Top 5 Things to Do in November

Spooky season has officially passed, and that wholesome holiday feeling is in the air in Concord, California. Visitors and locals alike have plenty of fun options and activities to look forward to this time of year! Here’s our top five for November.

1: Enjoy a Fall Hike (Or Bike Ride)

Getting outside is always a part of life in Concord, where we’re surrounded by pristine nature preserves, rolling hills and stunning views from Mount Diablo, but fall is an especially interesting time to head out. For one thing, the weather can’t be beat this time of year. Temperatures average in the 60s most days, and the rainy season doesn’t roll into the East Bay until December or January. That sounds like ideal hiking and biking conditions to us! 

The local nonprofit organization Save Mount Diablo hosts guided hikes all the time; check out their website for an event schedule. Or if you’re ready to hit the trail without a guide, check out the Save Mount Diablo regional recreation map, a highly popular and groundbreaking regional outdoor recreation tool. With more than 120,000 acres of preserved lands on and around Mount Diablo, there is so much to explore.

Mount Diablo isn’t all, though! Some other fantastic trails offering unique and beautiful glimpses of our region: 

Lime Ridge Open Space: 1226 acres and 25 miles of premiere 25 hiking & biking trails.

Iron Horse Regional Trail: Begins in Concord and continues for 27 miles for biking and hiking. Wheelchair friendly.

The Contra Costa Canal Trail: Runs along the canal and through central Contra Costa County, connecting regional trails. It’s enjoyed by bikers, runners, pedestrians and equestrians.

Markham Nature Park & Arboretum: A place of quiet beauty less than 20 blocks from downtown Concord.

The Concord Visitor Center has maps for all the East Bay Regional Parks (including the ones listed above)! Here you can also find a FREE large Mount Diablo map.

2. Shop Small at Head West Marketplace, Nov. 19

Photos: @matthewdzoan and @headwestmarketplace.

Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Todos Santos Plaza

Head West Marketplace has been bringing together shoppers and brands for fantastic markets in Todos Santos Plaza for months now, and November’s event promises to be especially strong! The market prioritizes affordability and accessibility, inviting regional makers with locally sourced and handmade products, unique finds and one-of-a-kind goods. The goal of the market is to celebrate local makers and invest in our economy.

What does that all mean for the November market? Holiday shopping jackpot! Truly unique gifts made by people in the community at all different price points, just before Thanksgiving. We invite you to bring your Christmas list and get some shopping done in a way that you can really feel good about. You’ll also find food and live music at this fun free event. Check their website as Nov. 19 approaches to see a list of vendors. 

3. Hit the Ice at The Veranda

Photo: The Veranda

After the tryptophan wears off from all that turkey you’re going to eat on Thanksgiving, go take advantage of some of the great sales of Black Friday and beyond at The Veranda, one of Concord’s coolest shopping centers. Not only does this walkable indoor-outdoor complex have a wide variety of great stores for holiday shopping, like Sephora, Barnes & Noble and World Market, but there are also great restaurants, a movie theater and more.

And starting on Nov. 4, there’s also ice skating! This attraction was a huge hit last year, reminiscent of popular holiday skating rinks in bigger cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Admission is just $17 with skate rental, or season passes are also available for all you pros out there! This family-friendly experience really sets the holiday mood.

4. Enjoy the Concord Museum Grand Opening & Holiday Market, Nov. 19-20

To explore some fascinating Concord history (and maybe do a little holiday shopping, too!), head to the Concord Museum & Event Center on the weekend of Nov. 19 and 20. The Concord Historical Society will be celebrating the museum’s grand opening all weekend with a special model railroad attraction laying out an N-scale model of an old Southern Pacific line that connected the region. Other exhibits cover Native American history, the Rancho era, agricultural history and more.

Meanwhile, the Historical Society will also host its annual Holiday Market again after taking a year off. Also falling right before Thanksgiving, it’s a great time to hunt for host gifts and holiday presents alike. Handcrafted home goods, apparel and more will be up for sale, as well as lots of tasty edible gifts like sweets and local fruit jams.

5. Run for a Cause at the Turkey Trot 5k, Nov. 24

Photos: Diablo Valley Federal Credit Union

Lastly, let’s finish up with a fun Thanksgiving event for a great cause. The Turkey Trot 5k will take place at Newhall Park on Nov. 24 at 8 a.m. The casual walk/run event raises money for Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa, a local nonprofit organization that has served millions of meals to thousands of county residents in need for decades. The 5k is a great way to get in a little exercise and work up an appetite before your Thanksgiving feast, plus have some fun with some of the finest folks in our community.

Plan Your Trip

If you’re planning to travel to Concord, or welcome family or friends in the coming days or months, now is the time to book your hotel stay. Anytime is a great time to be in Concord.