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5 Great Dog Parks Near Antioch To Enjoy This Summer

5 Great Dog Parks Near Antioch To Enjoy This Summer

antioch dog parks

We’re dog lovers, and thankfully Antioch and the surrounding communities offer plenty of options for those of us who like to get outdoors with our dogs.

When our patients ask, these are the five places we recommend:

Markley Creek Dog Park

With two acres of room to romp around, your dog will have a fantastic time playing at Markley Creek Dog Park.

There are also playgrounds to keep the kids occupied, restrooms, picnic areas for the family, and more, which adds up to a dog park you can turn into an afternoon out.

Don’t worry about your dog’s size, as this park is divided into two areas, one for dogs below 30 pounds and one for larger dogs. Lots of shady areas, too. Located at 3486 Summit Way.

King Park Dog Park

Located in neighboring Brentwood, King Park has a fenced in off-leash area to let your dog enjoy play time with other dogs.

The park also has a playground, picnic tables, and basketball courts in case you want to unwind for the afternoon.

Located at 1379 Bauer Way, it’s a great place to get together with other dog owner friends.

Hannah Nicole Vineyards

This is not a dog park, exactly, but it is a dog-friendly getaway that makes for a nice place to spend some outdoor time with your dog in the summer.

They host wine tastings, have lovely outdoor areas, and are dog friendly. Located at 6700 Balfour Rd. in Brentwood.

Clayton Dog Park

A relatively easy drive away in Clayton, CA, the Clayton Dog Park is small but welcoming, with gorgeous views and scenery to make your time outdoors even nicer.

The park may be modest, but it has the main things you need: shade, water, benches, tables, and some open area for your dog to run around and have fun.

Located at 7698 Marsh Creek Rd. in Clayton.

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

This may not be “just” a dog park, but residents of Antioch know that the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve is not “just” anything.

This huge preserve boasts over 6,000 acres of land, with lots of picnicking, hiking, and more. This amazing (and famous) park has over 65 miles of trails for you and your dog to explore, though be careful, because you’ll also have opportunities to see coyotes, bobcats, foxes, and even the rare mountain lion.

In other words, make sure your dog doesn’t like to chase wildlife. Leashes recommended if they do!

7 Antioch Restaurants You’ve Got To Try

7 Antioch Restaurants You’ve Got To Try

If you live in or around Antioch, add these restaurants to your “must try” list. Each one is different, and each is also great at what they do: 

Zam Zam Mediterranean Food, Lone Tree Way

Seasoned chicken, lamb sandwiches, shawarma, falafel – you’ll love Zam Zam’s short, simple, but delicious menu of traditional Mediterranean food.

Great for lunch or dinner, great for leftovers, and the people are so friendly you’ll want to bring the entire family!

Nature’s Bounty Café, G St.

The beauty of Nature’s Bounty Café is that the entire premise is simple: fresh sandwiches, salads and soups made with fresh ingredients. That’s it!

Nothing fancy, no gimmicks, just great food that is miles removed from the processed chain restaurant fare you’re used to. 

Go Vegan, Delta Fair Blvd.

You don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy the creative, tasty food at Go Vegan. Excellent noodles, Thai food and a mix of veggie Asian fusion, fantastic curry, and DEEP FRIED BANANAS

Jerry’s Hot Dogs No 1, Delta Fair Blvd.

The name says it all. This is where you go to get the best hot dogs with all the trimmings.

They do more than just hot dogs, too. The chili fries are fantastic and you get HUGE portions, plus they have gyros, Baklava, and other goodies. But the hot dogs are the star of the show.

DaNang Tourane Vietnamese Restaurant, Hillcrest Ave. 

If you love Asian cuisine, you’ll want to make a point of stopping here. We love the mango BBQ pork spring rolls, but the truth is that there is nothing on the menu that is not excellent. 

Stella’s Soul Kitchen, Contra Loma Blvd. 

Southern-style soul food is hard to find in California, so Stella’s Soul Kitchen is a real treat made even better by the fact that it’s GREAT soul food. Mac and cheese, cornbread, fried chicken, sweet tea, greens: this food is authentic and delicious. 

Las 3 Marias Restaurant, W Tregallas Rd

One of the area’s best kept secrets when it comes to Mexican cuisine, Las 3 Marias makes tasty, approachable food that won’t scare you off with fiery spices.

