Bachelor and bachelorette parties may have a reputation for being raucous shindigs full of crazy shenanigans. But this is your big day, meaning that if a more low-key destination where you can just focus on celebrating with loved ones is more your speed, then Concord, California has you covered. This lively town in the East Bay features plenty of top-notch spots the entire group will enjoy, from relaxing spas to outdoor adventures (yes, there’s golf too!) to excellent restaurants where you can raise a glass (or three!) to the happy couple. In addition, Concord is a piece of (wedding) cake to get to, a short drive from two major airports and accessible by train.
Of course, if you decide that all-out bachelor/bachelorette party is what you really want, then Concord has an option for that, too. You can hop aboard a direct flight from Concord right to glitzy Las Vegas or glam Burbank via JetSuiteX, which offers a private airline experience at commercial prices.
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However you do it, Concord is an ideal spot for your pre-wedding fête. Here’s how to do it right before you say “I Do.”
For the Bachelorette Bash: Funky Fitness, Shopping Galore, and Mucho Vino
You and your best girlfriends are sure to break a sweat (and bust out laughing, too) with a lesson at Spin Sity Pole Dance and Fitness Studio. They have two options perfect for bachelorette parties of up to 10 people: the “Pole Tease” and “Pole Addict”, which encourage participants to let their inhibitions go. Follow up your workout with some pampering at Bollinger Nail Salon in Todos Santos Plaza. They offer a full range of manicure and pedicure services and cater to small parties.
For girls who love to shop, plan an afternoon at The Veranda. Conveniently located off Highway 680, this stylish, Mediterranean-inspired outdoor shopping center features trendy eateries, a state-of-the-art IMAX theatre, and a full lineup of retail stores to suit all tastes and budgets. Depending on the time of year, you can also engage in a little friendly competition at The Veranda’s game areas, which feature cornhole and Ping Pong.
If you and your crew are all about the outdoors, Concord provides plenty of ways to connect with nature, including the ultimate wilderness playground surrounding Mount Diablo, the highest peak in the Bay Area. Hiking trails abound within Mount Diablo State Park—from the full-day base to summit climb to the more manageable five-mile Donner Creek Loop that will delight winter hikers with waterfalls, as well as the scenic 7.4-mile Mitchell Canyon to Eagle Peak loop.
For some well-deserved fuel afterward, enjoy a healthy, plant-based lunch at The Lettuce Inn a block from Todos Santos Plaza. Cap off your adventure with a muscle-soothing massage at Green Leaf Spa or Palace Spa & Massage, both of which are open seven days a week.
When you’ve hit your limit for exploring, whether it’s of the urban or outdoor variety, meet up at Residual Sugar Wine Bar to share those glorious “remember the time” stories around the fire pit while sipping selections from the extensive menu. You can opt for made-for-sharing plates like charcuterie or cheese platters for dinner, or go for a change of scene and head to Mikuni, a Japanese sushi bar for delicious rolls. Another delicious pick: flavorful, home-style tacos at the gorgeous Puesto, whose décor is reflective of the modernist urban landscape of Mexico City. For a more intimate affair with just you and your girls, you can request a private space, with custom seating depending on the size of your group.
Two other options for incredible Latin-leaning dishes are Lima, serving up delicious Peruvian cuisine and the best pisco sours around, and Canasta Kitchen, known for upscale and inventive Latin fare. Hit the Nica Lounge for cocktails and late-night grooves—and don’t forget to get on the guest list for discounted entry before 11 pm.
For the Bachelor Parties: Golfing, Mountain Biking, and Brews
An afternoon of golf with the guys is an awesome way for any groom-to-be to celebrate his final single days. Fortunately in Concord, you have a couple of great options. Diablo Creek Golf is an 18-hole course with a putting green, rental party area, and pro shop, as well as the Legends Sports Bar & Grill, known for its Bloody Marys. For a more low-key outing, there’s the walking-only, nine-hole Buchanan Fields Golf Club. It’s also located next to the local airport, so you’ll be able to catch the planes taking off while you get ready to tee off.
Got any MTB enthusiasts in the group? They’ll love Concord’s rugged and hilly landscape, which makes it the perfect playground for mountain bikers. You’ll find outstanding off-road options in either Mount Diablo State Park or the South Loop Trail of Lime Ridge Open Space.
After the day on the links or trails, take the crew out for a cold one at Vinnie’s Bar and Grill, where you’ll find pool tables, darts, a backyard smoking patio, live entertainment on weekends, and even country music and line dancing. The Red Hat Sports Bar is another lively go-to offering a wide selection of beers on tap, creative cocktails, open mic nights, and live bands on the weekends.
Continue the good times at Todos Santos Plaza, where you can put together a bachelor pub crawl. Grab an outdoor table at the casual taproom and bottle shop, Hop Grenade, then saunter next door to EJ Phair Brewing Company, the longest continuously operating brewery in Contra Costa County.
For Mixed-Group Gatherings
Throwing a pre-wedding bash to celebrate both the bride and groom? Concord is just the spot, with plenty of options for dining and activities that everyone in the group will love.
Kick off the festivities at The Veranda, which offers plenty more than just a shopping center. One of the new entertainment highlights is the Red Door Escape Room. Test your problem-solving skills (and your friendships!) in one of six “episodes” where your group will solve cryptic puzzles and use hidden clues to escape from a series of rooms. Most episodes can be played with two to seven people, but Red Door can help organize private episodes for larger groups. (Insider tip: Don’t throw out any tired ball-and-chain jokes here, people.)
After refining your sleuthing skills (and working up an appetite) in the Escape Room, you won’t have trouble finding great food nearby. Also on site at The Veranda is Concord newcomer Yard House, where you can choose from more than 100 American-style dishes and 130 beers on tap, accompanied by rocking tunes.
For a more relaxed outing, bowling is always a great pick. Roll over to Diablo Valley Bowl for guaranteed fun, whether your specialty is strikes, spares, or gutter balls. If you’ve got at least eight in your group, the facility’s party package, which costs $25 per person and includes a party host, shoe rental, pizza, wings, and fries, plus soft drinks and a pitcher of beer, is a solid choice.
For a memorable meal, head over to EMC Seafood & Raw Bar, which, as its name suggests, serves up fresh seafood goodness like oysters, live uni, and shellfish-studded noodle dishes. Be sure to order the signature Seafood Tower: a massive cornucopia of straight-from-the-sea treats, from oysters to king crab to scallops that makes for a spectacular photo. Have everyone raise a glass to the happy couple—and the adventures still awaiting in Concord.
Written by Karen Bakar for Matcha in partnership with Visit Concord.