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Port Costa, Calif.: 5 Things We Love

Historic Port Costa, with its enchanting main street, sits 40 minutes northeast of San Francisco but feels decades away in time.

View of the Burlington Hotel in Port Costa, image
Photo credit
Photo: Mitch Tobias
Photo caption
Coffee drinkers converge outside the old-fashioned Burlington Hotel on Canyon Lake Drive.

Historic Port Costa sits 40 minutes northeast of San Francisco but feels decades away in time. Set within hilly bluffs along the Carquinez Strait, the tiny dock town centers on an enchanting main street decorated with Victorian buildings, ample shade trees, and alleyways strung with lights. Area code is 510 except as noted.

1  The Bull Valley Roadhouse serves a city savvy menu that belies its small-town setting. An atmospheric garden patio and period furnishings complement dishes such as mushroom risotto. 787-1135, bullvalleyroadhouse.com.

2  History hangs in the air at the Burlington Hotel, a Victorian charmer that opened its doors in 1883. Eclectic guest rooms bear names honoring townswomen of yore. Wake to corn bread drizzled with local honey in the cheery downstairs café. 787-6795, thehotelburlington.com.

3  In the fantastical Theatre of Dreams, shop owner and designer Wendy Addison creates sparkling seasonal decor reminiscent of some grand fete in the 1880s. In an adjacent studio, she revives heirloom paper arts for a modern generation through hands-on workshops. 787-2164, wendyaddisonstudio.com.

4  Warehouse Café patrons clink mason jars of beer under the watchful eye of a stuffed polar bear. The watering hole—a grain warehouse turned saloon—boasts 300 brews and interiors filled with pop culture flotsam. 787-1827.

5  Amid the rolling grasslands of the Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline, the newly restored George Miller Regional Trail links Port Costa and Martinez along a paved 1.7-mile route with knockout vistas. (925) 228-0112, ebparks.org/parks/carquinez.

This article was first published in Summer 2015. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.