We like the chicken chimichangas, but you may go for the tacos al pastor or steak fajitas with homemade salsa. No matter what you choose, it’s hard to go wrong – and since they don’t tend to be too spicy, this place is very kid-friendly.

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5 Places Named Antioch From Outside California

There’s no need to tell you that Antioch, California is a special community. We’ve praised it in many previous columns for its wonderful people, places to eat and shop, and things to do.

antioch illinois

But it turns out we’re not the only Antioch out there. And no, we’re not talking about the ancient Greco-Roman city of Antioch. We’re talking about other cities named Antioch right here in the United States. Turns out there are a lot of them.

Take a little road trip with us as we explore some of our namesakes from across the U.S. We think you’ll find it interesting.

Antioch, Alabama

We don’t mean to be rude, but it’s fair to say that the tiny unincorporated community of Antioch, Alabama isn’t exactly noteworthy. Located on Highway 43, there isn’t much going on here. The community has a few churches and its own fire department, but you’re not going to be booking a vacation here any time soon.

Antioch, Florida

Florida’s Antioch is an historic community created in 1885 on the shores of Lake Thonotosassa. This town is unassuming, but its close proximity to Tampa and the Gulf Coast means those living here lead a nice life.

Antioch, Georgia

Head north from Florida and you’ll run into Antioch, Georgia, a tiny unincorporated community that formed around the Antioch Baptist Church. Like so many of our namesakes, this is a quiet little town that doesn’t offer much to draw visitors.

Antioch, Illinois

In Illinois, you’ll find a robust pair of communities called Antioch, a village of 14,000 and a town of 28,000. This pair of interconnected towns sprang from the War of 1812 and the Blackhawk War of 1832, when European settlers battled with the Native Americans who made the area their home.

Today, it serves as a bedroom community from which workers commute to nearby Chicago, with some gorgeous parks and golf courses making it a nice place to spend a weekend.

Antioch, Indiana

We’re kind of cheating here, because Indiana actually has not one, not two, but three Antiochs. One is a tiny unincorporated community that is part of Jackson Township, in Clinton County, first settled in 1828.

Another is a part of Wright Township in Greene County. The third is an unincorporated part of Pike Township in Jay County, first settled in 1853. None are cities of their own, though, making them markedly different from Antioch, California.

4 Places Around Antioch To Escape To This Spring

Spring is right around the corner, which means it will be the perfect time of year to start exploring the incredible outdoor attractions in and around Antioch.

We’re blessed with some amazing places to visit when the weather is nice. Here are four that get our highest recommendation:

Contra Loma Regional Park

This 780-acre park is full of gorgeous, wide open terrain that is perfect for joggers, bikers and hikers. Throw in the 80-acre reservoir, which is a fantastic swimming destination, and you have one of the best places in the region to get outdoors.


contra-loma-regional-park

Contra Loma features a network of trails that wind their way around the reservoir. Some are designated for biking, others for those on foot. You can take in the sight of American bald eagles or look out over lovely vistas.

There are paved trails, too, which are perfect for joggers who want to get away from busy city streets. The reservoir is stocked with catfish, bass, trout, and other fish, making it one of the best local fishing spots.

Finally, the swim lagoon boasts a sandy beach featuring lifeguard protection, making it a safe place to take the family.

Black Diamond Mines

If you want to experience picnicking, hiking, and a taste of local history, the Black Diamond Mines are a springtime trip to put on your agenda. This huge preserve boasts over 6,000 acres of land with a wealth of history to experience, including a tour of the titular mines.

The region began as home to several Native American tribes. Later, the land was used for ranching. In the 1860s, coal mining took over. Five towns sprang up in the area to support what had become California’s largest coal mining operation.

By the 1920s, that operation had shifted to sand mining. And finally, the preserve turned into what it is today: a huge preserve with over 65 miles of trails, and opportunities to see coyotes, bobcats, foxes, and even the rare mountain lion.

Tours of the Hazel-Atlas Mine facility are highly recommended!

Mount Diablo

Climbing to nearly 4,000 feet over the San Francisco Bay region, Mount Diablo is a terrific place to take in all that this area’s open lands have to offer.

From its summit you can see out past the Golden Gate Bridge, but it’s not just the views that make this a great draw for adventurous locals. Features like Rock City, Castle Rock, Fossil Ridge and more are just begging to be explored.

