How to Plan a Wonderful Solo Trip to Concord CA

solo trip to concord ca and enjoying salvio pacheco square

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Note: Visit Concord graciously hosted me on a press trip in exchange for coverage. As always, this post discusses my honest experience and all opinions are my own.

Northern California is officially one of my favorite places to travel alone. The entire region is a friendly, delicious, and naturally beautiful oasis that’s easy to explore at your own pace. I can’t say enough good things about it.

One stop on my northern California trip was Concord, CA.

Admittedly, I didn’t know much about the area prior to my trip. I knew Concord was located not too far from San Francisco. And on my flight, my outgoing and cool seat neighbors also told me about Concord’s legendary tacos.

The result? I ended up falling in love with all of Concord’s surprises. I firmly it’s a perfect destination for an indulgent solo travel getaway in California.

you will see unique plants in concord ca

Solo Trip in Concord Tips

Ultimately, traveling alone in Concord was pretty easy for me, but I could completely understand how someone would feel overwhelmed at all the great things to see and do (haha, it’s a good problem, right?).

So, for the sake of organization, I’ve divided this guide into two sections: solo travel tips for logistics followed by all the fun things to do in Concord CA alone. 

Let’s get planning!

concord todos santos plaza is so beautiful

How to Get Around Concord

Like other destinations near the Bay Area, the closest biggest airports are San Francisco and Oakland International. 

For solo travelers wanting freedom and flexibility, rental car is the best mode of transportation in Concord. You can pick up a car either at the airport or in Concord. 

As a side note, if you’re comfortable taking public transportation, Concord is a stop on the yellow BART line, which is super convenient since SFO is the last stop on that same line. It’s perfect! After all, who doesn’t like direct trains? Train time is roughly an hour and fifteen minutes.

However, once you reach Concord, public transportation options are much more limited. Luckily, Uber and Lyft is active in the area and rides are reliable. I don’t think I waited more than five minutes for a car! 

If you have your own rental car, you can easily link your Concord trips to other Bay Area cities and towns, such as nearby historic Danville.

solo trip to concord ca at the water park
Alone and Happy at Hurricane Harbor

Solo Travel Safety in Concord CA

Concord CA felt very safe to me.

As a solo female traveler, safety is super duper important to me, and I always stay hyper aware of my surroundings, even in the middle of the day.

In Concord, I had no issues walking around with my camera and wasn’t accosted by strangers. Of course, even though Concord is a safe destination, common sense still applies here.

For example, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend drinking all the craft beers and roaming desolate streets on a weeknight at 3 in the morning, but you wouldn’t do that at home either (at least I hope not).

Follow “usual street smarts” and you will be okay. I promise!

hurricane harbor rolls out the welcome
Hurricane Harbor: A Cool Place to Make New Friends!

How to Make Friends in Concord

Locals in Concord are very friendly. I was surprised at how many nice and random conversations I had with people who simply wanted to chat! Encountering so many socially warm people was a breath of fresh air, that’s for sure!

For example, in the middle of my solo trip to Concord CA, I stopped at the Hop Grenade Taproom where I had a wonderful hour and a half (!!!) conversation with a local school bus driver, and we chatted about our experiences working in public schools. 

Likewise, at Hurricane Harbor, I talked a lot to people waiting in line for the rides. They discussed their excitement now that parks are once again open to the public. 

Solo travel sometimes feels lonely. However, in Concord, you won’t feel lonely for very long. Someone will strike a conversations with you, I promise. 

the hilton in concord ca is a lovely and warm hotel

Where to Stay in Concord CA

Concord has a variety of hotels available to visitors, and you should definitely be able to find a place that suits your budget. Do your research ahead of time and read reviews (as always).

On my visit, I stayed at Hilton Concord. I absolutely loved it! The hotel was clean and the staff friendly.

Not to mention, this beautiful hotel is an especially fantastic if you want to go to Hurricane Harbor. Why? The amusement park is a super easy 10 minute walk! Talk about stress-free! 

Last but not least, Hilton Concord is also right across the street from Concord’s Veranda – a premier outdoor mall that has some of the city’s best food options. Not having to drive or find an Uber for dinner made my trip even more relaxing.

You can find Hilton Concord at 1970 Diamond Boulevard. 

driving orange juice in concord ca
A Very Happy Solo Traveler in Concord CA.

