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Martinez (California)

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Martinez [1] is in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area region of California.

Get in[edit]

Train[edit]

The Amtrak [2] Station in Downtown Martinez serves the San Joaquin, California Zephyr and Capitol Corridor train routes.

Bus[edit]

Martinez is connected by bus to the towns of Concord and El Cerrito Del Norte, as well as the North Concord/Martinez BART Station, Pleasant Hill BART Station, and Walnut Creek BART Station.

Car[edit]

Accessible by Highway 4 and Interstate 680. Since tolls are charged only in the northbound direction of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, you should plan road trips to minimize the number of times you cross the bridge in the toll direction. Toll bridge pricing can be hard to estimate, even for locals, so consider using this handy tool to know what the prices are for the local bridges: Bay Area Tolls.

Air[edit]

The nearest airport is Buchanan Field in Concord (small aircraft). The closest major airport is Oakland International. Note that San Francisco International (SFO) is the terminus of the BART line that serves the North Concord/Martinez Station.

Get around[edit]

  • The County Connection, +1 925 676-7500, [3].  edit

See[edit][add listing]

  • John Muir National Historical Site, 4202 Alhambra Ave. (Located just north of highway 4 on Alhambra Ave.), +1 925 228-8860 (fax: +1 925 228-8192), [4]. This site includes a mansion, woodland, and grassland once belonging to John Muir and his family. Muir was known as an early environmentalist who founded the Sierra Club. Activities include a tour of the house and hiking. There is also an interesting adobe structure on site. $3 entry fee. Children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.  edit
  • Martinez Museum, 1005 Escobar Street, (925) 228-8160, [5]. Tuesday & Thursday 11:30 - 3:00; First four Sundays 1:00 - 4:00. Includes exhibits on John Muir, Don Ignacio Martinez, Joe Di Maggio (another Martinez native), the Port Chicago disaster, and general history of the town, as well as a gift shop and information on tours, including a cemetery tour [6]!  edit
  • Martinez Beavers, Near the Corner of Castro St. & Escobar St., [7]. In the fall of 2006, two beavers made their way up Alhambra Creek in downtown Martinez and decided to call it home, proceeding to produce 4 kits over the course of the summer. The beaver have transformed Alhambra Creek from a trickle into multiple dams and beaver ponds, which in turn, lead to the return of steelhead trout and river otter in 2008, and mink in 2009. Best viewing at the Marina, Escobar, and Amtrak footbridges. Beavers are nocturnal, so look in the early morning and late evening. Free.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Briones Regional Park A beautiful 5,756 acre park covered in grassy hills and shady Oak trees. The park is located South of Highway 4 off Reliez Valley Road. Briones is a hikers paradise located in the heart of the busy San Francisco Bay Area. East Bay Regional Park District Headquarters +1 510 562-PARK, group picnic reservations +1 510 636-1684, group camping reservations +1 510 636-1684. The park is open 8AM-10PM. $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended. [8].
  • Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline, 1-888-327-2757, [9]. 5 AM - 10 PM. Located immediately to the northwest of the John Muir NHS and extending to the Carquinez Strait, the ridgelines of this park offer extensive views of Mt. Diablo and the cities at its base, the Sacramento River Delta, the Mothball Fleet, Mt. Tamalpais and Mt. St. Helena. On clear winter days the snow-capped Sierras may be seen. Wild turkeys, hawks, deer, and other wildlife call the park home. In the spring cows are allowed to graze on the grassy hills. The park hosts a segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail ([10]). Great for a short day hike (1 to 5 miles). Free.  edit
  • Hidden Lakes Park, (Morello Ave at Chilpancingo Pkwy), [11]. This park has everything from rope swings to hills and even cool wildlife. There are also trails to Hidden Valley Park.  edit
  • Martinez Skatepark, is located on North Court Street, a free 10,000 foot skatepark for skateboarders and roller bladers


  • Martinez Marina Features trails, a marsh, a pond, two playgrounds and a fishing pier. Located in downtown Martinez near Ferry Street and the Amtrak station. Bicycling is allowed on the trails. Dogs are allowed in some areas of the park but not near the ducks and pond.
  • Pine Meadows Public Golf Course, 451 Vine Hill Way (Located at the corner of Vine Hill Way and Center Ave.), +1 925 228-2881 (fax: 925-228-7009). A small and simple par three course. A great place to shoot a quick round with friends.  edit
  • Walk Across the Martinez-Benicia Bridge, [12]. On August 29, 2009, a 2.2 mile Pedestrian and Bicycle Path was opened across the bridge to Benicia, filling a major gap in the Bay Area Ridge Trail. Free.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Pandora's Box, 613 Main St., (925) 822-7420. Boutique in the historic downtown district that includes artisan wares from Turkey and original clothing designs.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Chinese[edit]

  • Canton Restaurant, 719 Main Street, (925) 228-0100‎. Located in downtown Martinez.  edit
  • China Villa, 2376 Pacheco Blvd., (925) 229-4078‎. A true hole-in-the-wall type of place.  edit
  • Peking-Tokyo Restaurant, 522 Center Ave., (925) 372-3366‎. Located in the Nob Hill Shopping Center. Serves both Chinese and Japanese food, including sushi. This restaurant is also listed underneath the Japanese section.  edit
  • Sunflower Garden, 822 Escobar Street, (925) 372-0842‎. Located in downtown Martinez.  edit

