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Walnut Creek Downtown History Tour

Where was the first bank in Walnut Creek? To learn the answer to this and many other intriguing questions about our town, join us on a Downtown History Tour presented by the Walnut Creek Historical Society.

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This easy, 90-minute guided walking tour on city sidewalks brings to life the early times and development of what has become a Bay Area destination city. It is a perfect way to spend a morning and then stay to enjoy all that downtown Walnut Creek has to offer.

The tours are held on the 2nd Saturday of each month, rain or shine, starting on March 14, 2015. Check-in begins at 9:00 a.m. at the fountain at Liberty Bell Plaza on the corner of Broadway and Mt. Diablo Blvd. The tour begins at 9:30 a.m. and is free. A booklet with historic photos of the sites visited may be purchased at the tour for $5.00.

Registration in advance is not required. Since it is necessary to limit the tours to 30 people, it is advisable to arrive at the 9:00 a.m. check-in to ensure being on the tour. No pets, please.

The Downtown History Tour opens a new way to experience our city. Hundreds of people have already enjoyed these tours. We look forward to seeing you on the sidewalks of Walnut Creek!

Downtown History Tour FAQ

Where do the tours begin and end?
The tours begin at Liberty Bell Plaza on the corner of Mt. Diablo Blvd. and Broadway. They end at the east-side entrance to City Hall on the corner of Broadway and Civic.

Where do the tours go?
After leaving Liberty Bell Plaza, we walk to Main St. and continue on Main St. to City Hall. Occasionally we cross the street to get a better view of a historic building. All the historic sites presented on the tours are on Main St., with a few exceptions.

How long are the tours?
The tours last 90 minutes. They involve walking approximately 5 city blocks.

What if I arrive for a tour and 30 people are already signed in?
It is necessary to limit the number of people on each tour so that we will not block the sidewalks downtown. To accommodate people who arrive after 30 people have already signed in, we plan to offer a 2nd tour that begins 1/2 hour after the first tour departs whenever possible. It is advisable to arrive at the 9:00 a.m. check-in to ensure being on the tour.

Are there any fees for the tours?
The tours are provided free of charge by volunteer docents from the Walnut Creek Historical Society.

Where should I park?
The garages closest to the start point of the tours at Liberty Bell Plaza are the City garage on the east side of Broadway north of Mt. Diablo Blvd. and the Broadway Point garage (entrance on Duncan between Main St. and Broadway).

Are there any places to rest along the way?
There are a number of sidewalk benches at stops on the tour.

Are the tours handicapped accessible?
Yes, the tours take place on city sidewalks.

Is it hard to hear the docents on city streets?
Although there is noise from the streets, the docents are equipped with portable microphones that are very effective.

Is there any age limit for the tours?
People of all ages are welcome on the tours.

Can I bring my pet on a tour?
It is necessary to limit the tours to service animals only.

Is it necessary to purchase a booklet for the tour?
It is not required to purchase a booklet. However, the booklets are designed specifically for the tours with historic photos of the sites visited and greatly enhance the experience.

Can I purchase a booklet without going on a tour?
Currently, the booklets are being sold only in conjunction with the tours.

Should I plan to go on more than one tour?
You are welcome to come on as many tours as you like. However, at this time, there is only one itinerary.

What if I have a group of 10 or more people who want to go on a tour together?
It is best to arrange for a separate tour for a group of 10 or more people. These can be scheduled at any time that is mutually convenient for the tour group and the docents. Call the Shadelands Ranch Museum at 925-935-7871 to contact a docent.