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If you like to do your exploring with company, we recommend Macedo Ranch, which serves as a good staging area for hikers, bikers, and horse riding enthusiasts. There is excellent camping here, too, with over 50 campsites to choose from!

East Bay Regional Park District

If the above getaways don’t draw you in, you’re likely to find something in the East Bay Regional Park District, the system of parks and trails that stretches across all of Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

There are close to 120,000 acres to explore in 65 different parks, with over 1,200 miles of trails to explore (not to mention golf courses, swimming, fishing, and tons more). 

5 Cool Ways to Explore Antioch’s History

We’ve found a lot of reasons to praise Antioch and the surrounding area since we started writing these articles. Great people, places to eat, and things to do make this a wonderful place to live and work.

antioch ca history
So do the opportunities to explore Antioch’s history. You already know about the big ones, such as the Black Diamond Mines, but there are a lot of smaller opportunities for you and your family and friends to explore a side of Antioch you’ve never seen before. Here are five of them:

El Campanil Theatre

It’s too easy to take some things for granted, and the El Campanil Theatre is often one of them. This historic theatre has played host to stars of music, stage and comedy and has entertained countless people over the decades.

They still provide great entertainment today in a gorgeous old fashioned setting. Check to see what’s playing and take advantage of this local wonder.

Mangini Museum Agricultural Museum

Since 1998, the Mangini Museum Agricultural Museum has helped visitors take a trip back to the region’s agricultural past. With gardens, educational displays, historic artifacts, and an actual working farm to explore, this museum not only provides a fun afternoon out, it will help bring you closer to the area you call home.

Lynn House Municipal Art Gallery

Art lovers in the Antioch area should be sure to pencil a visit to the Lynn House Municipal Art Gallery onto their agenda. Unassuming from the outside, the inside features a large array of artwork of all styles and eras. They even do guided tours that will take you through the history of art. Worth a visit!

Bay Cruises

Did you know there are cruises that take passengers on a tour of the historic Antioch port and around the bay? These cruises are a great way to get a view of your city you don’t normally see. They’re not only relaxing and offering some great photo opportunities, but you’ll learn something about the area’s history, too.

Antioch Historical Museum

If the goal is to explore Antioch’s history, there are few better options than the Antioch Historical Museum. The focus is self-explanatory. Loads of displays with photos, artifacts, antiques, memorabilia, and much more.

The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, too. If you want to know more about what makes Antioch special, be sure to check it out!

8 Foods To Eat For Healthier Teeth

8 Foods To Eat For Healthier Teeth

What you put in your mouth has an effect on your teeth. That should come as no surprise. But what you probably hear about most often are about the foods that can damage your teeth.

Yet what about foods that are good for your teeth? It turns out there are a lot of them!  

You already know how soda, candy, and other sugary foods can do your teeth damage, so you’ll probably be happy to learn about the tasty morsels you can enjoy that will do the opposite.

Here are 8 of our favorites:

1) Milk

You knew this would be on the list. The reason milk is good for your teeth is simple: it is rich in calcium, and calcium is a key part of building stronger bones and teeth.

2) Sugarless Gum

Believe it or not, the key word here is not “sugarless.” Yes, we all know that sugar is bad for your teeth, but the real health benefit of sugarless gum is that chewing gum promotes saliva production. Why is that good? Because saliva production is an integral part of washing harmful bacteria out of your mouth. So go ahead, enjoy your gum – just make sure it’s sugarless. 

3) Cheese

You might guess that the main benefit of cheese is that it’s made from milk, but there is more to it than that. Studies show that cheese can help reduce plaque acids in your mouth, thereby reducing instances of plaque buildup.

4) Cranberries

Cranberries may not be good for the color of your teeth, contributing to minor staining issues, but they also provide polyphenols, compounds that assist with preventing plaque from sticking to your teeth. Thankfully, the staining can be treated with a simple whitening treatment. On the other hand, plaque buildup can lead to long-term oral health consequences, making cranberries a good addition to your diet.

5) Carrots and Celery

Any crisp fruits and vegetables could have been included here. The reason is that crisp fruits and vegetables help clear plaque from your teeth. That said, these two are included because they are low in sugars, unlike many sweet fruits and some vegetables. They have the added benefit of freshening your breath!

6) Salmon

Salmon and other fatty fish tend to be rich in Vitamin D, and that’s good news for your teeth because vitamin D helps your body absorb and use calcium. No need to tell you why that’s a good thing for your teeth.

