Like California’s proverbial chilled-out personality, the town of Concord boasts an enticingly laid-back vibe. But it’s got a daring side, too, with an impressive variety of thrill-seeker experiences that surprise many visitors. From zombie apocalypse scavenger hunts to get-after-it Ninja Warrior classes to hardcore mountain biking trails, there’s an experience in Concord for every type of adrenaline fiend. Check out these seven electrifying experiences in Concord that are sure to get you amped up for a visit.
1. Make a Splash at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Waterpark
There’s no more convenient way to chase thrills than at an amusement park. Fortunately for those planning a visit to Concord, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is located in the heart of town. This family-friendly water and adventure park has rides, games, and attractions sure to delight everyone in the group, from tiny tykes to veteran park-goers. The 11 feature rides include the 70-foot Cliffhanger water slide, the Honolulu Halfpipe, and the Tornado water slide—all designed to get the excitement flowing. The park also includes some tamer classics for younger kiddos (and anyone who prefers not to lose their voice from screaming), like the Kaanapali Kooler Lazy River and the Breaker Beach wave pool.
2. Hit the Trail (and Singletrack)
Situated among the rolling hills of East Bay, Concord offers excellent access to exhilarating mountain biking. Mount Diablo State Park, less than an hour’s drive from downtown, boasts more than 60 miles of top-notch mountain biking trails for riders of all skill levels. The most hardcore singletrack options are suitable for strong intermediate to advanced riders, with heart-pumping descents, tight corners, and technical rocky sections. Meanwhile, Briones Regional Park entices with primarily intermediate and strong intermediate singletrack marked by steep climbs and wide-open scenery. The 1,200-acre Lime Ridge Open Space has its share of mountain biking as well, mostly on doubletrack for beginner and intermediate riders. For gentler terrain, try the paved Contra Costa Canal Trail, which runs 14 miles through Concord and surrounding towns.
3. Test Out Your Ninja Warrior Chops
Ever watched the hit TV show “American Ninja Warrior” and wondered how well you’d compete? To find out, head to the APEX Movement gym in Concord to experience for a firsthand look at what it takes to earn the coveted American Ninja Warrior title with a Ninja Warrior class. These one-hour courses, which are offered on Sundays for participants 16 and up, introduce Warrior wannabes to the grueling physical and mental challenges inspired by the television show, such as “Warped Wall” scaling, trampoline tricks, and the infamous salmon ladder, among other obstacles. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of APEX owner Alan “The Beast” Connealy, five-time American Ninja Warrior champion, while you’re there (that is, if you can see through all the sweat dripping into your eyes).
4. Fulfill Your Lifelong Dream of Flying
Concord is home to the Sterling Flight Training Center, known as the best aviation training school in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here you’ll find an impressive fleet of small planes, like the N1109X, N7943C, and the N4351T. In addition to training pilots, the center also charters flights, meaning you can soak up the thrill (and luxury) of a private flight in a small plane. (One caveat, however: Heading back to the economy cabin will be even more painful afterward.)
5. Try to Outwit the Undead
It’s not something you see every day: A zombie apocalypse hitting downtown as groups of determined survivors take to the streets in search of everything they need to ward off the encroaching masses of undead. With Zombie Scavengers, you can test out your mettle (and perhaps even preserve your brain) in such a scenario through a memorable one-hour experience in Todos Santos Plaza. You’ll receive detailed instructions on your smartphones (such as the items your team needs to find), as well as challenges like trivia questions to earn virtual zombie-fighting weapons and rival colonies trying to get after your treasures. At the very least, when the adventure is over, you may just feel a bit more empowered if (when?) that much-hyped zombie apocalypse does happen IRL.
6. Test Your Survival Skills in an Escape Room
Escape rooms may be the biggest trend in urban adventures—and for good reason. These live-action experiences challenge participants to solve mysteries, find clues, and work together with a team to escape victoriously. In Concord, two escape room locations are scheduled to open in summer 2019: the ATG (Above the Game) Escape Rooms near downtown and the Red Door Escape Room in the Veranda shopping center. Don’t miss your chance to see how you fare in one of these thrilling immersive experiences—many people say it feels like being inside a video game.
7. Take Your Thrills to New Heights on a Climbing Wall
Diablo Rock Gym, part of the Touchstone Climbing group, is one of the Bay Area’s most state-of-the-art climbing facilities, with extensive top-roping, lead climbing, and bouldering opportunities. With 11,000 total square feet of climbing terrain and 2,000 square feet of bouldering walls, the gym offers an excellent way for both climbing newbies and experienced rock rounds to get an adrenaline fix, as well as introductory climbing lessons and intermediate classes to push you to the next level. Rock on!
Written by Jenna Herzog for Matcha in partnership with Visit Concord.