diablo. Renowned golf course architect Ted Robinson designed each of these courses, 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 teh 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 Road Brentwood, CA 94513

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 go 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 different varieties of grapes. Hannah Nicole Vineyards & Winery produce several outstanding wines, but their two flagship wines are the Viognier and Balfour “Meritage” wines.

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: Best Things to Do in Malibu, California

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

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 very 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 that was 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 all 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: 21789 Marsh Creek Road, Brentwood, CA 94513

The Marsh Creek State Historic Park is not fully open to the public just 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 very first ranch home in all of California.

Visitors to this park will also enjoy a network of trails meandering through 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: 10 Best Things to Do in Burlington, NC [Top Attractions]

5. Round Valley Regional Preserve

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

Address: 19450 Marsh Creek Road, Brentwood, CA 95413

Round Valley Regional Preserve is located just a bit further west on the same road as the Marsh Creek State Historic Park, making it 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 acres of 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 paired with minimal shade makes 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, note that dogs are not permitted at any time 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 own campsite.

See Related: Best Things to Do in East Bay, California

6. Brentwood Farmers Market

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

Address: Corner of Oak St and 1st S., Brentwood, CA 94513

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 still remains largely an agricultural community.

The Brentwood Farmers Market is often filled with the best examples of that, 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 Lane, Brentwood, CA 94513

The Brentwood Family Aquatic Complex should not be confused with more tourist-oriented water parks, but 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 when 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 own protected area of the pool.

See Related: Best & Fun Things to Do in Bishop, California

8. John Muir Interpretive Center

Address: 19 Walnut Blvd., Brentwood, CA 94613

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

You will find the John Muir Interpretive Center 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 Brentwood

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 complete 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 and well-maintained landscaping.

See Related: Best Places to visit in Southern California & Things to Do

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, but it is within one of its nearby cities and offers such a fun activity that it certainly deserves a place on this list!

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 are looking to move to Brentwood or otherwise be in this area for a more extended period, then 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.

Looking for more kayak adventures?

Take a Lake Tahoe Kayaking or Paddleboarding Tour.

Getting around Brentwood, California

 Despite having a significant amount of farmland, Brentwood, California, is considered pedestrian-friendly, at least when it comes to its core neighborhoods. If you are staying 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, you will need to take the BART to Antioch and then catch a Tri Delta Transit bus from there.

 If you want to enjoy more of those outdoor recreational areas that are 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 ahead of time through someone like Kayak.

Don’t forget to get travel insurance on your trip. World Nomads is one of the best insurance to take.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Northern California

Where Should I Stay in Brentwood, California?

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 are going to have such great attractions of their own that you aren’t going to want to go very far. Orwood Resort is an excellent example of this, as its waterfront location offers an array of water activities like boating, fishing, swimming, and more. 

If you are not into the more camp and outdoor-style of lodging, then you can also search through the excellent Brentwood VRBO offerings.

VRBOs can be found throughout Brentwood, including some on the outskirts in more of the agricultural areas. You might also choose a fabulous waterfront location like this Full Apartment With Deck in Discovery Bay

FAQ

Where is a good place to enjoy a delicious meal in Brentwood, California? 

The most popular restaurant in Brentwood, California, is Shutters Brasserie. Shutters Brasserie is a sophisticated restaurant with a menu highlighting seasonal French cuisine. Go on the weekends to enjoy live jazz music with your meal. 

What is the best thing to do with kids in Brentwood, California?

Young kids with a lot of energy to get out would probably most appreciate a visit to Rockin’ Jump. Rockin’ Jump is Brentwood’s best indoor trampoline park.

What are some fun things to do in Brentwood, California?

From parks with walking trails to golf courses and movie theaters, there are plenty of fun things to do in Brentwood, California, to meet just about anyone’s interests.

What are some things to do in Brentwood, CA, when it’s raining?

Rain isn’t often a long problem in Brentwood, but if it does happen during your visit, potential rain-day activities include enjoying a delicious meal at a preferred restaurant, an extended spa day within specialty treatment rooms, and a show at El Campanil Theatre.

What are the best tourist attractions in Brentwood, CA?

The best attraction of Brentwood, California, will depend upon you! That said, we recommend all visitors to this lovely town go and enjoy at least one morning at the Brentwood Farmers Market. Here, you can enjoy fresh foods and crafts and learn more about upcoming local events and activities to visit during your stay in the area.

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