7) Leafy Green Vegetables

In addition to the crunchy stuff, lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens provide you with folic acid. Folic acid is part of the Vitamin B family of vitamins, and they help promote cell growth that gives you a healthier mouth.

8) Raisins

Raisins provide the sweetness we crave without harmful sucrose sugars. They also produce compounds that fight the harmful bacteria that can reside in your mouth. This makes them a good snack that can help clean your mouth while satisfying your cravings.

Let the above list send an important message: snacks don’t have to be bad. Some of them are actually very good for your teeth!

6 Places in Antioch to See Amazing Christmas Lights This Season

The people of Antioch know how to get into the Christmas spirit, if last year’s light displays were any indication. For 2016 we thought we’d help you find some of the best in town.

These recommendations are based on last year’s fantastic home displays. Though decorating the house is an annual tradition for most families, that means it’s possible some on this list may not offer a repeat of last year.

Also, in the interest of being a little discrete, we’re not going to publish exact addresses. Instead, we’ll direct you to the block where you can find homes that caught our eyes last year. That should be more than enough to get you there. Believe us, once on the block you won’t be able to miss them!

Matsqui Rd.

Take a drive to the 200 block of Matsqui Rd. for a display that has won accolades in previous years. Tasteful and not too over the top, yet still eye-catching, it’s a model for the ideal Christmas lights display.

Camby Rd.

The 2900 block of Camby Road features one of Antioch’s most impressive holiday displays. It’s worth a drive to take a look! Last year the entire yard was a Christmas display, complete with a two-story tall candy cane and thousands of lights! 

Bluerock Dr.

If you want to see a path into a mini Christmas Land, head to the 2500 block of Bluerock Drive. One notable home featured a lit up path and loads of holiday characters in bright, dazzling colors. It was like a tiny magic kingdom!

Bluerock Dr. (again)

Once you’ve seen the display above, keep going to the 600 block, where you’ll see a display focused on cartoon characters and holiday “statues.” That means this is a display that looks just as good during the day as it does at night. Worth a look!

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West 16th St.

Head to the lowest numbers on West 16th Street and you’ll be treated to one of 2015’s most impressive holiday displays in Antioch. Dazzling lights everywhere, tons of trees all lit up, and wall to wall brightness. You’ll want to drive by this one with the family!

Colonial Ct. 

If you like your Christmas displays to be bright, bright, bright, visit the 3700 block of Colonial Court and you’ll come across one of last year’s boldest displays. No doubt the power company loves this family, because they decorate their home with an insane amount of lights, along with many other lit up displays.

Antioch is such a great town, no doubt we’ve missed more than a few. Do you know of a great Christmas display we should see or do you want to show off your own? Let us know in the comments!

8 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About California

8 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About California

One of the reasons why we love living and working here in Antioch is that California is just plain interesting.

For proof, check out these 8 totally true facts:

1. High And Low 

California boasts both the highest point in the contiguous United States (Mt. Whitney) and the lowest point in the contiguous United States (Death Valley). Even more amazing? They’re less than 80 miles from one another! 

2. Be Thy Name

In Los Angeles, there are approximately 65 residents whose legal name is Jesus Christ.

3. Even A Dog Could Do It

Sunol is a lovely California town, but in 1981 residents there must not have been happy with how their town was being run, because they elected a dog to the mayor’s post. An actual dog. With four legs and fur and a tail. 

4. For The Gold

California has hosted the Olympics before, which on its own is a notable distinction among the 50 states – only Georgia and Missouri have hosted the summer Olympics, and Utah and New York the winter Olympics – but even more notable is that California has hosted both the summer and winter Olympics.

Los Angeles has hosted the summer Olympics twice (1932 and 1984), and in 1960 the winter Olympics were held in Squaw Valley.

5. It’s A Jersey Thing

Everyone knows that California is the king of the movie industry, but you may not know that it’s New Jersey’s fault.

See, Jersey-based Thomas Edison had patents on just about everything related to making movies, which was a problem for the newly developing industry.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California was known for ruling against patent claims like his, though, so industry folks fled to California, where they betted on the courts helping them defeat Edison. The rest, as they say, is history.

6. Quite A Pickle

The American fast food burger was born in California, but don’t even think about making pickles here – or at least, not in L.A., where it is illegal to manufacture pickles in the downtown industrial zone. No word on whether or not you can grow cucumbers, though.

