Connect Meetings: Local Experiences in Concord

Located 30 minutes east of San Francisco, Concord offers everything you need to host a world-class event in Northern California. In addition to its robust collection of meeting, networking and lodging venues, Concord also offers a community feel your attendees will be hard-pressed to find in any of the larger neighboring cities.

Ready to host an event that will make everyone feel right at home? Here are the top experiential and local meeting experiences in Concord:

Wine Tours

If there’s one thing Northern California is famous for, it’s wine. Located in the heart of the Bay Area, Concord serves as the perfect hub to the area’s top wine regions . While Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley are both easily accessible at about an hour’s drive away, there are 11 wineries within 10 miles of Concord that are members of Contra Costa Winegrowers Association. Private tasting rooms like those at Campos Family Vineyards, Orchard & Vine and Bloomfield Vineyards are great for team-building activities and wine education for attendees. Residual Sugar Wine Bar and the Hilton’s Plate & Vine restaurant also offer impressive wine selections in town.

Head 30 minutes east on I-80 and you’ll find Fairfield's Suisun Valley whose award-winning loop of wineries offers your group a more intimate and laid-back experience compared to the bigger estates. And Livermore Valley, California’s oldest wine region, is located just 40 miles southeast of Concord.

Drink, Dine, Unwind

Home to more than 300 restaurants serving cuisines from 25-plus countries, Concord offers your group a wide variety of award-winning fare and international flair. You can experience many of the same culinary delights as neighboring San Francisco, minus the crowds and big-city prices.

Puesto will wow attendees with their interactive liquor carousel, custom electronic light show and “Taco Heaven” chandelier for your welcome party. They have eight types of custom-designed seating for you to configure any event up to 250 people to your liking. Or, tour Monument Boulevard, a 2-mile stretch of family-owned Mexican and Latin American restaurants and taquerias with must-stops like Mercado Del Sol and Tortellaria El Molino.

Concord’s booming Asian and Indian food scene features popular spots such as Momo n Curry, Gen Korean BBQ House, Mikuni and EMC Seafood and Raw Bar.

Other crowd-pleasers include Luna Ristorante, one of the area’s top Italian restaurants, or dinner and a show in the private dining room of Benihana, a Contra Costa County institution for more than 30 years. At Benihana, your group’s personal chef can create a teppanyaki-style meal right before everyone’s eyes at a communal hibachi table.

The Concord Beer Trail is also a great way to experience downtown Concord and beyond. Guests can enjoy a variety of specialty craft beers at favorite local spots such as Epidemic Ales, The Hop Grenade, EJ Phair and Concord Tap House.

Live Music and Entertainment

Top names like Maroon 5,Alanis Morrisette, Backstreet Boys and Brad Paisley can all be found at the Concord Pavilion in 2020, along with Journey, The Pretenders, Chicago, Rick Springfield and many more. Plan a music-filled night out for your attendees around your event.

Whether your group is into salsa, zydeco, blues or jazz, they can find live music at Music and Market at Todos Santos Plaza—and on a budget. The free concerts in the park run from May 28-Sept. 24, 2020 and often include fabulous Bay Area musicians. In July, Music and Market hosts the popular Tuesday Night Blues evening—which could be an open night for your attendees.

If jazz perked your ears up, time your event with the Concord Jazz Festival. What started in 1969 as a small concert in a city park has now grown into one of the top jazz events in the country. Over the years, the lineup has included legendary acts like Carlos Santana, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald, just to name a few.

Mount Diablo

After a day of meetings, seminars and networking events, your attendees will likely want to unwind and take in some local scenery. For a special adventure, head to Mt. Diablo State Park, less than a half hour away from downtown Concord. Here they can enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, mountain biking and exploring the other-worldly landscapes of the park’s sandstone caves.

The park’s top attraction is its namesake, the towering Mount Diablo and there are multiple ways for groups to reach the summit. Organize a hike or guided bike ride with one of our talented guides. Our team can also help arrange private transportation by bus, car or coach.

From the peak’s 3,800-ft. observation deck, your attendees can admire some of the best views in the state. On a clear day, 40 of California’s 58 counties are visible from the summit. San Francisco’s skyline glitters to the west. From the southern lookout point, you can see the Santa Cruz Mountains and Loma Prieta. To the north, your group might be able to spot the 10,457-ft. cliff sides of Lassen Peak and Mount Saint Helens. In addition to the amazing views, the Mount Diablo Summit Visitor Center offers an engaging look at the park’s history, ecosystem and wildlife.

Indoor Adventures

It’s not just about the great outdoors in Concord. Your group will find a wide variety of indoor fun here, ranging from bowling tournaments to trampoline dodgeball to escape rooms.

The area recently opened its first Dave & Buster’s at The Veranda. Attendees can play top-of-the-line video games in the 47,000-square-foot space to win prizes like X-box consoles, Apple items and Beats by Dre. For groups they will set up burger bars and nacho stations and there are plenty of hand-crafted cocktails to go around.

Also in The Veranda is Veranda Luxe Cinema & Imax Theater where any screening that’s part of your meeting (or after-hours entertainment) can be enjoyed by attendees in electric recliners with full bar and in-theater dining.

If your attendees are looking for a different kind of escape, turn to the newest popular team building activity—escape rooms. Red Door Escape Room is one of the most interactive escape rooms on the market. There is a Cash Me casino-themed episode, Fair Game episode and tons of hands-on puzzles. For those that want to get their group out of a secret vault, holding cell or an attic, ATG Escape Rooms has the scenario for you.

For other fun outings, consider hosting a “glow bowling” party at Clayton Valley Bowl. Attendees can sharpen their follow-through while enjoying music, snacks and billiards in the lounge.

If you’re looking for something different, another popular venue is the Diablo Rock Gym. Whether your group is full of expert boulderers or climbing newbies, the gym’s 11,000-ft. vertical terrain offers something for everyone. Attendees can also take private climbing lessons with the center’s talented instructors or participate in the gym’s yoga and fitness classes. Finally, don’t miss the trampoline courts of Sky High Sports Park. Each team member will feel like a kid again as they bounce into the foam pits and challenge one another to trampoline volleyball.

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