Explore Magnificent Downtown Martinez

Martinez is a bayside train town with a myriad of attractions, including a magical dinner theater. Photo: Downtown Martinez/Facebook

MARTINEZ, California – From hiking and fishing to antiquing and craft beer tasting, downtown Martinez has a little something for everyone to enjoy. If you’re the outdoorsy-type, be sure to stop at Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline Park, which showcases the natural marsh environment of the area. Dozens of species of native wildflowers bloom in the park, making spring a great time to visit. Visitors can walk or bike three miles of trails, indulge in a picnic, play bocce and more.

Baseball fans will appreciate the ball fields, named after onetime Martinez resident Joe DiMaggio. While in the park, fishermen can cast their lines for striped bass, sturgeon, catfish and flounder from the pier next to the marina. Those ages 16 and older must have a fishing license, which can be obtained at the marina bait shop.

Those who prefer shopping as their sport of choice will be delighted by the myriad of downtown retailers that feature antique furniture, collectibles, vintage items, home decor and more.

History buffs may enjoy popping into the Martinez Museum for a refresher on local chronicles. Or, before heading into town, check out their website at MartinezHistory.org for a virtual walking tour to learn more about the area. Besides the museum, Martinez is home to the Contra Costa Historical Society. If it’s open, it’s worth a short visit to take in the Women Win the Vote display commemorating the ratification of the 19th amendment.

Railway enthusiasts will be happy to find that downtown Martinez is home to an Amtrak station. If you have never ridden the rails, consider hopping on a train going north towards Sacramento to take a short ride. However, be sure to check the timetables to check on a return train or plan on taking a rideshare vehicle back to your car.

Railway enthusiasts will be happy to find that downtown Martinez is home to an Amtrak station. Photo: cadet_wilson/Flickr

When hunger strikes, you have plenty of options to choose from, including Del Cielo Brewing. I stopped in to enjoy the Hazy & Lost New England-style IPA. I paired this with the house burger that’s as good as it sounds. It’s topped with stout bourbon candied bacon, smoked melted gouda cheese, caramelized onions, arugula, mushrooms and chipotle sour cream. The burger will require several napkins and is served with a side of chips.

Downtown Martinez offers a number of dining options. Photo courtesy Del Cielo Brewing Co.

Evening visitors should look into the dinner show at California Magic Club, where good food, witty conversation and spellbinding magic is on the menu. The fun starts Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:15pm with a three-course dinner and magic performed tableside. An hour-long stage show follows. For information on tickets, pricing and performers, visit CalMagic.com.

If you go: Set your GPS to Main Street to get to downtown Martinez, then follow signs to Shoreline Park and the Amtrak station. Plenty of street parking is available along Main and Escobar Streets. Shopping and dining options are within walking distance. If you’re going to the park, dress in a couple of layers as the shoreline can be breezy.

Your Town Daycations is a series featured in Your Town Monthly. A version of this article was originally published in the March 2020 print editions.