7. I Believe I Can Touch The Sky

The world’s tallest tree, Hyperion, is in California, standing an amazing 379 feet tall. The really interesting thing, however, is that the tree’s location is kept a secret. The tree is estimated to be close to 800 years old.

8. We Got Our Own Thing

California may be “just” one of the 50 states, but if it was a country of its own it would be a powerful one. Right now, if California was a country, it would have the 8th largest economy in the world.

4 Charities Near Antioch Where You Can Help

4 Charities Near Antioch Where You Can Help

Antioch is a community filled with warm, wonderful people, so it’s no surprise that the community is filled with excellent charitable organizations, too.

These organizations could use your support, whether through volunteering or donations. Here are four that stand out:

Opportunity Junction

Opportunity Junction exists to help break the cycle of poverty. They focus on low income adults and families throughout the Contra Costa County region.

For over 15 years, they have helped connect people with jobs, job training and placement programs that enable them to climb out of poverty through their own efforts.

Opportunity Junction welcomes donations as well as volunteers. Volunteers may help with mock interviews, food distribution, tutoring, training, and more.

Beat The Streets Inc. 

The goal of Beat the Streets is simple: to get young adults off the streets and empower them with educational opportunities, self-improvement, and employment goals.

They aim to provide computer access to low income communities and at risk youth, along with training sessions to assist with education, finding jobs, and general life skills.

Both donations and volunteers are welcome. Volunteers assist with fulfilling the group’s mission, working with young people, administrative work, and so on. 

East Contra Costa County Homeless Animals Lifeline Organization

Known as H.A.L.O., this is one of the oldest and most successful animal rescue organizations in Contra Costa County, placing over 10,000 dogs and cats since 2001.

Their whole mission is simple: to find homes for animals that do not have one. That means anyone who loves our furry friends will embrace this organization’s mission.

The group is entirely run by volunteers. They are currently looking for foster parents, people to help with administrative work, help with events and animal care, and more.

Food Pantries (Various)

No matter how beautiful and welcoming a community – and Antioch is both – it will always contain people going through a hard time. Antioch is no exception.

Thankfully a series of food pantries exist to help those during times when they need help. Holy Rosary, Visions Christian Center, Kings Chapel and others all operate food pantries. 

Your local food pantries are always in need of donations of new, non-perishable food, and many need volunteers, too.

Click here for a list of Antioch food pantries and information on how to contact them.

5 Great Places To Take The Kids in Antioch, CA

5 Great Places To Take The Kids in Antioch, CA

A big part of summer means making sure the kids stay out of trouble and have things to do.

Here are five of the places we recommend taking the kids if you want to enjoy a fantastic summer day:

Prewett Family Park and Community Center

You can’t really go wrong with the Antioch Water Park at Prewett Family Park and Community Center. With water slides, pools, lots of space to spread out and play and tons of fun, it’s a beautiful gathering place for the community.

They do group ticket packages and birthday gatherings, you can take swim lessons, and there is plenty of area to unwind for a picnic, too. 

black diamond mines antioch

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

If your family likes to get out into nature, there is no better place nearby to do it than the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve.

With over 6,000 acres to explore, beautiful picnic areas, and trails with stunning scenery, this historic preserve is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life – and since the park is filled with history and nature, it’s a great place to do some learning, too.

Paradise Skate Roller Rink

Remember when roller skating one of the most popular activities for families? Thanks to places like Paradise, you can still have lots of fun on skates.

Kids exposed to roller skating for the first time always enjoy themselves. For those not inclined to skate, there are games, a snack bar, and occasional special events.

They have party and group rates, too, so you can bring the extended family together and make a full day of it. 

Contra Loma Regional Park & Swim Lagoon

Another chance to get away to nature, the nearly 800 acres of this park include a huge 80-acre reservoir with a swim lagoon that is perfect for families.

When not swimming, hike or jog the trails, have a picnic, enjoy the swim lessons offered here, or go fishing in this fully stocked body of water. There are catfish, black and striped bass, bluegill, trout, and sunfish!

Rockin Jump Trampoline Park

Located in nearby Brentwood, this is a park unlike any other you’ve seen.

Imagine a sea of interconnected trampolines with plenty of safety cushioning all around, areas for advanced jumpers, plus couches and concessions for moms and dads who just want to kick back and watch.

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