Walnut Creek: the Next Disneyland

Can you resist the allure of Walnut Creek?

By Matt Baume
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 12:21 PM PDT
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Walnut Creek: the Next Disneyland

A shot at the more quiet downtown Walnut Creek.

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Honey, get the kids: we're off to fabulous Walnut Creek!

The suburb's city council will vote this week on creating a tourism district. Yes, tourism. In Walnut Creek. You read that right.

The project would start with extra fees (naturally) on local hotels. In turn, those fees would fund advertisements that position the sleepy hamlet as a vacation destination. It's an enticing proposition for local hotels, which currently enjoy relatively low taxes.

The town has already taken steps to make itself more attractive to guests. Consultants advise erecting attractive banners and converting streets from car-choked thoroughfares to pedestrian plazas.

Exactly what is so vactiony about Walnut Creek? Well, there's the shopping at the generic chain stores. There's a tennis center that might host some major tournaments someday, as well as a swim center that could do the same. The bike trails might make it a destination for bicycle races. And there's a bit of talk about luring in some high-class restaurants. But of course, these are all highly speculative ideas.

And let's not forget The Gardens at Heather Farm, where you can see demonstration gardens that showcase plants that have evolved for a variety of different climates. Or the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, which boasts "a small domestic animal."

Hey, it beats Hayward.

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