Originally a bustling port town and train ferry stop for Contra Costa County, the town of Port Costa lies quietly tucked away from the noise of Highway 4 and Interstate 80. So tucked away, in fact, that you have to follow a few miles of winding road until you even make it to the charming, waterfront collection of Victorian buildings that make up Port Costa’s single-road “downtown.”
Despite its relatively small size, the town is absolutely worth a weekend visit for its scenery, food and quirky vibe. Here’s how you can spend $100 or less in Port Costa.
Get Buzzed at Honey House Cafe ($3)
Only open on Saturday and Sunday, the Honey House Cafe (situated on the ground floor of the historic Burlington Hotel) is the best place in town for a morning pick-me-up. You’ll find only two roasts of the day to choose from, the likes of which are transformed into a hella-good pour-over. Paired with the house-made cornbread that’s drizzled with owner Earl Flewellen’s locally-made honey, and you’ve got ample fuel for a full day.
Take a Hike in Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline (Free)
Comprised of more than 1,400 acres of open space, including spectacular shoreline views, Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline offers hikers, bikers and horseback riders plenty of room for exploration. Link up with the Carquinez Overlook Loop or Bull Valley Trails right from the center of town (off Prospect Avenue) for pathways through wooded ravines, eucalyptus groves and lush grasslands where you may happen across some happily grazing bovine.
Discover Theatre of Dreams (Free, unless you buy something)
Proprietress Wendy Addison hand makes all of the creations found in her shop on Canyon Lake Drive. From letterpress goods to wirework to paper theaters and dolls, the items found in Theatre of Dreams are made from vintage materials, such as antique sheet music and Victorian die cuts, and are truly one-of-a-kind. Pop into the storefront (open only on Saturday) to find a new treasure, or pick up a limited-edition item for a friend.
Shop at the Village Haberdashery (Free, unless you buy something)
Located in the old Port Costa Mercantile building, the Village Haberdashery is another unique shop filled with curious collectibles, Steampunk-esque styles and, of course, plenty of hats. Great for just perusing or for scoring a killer thrifted find, this downtown shop fits right into its old Victorian storefront.
Dine at Bull Valley Roadhouse ($13 – $42)
While most things on the menu at Bull Valley Roadhouse are designed to be shared, you definitely won’t want to. While the kitchen pushes out incredible plates like slow-cooked salmon and smoked Llano Seco pork chop during dinner service (Thursday through Sunday), a visit during Sunday brunch proves to be more budget-friendly — though just as delicious — with dishes such as crispy fried-chicken and cheddar waffles or savory tomatillo-braised chicken chilaquiles. And don’t forget about the Pre-Prohibition cocktails.
Kickback at the Warehouse Cafe ($5+)
End your day with a drink and a game of pool at the Warehouse Cafe. This watering hole was once a granary and furniture warehouse, but was converted into a bar and restaurant that has since been filled to the brim with quirky kitsch and unusual sights such as a taxidermied polar bear. The local haunt is well stocked, offering upward of 250 brews (check out the bottled-beer selection) in addition to its full bar.