Best Things to Do in Concord CA Alone

Now that we’ve gotten logistics out of the way, let’s talk about all the great things Concord CA has to offer solo travelers!

Seriously, I can’t stress enough what a great weekend getaway Concord is, especially after the hustle and bustle of San Francisco.

Concord is super relaxing, yes, but at the same time, you will never feel bored! 

floating in the lazy river on a sunny day

Make a Splash at Hurricane Harbor

Are you visiting Concord in the summer? Prepare for heat, heat, and more heat! Luckily for you, cooling down is easy and fun at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.

Do you feel weird going to a waterpark alone? Don’t be! Hurricane Harbor was the first time I ever went to an amusement park alone, and I had a great time, because I could do whatever I wanted without a single soul judging my choices. 

Hurricane Harbor has an enjoyable mix of thrill rides and more chilled out experiences.

As for me, I personally loved relaxing in Breaker Beach, which is a gigantic wave pool with water falls and fountains. I also really enjoyed floating in Kaanapali Kooler Lazy River, a gentle 1,100 river that weaves throughout the park. 

Keep in mind that you need a parking pass for Hurricane Harbor if you’re driving in and should make space in your budget for that.

solo trip to concord ca tip: eat well at the farmer's market

Support Local Business at the Farmers Market

Like many other towns, Concord has a splendid weekly Farmers Market. The market is located in Todos Santos Park every Tuesday, as well as Thursdays in the summer months. 

Farmers markets are an ideal way to support and talk to members of the local community. For example, I had a great time browsing the stalls and sampling some incredible tasting dumplings, while chatting with other merchants and shoppers.

By going to Concord Farmers Market, an independent traveler feels like part of the thriving morning social scene. 

Not to mention, Todos Santos Park is a beautiful public park that’s worthy of your time and attention. Take plenty of pictures! 

exploring half price books in concord ca

Add to Your Reading List at Half-Price Books

Anyone who regularly reads this blog already knows that I adore bookstores. For an avid reader, nothing feels better than browsing through shelves and reading blurbs on the back of colorful book covers. 

Half-Price Books is a true Concord gem. You could wander inside this family-owned chain bookstore for hours. Seriously, I felt like I was teleported into a large and comfortable library. 

HPB’s website has some super cool facts about this store that will only increase your enjoyment. For instance, did you know that 3,445 yards of books, movies, and music are packed inside this store? Incredible, right?

So, walk to 1975 Diamond Blvd and shop for a new book (or three or six)! 

Personally, books are a huge distraction for me when I have to dine alone. I recommend buying a book that you can truly get lost in to add to the joy of a solo trip to Concord CA. 

eating cakes at alpine bakery was lovely

Treat Yourself to Something Sweet

Wanna hear one of my favorite parts about solo travel?

You can eat as many sweets as your heart desires and no one judges you. It’s almost as if calories don’t count when you’re alone in a new place. 

Sweet Snack Suggestions in Concord CA

  • Alpine Pastry and Cakes: This incredible bakery is a true Concord favorite, and upon entering, it’s so easy to understand why Alpine Pastry and Cakes is so beloved. For 50 years, Alpine has been known for creating beautiful custom cakes, but smaller desserts and coffee are available for you to true. You can find Alpine Pastry and Cakes at 1848 Willow Pass Road.
  • Angel & Devil Ice Cream: Craving bubble tea or a soft serve ice cream? Don’t skip Angel & Devil located in the Veranda. Of course I couldn’t resist their signature boba with royal milk tea, but some of the ice creams looked awesome too! You can find Angel & Devil Ice Cream at 2025 Diamond Blvd.
  • Crumbl Cookies: Do you love desserts and surprises? Then you need to check out Crumbl Cookies. Their rotating menu will surprise you with four different specialty flavors every single week! You’ll never taste the same cookie twice! You can find Crumbl Cookies at 2015 Diamond Blvd Suite E-150.

solo dining in mikuni in concord ca

Eat Food from Around the World

Concord’s food scene is not only delicious, but diverse. You’re able to find any type of cuisine here, which allows you to travel the world with your tastebuds and not hop on an international flight. Win/win, right?

