Martinez is a city on the southern shore of the Carquinez Strait in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area and is renowned for being home to a large number of antique shops and beautifully preserved old buildings. Established in 1849, Martinez is one of the oldest towns in California and is home to nearly 40,000 residents with a vibrant downtown area that is packed with things to see and do. Downtown Martinez is a vibrant waterfront neighborhood with a unique mix of retail, service, entertainment and dining experiences. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.John Muir National Historic Site
© John Muir National Historic Site
The John Muir National Historic Site is a public park that honors the life of John Muir, America’s most famous naturalist, and conservationist and advocates for nature. The site is home to the beautifully preserved 14-room Italianate Victorian mansion where Muir lived as well as the surrounding 325-acres of native grasslands and oak woodlands that were historically owned by the Muir family. Visitors to the site can enjoy several activities such as a 20-minute film at the Muir/Strentzel Visitor’s Center about Muir's contributions to conservation called A Glorious Journey, a Muir/Strentzel Family Gravesite Tour, and a variety of ranger programs.
4202 Alhambra Ave, Martinez, CA 94553
2.Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline
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Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline is a 343-acre regional park located on the shoreline of Carquinez Strait in Martinez. Part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) system, the park features a variety of outdoor recreation for the whole family to enjoy including open grassy lawns with picnic areas, bocce ball courts, soccer and softball fields, a skateboard park, and three miles of hiking and biking trails along the shoreline and through the surrounding marshlands. The 500-mile long San Francisco Bay Trail passes through the park, and the park is home to several ponds that offer excellent birdwatching and fishing.
Ferry St, Martinez, CA 94553, Phone: 888-327-2757
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3.California Magic Dinner Theatre, Martinez, CA
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The California Magic Dinner Theatre is a shrine to all things magical. Nestled on Main Street in the historic district of downtown Martinez, the unique venue is a combination of dinner theater, magic shop, comedy club, historical museum, and training ground for up-and-coming magicians that offers an unforgettable evening out. Dinner theater shows include a three-course dinner, and an hour-long stage show with close-up magic performed, hosted by Gerry Griffin, and accompanied by an array of the greatest magicians in the world today. Featured performers vary each weekend, and special dietary requirements can be taken into consideration.
514 Main St, Martinez, CA 94553, Phone: 925-374-0056
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4.Martinez Museum, Martinez, CA
© Martinez Museum
The Martinez Museum is managed by the Martinez Historical Society and is dedicated to showcasing the history and heritage of Martinez. Established in 1973 to save an 1890 cottage from demolition, the Martinez Historical Society began to collect papers, documents, photographs and artifacts that documented the city’s history and opened the Martinez Museum to share the story with the public. Today, the Museum features a comprehensive county history library with an extensive collection of historical photographs, artifacts from the city and county. The Martinez Museum is open on the first four Tuesdays and Thursdays of each month and the first four Sundays of each month.
1005 Escobar St, Martinez, CA 94553, Phone: 925-228-8160
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5.George Miller Regional Trail
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The George Miller Trail is a newly paved pedestrian trail that links Martinez to Port Costa and is open to walkers, bikers, and equestrians. Named to honor Congressman George Miller for work and his crucial support on the restoration of the old county road for almost 40 years, the scenic trail winds along the Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline through the wooded landscape with gentle grades, boasting spectacular views of Carquinez Strait, Benicia’s waterfront and Mt Diablo along the way. The new multi-use trail links the communities of Martinez, Port Costa, and Crockett with accessible cycling, hiking, and horseback riding route and is closed to all motorized vehicles. The George Miller Regional Trail is open to the public seven days a week.
Martinez, CA 94553
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6.Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline
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The Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline is a parkland that runs between the town of Crockett and the hillsides overlooking Martinez and is made up of 1,415 acres of rugged bluffs, wooded ravines, open, rolling grasslands, eucalyptus-shaded meadows, and pristine riverside shoreline. Providing a gateway to the river delta region along the northern edge of Contra Costa County, the parkland features several multi-purpose trails that wind their way around the beautiful landscapes, boasting canyon views and ridgetop vistas. The northwestern edge of the shoreline park features the remnants of a former brickworks, grain wharf, and resort, which date back to the turn of the century and recall the historic character of the site.
Carquinez Scenic Drive in Martinez and Crockett, CA
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7.Contra Costa County Historical Society, Martinez, CA
© Contra Costa County Historical Society
The Contra Costa County Historical Society was established to preserve and protect the documents and records pertaining to the history and heritage of Contra Costa County, as well as provide access to them for research and educational purposes. The Contra Costa County Historical Society has a History Center that stands as an archive and treasure trove of pictures, photographs, letters, records and documents that tell the story of Contra Costa County's past. The Center is a working facility where such documents are available for research purposes and are preserved for future generations.
Contra Costa County Historical Society's History Center, 724 Escobar Street, Martinez, CA, Phone: 925-229-1042
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8.St. Catherine of Siena Parish
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The Saint Catherine of Siena Parish is a dynamic community of faith comprising over 1100 families and has been serving the Martinez community for over a hundred years. The Parish provides a variety of active worship, education, and social programs to meet the needs of spiritual needs of our adults and youth and uphold the celebration of the Eucharist as the vital cornerstone of parish life. The Parish provides some community services, including visiting and taking communion to the elderly, the homebound and sick, and provide bereavement support, among others.