Greek[edit]

  • Yanni's Greek Cafe, 6635 Alhambra Ave. #212, (925) 943-5771, [13]. Mon-Sat 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. Gyros, Souvlaki, Mousaka, Pastitsio, Spanakopita, Hamburgers  edit

Italian[edit]

  • Louie Bertola's Restaurant, 611 Escobar St., +1 925 372-0688. M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa 4PM-10PM, Su 1PM-9PM. The restaurant is in an old home. Interesting setting and decent food. Most items are under $8.  edit
  • Mangia Bene, 1170 Arnold Drive, (925) 228-9123, [14]. Located in a strip mall off of Morello Ave. Advertised as "The Best Kept Secret in Martinez."  edit

Japanese[edit]

  • Hanabi Sushi, 1155 Arnold Drive, (925) 957-0407‎. Sushi and other Japanese dishes.  edit
  • Peking-Tokyo Restaurant, 522 Center Ave., (925) 372-3366‎. Located in the Nob Hill Shopping Center. Serves both Chinese and Japanese food, including sushi. This restaurant is also listed underneath the Chinese section.  edit

Mexican[edit]

  • Cinco De Mayo, 2250 Pacheco Blvd., (925) 335-0960, [15]. Monday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM Sunday 10:00 AM – 7:30 PM. Restaurant and Catering  edit
  • La Tapatia, 536 Main Street, (925) 229-3866, [16]. Located downtown. Family owned and operated business, with two restaurants: one in Martinez and one in Concord.  edit
  • Los Ponchos, 5872 Pacheco Blvd., Pacheco CA, (925) 689-4430, [17]. Monday – Saturday: 11 AM – 9 PM. A local favorite. Although this strictly-to-go taqueria is technically in Pacheco and not Martinez, it is so close to town and frequented by so many Martinez residents that it deserves to be included in this list.  edit
  • Taqueria Los Toros, 802 Main Street, (925) 228-8500‎, [18]. Located downtown. Coupon lunch offers for Jurors serving in the nearby Courthouse.  edit
  • Chavinda, 514 Center Avenue, (925) 370-0117‎. Located in the Nob Hill Shopping Center.  edit
  • La Primavera, 1311 Pine Street, (925) 229-2199‎.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Bars[edit]

  • Cue and Brew, 1029 Arnold Dr. (Take the Morello exit off of Highway 4, turn right from the offramp onto Morello, turn left at the next stoplight at Arnold Dr., and turn right into the Walmart shopping center). Great place for drinks and billiards.  edit
  • Dayton's Bar & Grill, 2368 Pacheco Blvd., (925) 628-8100, [19].  edit
  • Ferry Street Station, 600 Ferry Street, (925) 228-9220, [20]. Located in downtown Martinez, great for a pint, some food, billiards, and live music.  edit
  • Ray's Lounge, 709 Ferry Street, (925) 229-4755.  edit

Cafes and Coffeehouses[edit]

  • Legal Grounds Coffee, 915 Main Street. Located in downtown Martinez, close to the Court Houses.  edit
  • Wilson's Espresso, 3750 Alhambra Avenue.  edit
  • Starbucks, 700 Main Street, 502 Center Ave, & 6688 Alhambra Ave., [21]. Everywhere in the world, with three locations in Martinez.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Best Western John Muir Inn, 445 Muir Station Rd. (On the corner of Muir Station Rd. and Center Ave.), +1 925 229-1010 (toll free: +1 800 338-1191, fax: +1 925 228-4810), [22].  edit

Stay Safe[edit]

Excercise caution in downtown during nightime, its dimly lit and the homeless are numerous in that area. It's the crime hotspot of the city but, as with any city just use smart judgement and you should be safe.

Get out[edit]

  • Benicia - Visible across the Carquinez Strait at the north end of the Martinez-Benicia Bridge.
  • Concord - One of the largest cities in the East Bay, offering a variety of shopping and dining options.
  • Pleasant Hill - This neighboring town is primarily a typical family suburb, but it does offer options for food and shopping.
  • Walnut Creek - The downtown Walnut Creek area offers shopping, bars, and restaurants.
  • Mt. Diablo State Park ([23],[24]) - As one of the tallest mountains in the Bay Area, Mt. Diablo dominates the area landscape and provides an escape from the suburbia which surrounds it.
  • Berkeley - Eclectic, political and always interesting, Berkeley is only a 20 to 25 minute drive away. Alternatively, using BART, either a) transfer at the MacArthur station and exit at Downtown Berkeley, or b) exit at Rockridge and walk ~2 miles to downtown.
  • San Francisco - Although "the City" feels a world away, it's just a 46 minute BART ride (from North Concord/Martinez station) to the Embarcadero or a 35 minute to 1.5 hour drive, depending on traffic.


Routes through Martinez
Junction W I-80.png EBenicia  N noframe S  ConcordSan Jose
Ends at I-80.pngHercules  W noframe E  ConcordStockton


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