Top Sights to Visit in Walnut Creek, California

With over 165 years of cultural history, Walnut Creek has much to celebrate about its past and much to remember as we set a course for the future.

 

People have resided for thousands of years in the Walnut Creek area. When Mt. Diablo was first sighted by Spanish explorers in 1772, the area was home to the "Volvons," a Bay Miwok tribe. By the early 1800s, the Spanish settlers had forced most Native Americans from their lands and lived either at Mission San Francisco de Asis (Mission Dolores) or at Mission San Jose.

 

Sometimes it's hard to imagine Walnut Creek, CA 's busy, quaint, shopping town as an untamed wilderness, but Walnut Creek was just that, not too long ago. Parts of Walnut Creek were divided between three bands of Bay Miwaok Indian tribes before Broadway Plaza, before Heather Farms, before the restaurants and the bars. The numerous tribes controlled land across Mt. Diablo and San Ramon Creek, from as far as Oakland. Historians at their height estimate the total population of the Bay Miwaok Indians to reach 9,000.

 

Some indigenous communities in 1772 and later Mexico gave way to the first Spanish Explorers. Four grants from Mexican lands today divided Walnut Creek, the most famous of which belonged to Juana Sanchez de Pacheco. Juana's grandson, Ygnacio Sibrian, was credited back in 1850 with the building of the first roofed house in Walnut Creek. He named his abode Rancho Arroy de Las Nueces y Bolbones after the indigenous American group of locals and the tree species found in the valley.

 

A small settlement, called "The Corners," emerged as the Mexican-American War came to an end. Located in the crossroads of the more developed Pacheco and Lafayette, for some time the town had not been home to many settlers. William Slusher was the first American to create a dwelling on the banks of Walnut Creek, and Milo Hough, Hiram Penniman, and Homer Shuey preceded him closely. Shuey, a cattle rancher, took the initiative in setting out plans for streets in the area. His street patterns downtown are still present today at a section of the former cattle ranch of his ancestors.

 

The United States finally accomplished their goal of linking both coasts via railroad in the late 1800s. Walnut Creek began experiencing meager growth with the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad service. The city eventually grew large enough to be incorporated as Contra Costa County's eighth district. The railway passed through Walnut Creek until the late 1970s, until it was turned into the Iron Horse Trail of the East Bay Regional Park District.

The following amazing attractions are located near Walnut Creek, California:
 

  • Mount Diablo State Park 

  • Briones Regional Park

  • Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park

  • The Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery

  • Lindsay Wildlife Experience 

  • The Gardens at Heather Farm

  • Heather Farm Park

  • Iron Horse Regional Trail 

  • Diablo Foothills Regional Park
     

All of these wonderful attractions are located just a short distance from our location at 1261 Locust Street in Walnut Creek, California!

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