International Food Suggestions in Concord CA

  • Crepe La Fontaine: A new and small French crepe shop that’s perfect for an informal breakfast. Crepe La Fontaine also has some darn good orange juice. You can find them at the Veranda.
  • Doppio Zero Southern Italian: This southern Italian restaurant is definitely the place to go if you’re craving a homemade Neapolitan pizza. Plop at the bar, order your pizza, and don’t share with anyone! You can find Doppio Zero 
  • Lima: I’ve been wanting to visit Peru for a long time. I experienced the next best thing at Lima – an award-winning Peruvian restaurant – with a beautiful outdoor seating patio.  
  • Mikuni: I mean, who doesn’t love fresh sushi? Mikuni is the perfect spot for solo travelers with its huge, sleek bar and pop interior. As a solo traveler, you’re welcome to taste as many rolls as your heart desires.
  • The Taco Trail: Mmmmm, who doesn’t love tacos? Follow Concord’s Taco Trail to sample some of the greatest tacos in this part of California. This journey, which includes some of the best authentic Mexican around, has been in existence since … wait for it! … 1869.
the hop grenade is one of the best beer stops in concord
On a Solo Trip to Concord CA, Sit at the Bar and Chat with Locals

Sample Contra Costa County’s Breweries

Concord has a delightful craft beer scene that solo travelers are able to enjoy on their trip. 

If you’re especially fond of beer, I suggest doing the county’s beer trail and downloading the app, so you can stamp your passport as you drink your way through Concord! 

As for me, I decided to stay in downtown Concord and go to The Hop Grenade – which has both a bar and shop.

The bartenders are very knowledge about all the local craft beers and will help you order the perfect beer for you, depending on your tastes! Their merchandise is super cool, too! I highly recommend a visit.

You can find The Hop Grenade at 2151 Salvio Street at Suite J.

veranda on a sunny day in concord ca

Chill Out at The Veranda 

I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much I fell in love with The Veranda

I. Can’t. Even.

The Veranda is an outdoor mall with plenty of dining and food options. Feel free to shop til you drop.

But my favorite part of the Veranda was hanging outside near the musical fountains. I honestly felt the same bubbly happiness that I do whenever I go to a public square in a European city and people watch until my heart is content.

As a solo traveler, I also recommend going to Residual Sugar Wine Bar for a night cap and observing the fun-loving scenes around you. You will feel like you are part of the community!

get outdoors in concord ca

Enjoy Nature at Markham Nature Park & Arboretum 

Whenever I travel alone, I want to take at least one walk in a beautiful natural setting, especially if I’m on a busy trip that takes me to multiple cities.

And I was happy to find nature in Concord!

So let’s say you don’t feel like driving all the way the Mt. Diablo. Don’t even worry about it!

A simple and close nature escape is made very possible at Markham Nature Park and Arboretum. 

In the park, take a self-guided walk and learn all about the forty-five different species growing here. Markham Nature Park’s trees are lovingly cared for by volunteers who are passionate about their work and more than happy to talk to you about their experiences. 

On my solo trip to Concord CA, I spent at least ten minutes sitting under a leafy tree and watching kids run around and laugh in the main park. It was so wonderful seeing people happy! Highly recommend! 

aRt cottage is one of the cutest places in concord ca

Appreciate a Cool Gallery at aRt Cottage

I’m a fan of good art. I mean, I frequently research the best art museums and galleries before I arrive at any new cities. So, obviously, I was delighted to hear about aRt Cottage located in downtown Concord on 2238 Mt Diablo St.

I absolutely fell in love with the exterior of this cottage with its lush green plants and brightly colored paint. 

As a solo traveler, you’re more able to appreciate gorgeous art without someone else distracting or rushing you.

What’s especially cool about aRt Cottage is that classes are offered on a regular basis! If the schedule works, enroll in a class to embrace your creative side and talk with local artists. 

Traveling alone is wonderful, but as I’ve already said, sometimes loneliness creeps up on you like a sneaky shadow.

In an art class, you will feel like you’re connected to Concord’s community. And truthfully, those meaningful moments with people are the true souvenirs to take home with you.

concord ca pots are so pretty

As you can see, a solo trip to Concord CA will delight and surprise you! You’ll fall in love with the food, people, and nature! For those of you who live nearby, what are your favorite things to see and do in Concord CA?

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