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Sometimes you don’t have to go very far to get away from it all, says a travel writer in the Contra Costa Times. In an article on local destination points (“There’s plenty to see right here in Bay Area”), Knight Ridder correspondent Barbara Egbert lists a number of locales close to home, among them Port Costa. Some of the others: 

  • Mt. Diablo State Park, where campers and hikers can experience quiet and solitude just minutes away from millions of people. Great view from the highest point in the Bay Area.

  • John Muir’s house in Martinez, where guests are free to wander the famous conservationist’s Victorian mansion, to climb up into the attic and ring the bell in the bell tower.

  • Niles, where Charlie Chaplin filmed and starred in “The Tramp.” His company, Essanay, turned the town into the center of the film industry from 1912 to 1916.

  • San Juan Bautista, in San Benito County, where its two-century-old adobe mission is located just off El Camino Real, the original Royal Highway that connected all 21 of the California missions.

The Port Costa reference in the article, dated November 25, 2001 (also December 23 in the Stockton Record) is reprinted below:

Port Costa. This tiny Contra Costa County enclave of about 250 residents was once a major deep-water port, shipping millions of bushels of California wheat all over the world. A few stone buildings dating from the 19th century still sit just yards away from the Carquinez Strait, housing a hotel, post office and a couple of restaurants. Narrow McEwen Road seems to take visitors through a time machine as it leaves busy Highway 4 in Martinez, winds through eucalyptus-studded cattle lands and drops abruptly into town. The historic Port Costa School building is being restored by the local conservation society. Surrounded by regional parkland, Port Costa is destined to remain a village and artists’ colony.


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