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Walnut Creek Guide Museums & Historical Attractions

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Museums and historical attractions in Walnut Creek
Museums & Historical Attractions

Historical and fun Walnut Creek museums provide a place for both visitors and residents to learn about and experience the city’s past, as well as about local wildlife. While Walnut Creek isn’t as large as some of its neighboring cities, the city is alive with history and culture. You won’t have to travel to Oakland or San Francisco to discover fun and interesting attractions. Whether you want to explore the past of Walnut Creek, interact with wildlife or immerse yourself in history, these historical sites and museums in Walnut Creek are ideal places to visit for you and your family.

Borges Ranch
1035 Castle Rock Road, Alamo, CA 94598
(925) 943-5899
Website: www.walnut-creek.org/citygov/depts/ps/openspace/borges.asp
The ranch is open from 8 a.m. to sunset every day and offers free weekend tours on the fourth Saturday every month. As the former ranch of Frank Borges, an early pioneer in Walnut Creek, the ranch now serves as the home base for Shell Ridges Open Space activities and includes a blacksmith shop, displays of farm equipment and many outbuildings, showing ranch life as it was in the early 1900s. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the ranch is also a ranger station and home to many animals belonging to the Pleasant Hill 4-H club. Below the ranch is the Bob Pond Activity Area, which is available for reservations.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum
1931 First Ave, Walnut Creek, CA 94597
925-935-1978
Website: www.wildlife-museum.org
Open Wednesday through Friday, from noon to 5 p.m., and on weekends, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Lindsay Wildlife Museum is a way for visitors to learn about and come into close contact with the area’s wildlife and natural environment. The museum offers adults and children the opportunity to listen to a red tailed hawk’s cry, see the gray fox up close and watch a bald eagle eat. Exhibiting more than 50 species of native California animals, the museum teaches visitors about local wildlife while caring for the non-releasable animals in the best possible way.

Historic Downtown
One way to experience the history of Walnut Creek is to head downtown. While this area presents an exciting array of restaurants, stores and things to do, it is also notable for retaining much of its original look and buildings. Downtown sites include the First National Bank of Walnut Creek, which was built in 1913; The Walnut Creek Meat Market, which ran from 1910 to 1986 and is now home to Crepes A Go Go; the first fire station, which was built in 1926 on Bonanza Street and is now occupied by Havana; the Fuller O’Brien Paint store—Festival Cinema, which are sites from the 60s on Bonanza Street and are now home to Thomasville Furniture and McCovey’s restaurant. There are also many more buildings to see, which you can find at www.walnut-creek.org/about/history/downtown.asp.

Walnut Creek Historical Society and Shadelands Ranch Historical Museum
2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94597
(925) 935-7871
Website: www.walnut-creek.org/about/history/wchs.asp#About the Museum

Although closed from late November to early February, the museum is an exciting Walnut Creek attraction for adults and children. Operating Wednesday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the museum is an inexpensive way to entertain and educate the family about the early 1900s in an authentic turn-of-the-century home.