606 Mellus St, Martinez, CA 94553, Phone: 925-228-2230
9.Lemongrass Bistro, Martinez, CA
© Lemongrass Bistro
Lemongrass Bistro is a casual Vietnamese eatery that serves a menu of authentic Southeast Asian cuisine in a bistro-style setting. Opened in 2009 by sisters Becky and Linda Pheng, Lemongrass Bistro offers a menu of delicious dishes such as Drunken Noodles, Pad Thai, Stir-Fried Red Curry, Lemongrass Fried Rice, Mango Chicken, Param, and Crispy Shrimp Rolls. Lemongrass Bistro is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Sunday, and offers dine-in and carry out services, as well as catering for special occasions and private events.
501 Main St, Martinez, CA 94553, Phone: 925-387-0388
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10.Copper Skillet Courtyard
© Copper Skillet Courtyard
Copper Skillet Courtyard is a family-owned restaurant that has been serving delicious fare to the community of Martinez for more than 18 years. Boasting an old-school woodsy vibe, the family-friendly restaurant is famous for its $5.99 breakfast specials which are served Monday through Friday and provide five different options from which to choose. The restaurant also offers other specials such as $6.99 lunch specials with seven different options and a variety of signature dishes like the Martinez Burger with half a pound of hamburger patty stacked with Ortega chili peppers, bacon, jack cheese, and tomato on grilled sourdough bread. The Reuben Sandwich boasts grilled pastrami with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese on rye bread and is served with kosher pickles and fries.
811 Ferry St, Martinez, CA 94553, Phone: 925-228-3457
11.La Tapatia Mexican Cuisine, Martinez, CA
© La Tapatia Mexican Cuisine
La Tapatia Mexican Cuisine is a casual cantina that serves traditional Mexican fare with a focus on dishes from the Jalisco region. Located on Main Street, La Tapatia Mexican Cuisine serves a menu of freshly prepared and made-from-scratch dishes such as quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and Fiesta bowls, along with fresh salads, sides, and desserts. Signature dishes include Chili Verde, Chicken Ranchero, New York Grilled Steak, Taquitos, Chicken Mole and Arroz Con Pollo. La Tapatia Mexican Cuisine is open for lunch and dinner, Thursday through Sunday.
536 Main St, Martinez, CA 94553, Phone: 925-229-3866
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12.Mangia Bene, Martinez, CA
© Mangia Bene
Mangia Bene is a laid-back Italian eatery that serves traditional and contemporary Italian and Mediterranean fare in a relaxed, familial setting. Established in 1996, the charming family-friendly restaurant serves a menu of freshly prepared Italian cuisine including handmade pasta and homemade sauces, wood-fired pizzas with various toppings, freshly baked bread, crisp salads and sides, and a variety of mouthwatering desserts. Mangia Bene also offers Chef’s Special every week and is open for lunch Monday through Saturday, and dinner Monday through Sunday.
1170 Arnold Dr #116, Martinez, CA 94553, Phone: 925-228-9123
Visitors who plan to visit Martinez by boat will find the Martinez Marina their ideal home from home. The marina is located just north of San Francisco, on the Carquinez Straight, offering very easy access to historic Martinez. The marina has a very picturesque setting, surrounded by the Martinez Waterfront Park. From your convenient slipway you have very easy access to San Francisco Bay and beyond. Each slipway provides a lockable dock box, fresh water and Wi-Fi. Other welcome amenities include restrooms and showers, a laundry facility and bait and tackle shop. The Martinez Waterfront Park offers a large grassy area where children can play or enjoy a picnic.
Martinez Marina, 7 Court Street, Martinez, CA 94553, 925-313-0942
14.Rankin Aquatic Center
The Rankin Aquatic Center is a popular Martinez attraction for the whole family. The center has a carefully maintained swimming pool suitable for all ages and a great splash park with water slides for toddlers and younger children. Adults will enjoy the lap pool and the Aqua Aerobics. Children can sign up for swimming lessons and they also offer Moms and Tots lessons for the younger visitors. There is a large grassy area where you can soak up some sun (but very little shade, so do bring an umbrella is you plan a long visit). The center does not have any concessions but you are allowed to bring along your own picnic.
Rankin Aquatic Center, 100 Buckley Street, Martinez, CA 94553, 925-370-6451
14 Best Things to Do in Martinez, California
- John Muir National Historic Site, Photo: John Muir National Historic Site
- Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline, Photo: Courtesy of R.S. Hadfield ARPS - Fotolia.com
- California Magic Dinner Theatre, Martinez, CA, Photo: Courtesy of auremar - Fotolia.com
- Martinez Museum, Martinez, CA, Photo: Martinez Museum
- George Miller Regional Trail, Photo: Courtesy of underdogstudios - Fotolia.com
- Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline, Photo: Courtesy of pscre - Fotolia.com
- Contra Costa County Historical Society, Martinez, CA, Photo: Contra Costa County Historical Society
- St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Photo: Courtesy of sean824 - Fotolia.com
- Lemongrass Bistro, Martinez, CA, Photo: Lemongrass Bistro
- Copper Skillet Courtyard, Photo: Copper Skillet Courtyard
- La Tapatia Mexican Cuisine, Martinez, CA, Photo: La Tapatia Mexican Cuisine
- Mangia Bene, Martinez, CA, Photo: Mangia Bene
- Martinez Marina, Photo: Merel/stock.adobe.com
- Rankin Aquatic Center, Photo: GioRez/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Michael - Fotolia.com
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