Discovery Bay In the Evening Shadows of Mt. Diablo


Sometimes you discover something new-like Discovery Bay, a town located in the northeast corner of Contra Costa County. Nestled in the evening shadows of Mount Diablo and just along the banks of the rich and historic California Delta water system, Discovery Bay is a waterfront community with the slogan, Live Where You Play. That sums up the lifestyle of some 17,000+ happy-go-lucky Delta boaters, fishermen, hunters, and watersports enthusiasts.

Having lived in Contra Costa County, home to the landmark Mt. Diablo shown in the photo, I never heard of or visited Discovery Bay and spent my days closer to San Francisco, Oakland and Napa where we East Bay residents found our pleasure, work and entertainment. Discovery Bay is considered more of a Central Valley location, however, being closer to Stockton (about 40 minutes) than to San Franciso (1 hour 20 minutes) by car.

Why go there? The riverways along this Delta area connect all the way to San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Boating is the #1 attraction. Tourists come to the region to enjoy Brannan Island State Recreation Area, a maze of waterways through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Countless islands and marshes filled with wildlife habitats and many opportunities for camping, boating, windsurfing and swimming are the main draw. (

Nearby, licensed hunters can try their skill (or luck) at Frank's Tract, where a Floating Waterfowl Hunting Blind Permit is required to hunt. It can be acquired through the Delta Sector Office (Brannan Island SRA) 17645 State Hwy 160, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (916) 777-7701.

Frank's Tract also contains a protected wetland marsh where you may spot beaver, muskrat, river otter, mink and 76 species of birds.

Where to stay? If you're not a camper, there are several hotels, shopping centers and dining in Brentwood, where there's an outdoor ice skating rink seasonally during the winter holidays.

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