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Carmel Manor Apartments
1705 Carmel Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Just one block away from the Civic Park Community Center, Carmel Manor Apartments offers convenience to downtown WalnutMore Creek. Three-story buildings feature shaded patios, private parking for residents and easy access to the new Walnut Creek Public Library building. Also, Broadway Plaza shopping is a pleasant stroll away.
First Republic Bank
1400 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
The Walnut Creek branch of First Republic Bank is located across the street from the Walnut Creek Park Place Library inMore downtown Walnut Creek. First Republic caters to a wide varay of personal and commercial banking, investment and wealth management needs.  First Republic is headquartered in San Francisco and has locations throughout California, Nevada, Oregon, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.
Civic Park
1375 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

What's here: Ten-acre park located in downtown Walnut Creek. The children’s play area includes aMore large swingset (with four baby/toddler swings), a sand play area with a small water play area, two play structures with slides and climbers, a train play structure, some large fake rocks for climbing, a few benches, and a grassy area with trees for shade. The park itself also includes a picnic area with multiple grills, a community center, a gazebo, and a butterfly garden. It connects to the Iron Horse trail and the Creek Walk.)

Coolest feature: My kids (ages 7 and 5) are most drawn to the "roller" slide and the climbing "rocks." They also enjoy climbing in and out of the train, though I think it’s geared more toward littler ones.

Ideal for: Large groups, people who don’t mind crowds (this park gets busy), families with kids of different ages, people who want to stop and let their kids run around after a day of shopping in downtown Walnut Creek. And, the afternoon we were there, teenagers in search of a spot to make out.

How's the sand? The sand in the sand play area is coarse and kind of “dirty” but that didn’t deter kids from playing in it. Most of the surfaces are sand, with different sections of the park connected by an all-weather path.

Close to: Downtown Walnut Creek shopping and dining, the new library and the Iron Horse Trail.

What about the parking: A large free lot, but there’s a three-hour limit. There is additional metered parking along Civic Drive, and the lot and metered spots in the lot and underground garage for the library, but that has a two-hour time limit.

Restrooms: Restrooms are outside the playground near the parking lot.

Safety: None of the equipment seemed out of date or dangerous, although the play structures seem geared toward older children. Toddlers and preschoolers likely need supervision on these.  Because the playground is so large and spread out parents may find it difficult to supervise more than one child if they are interested in different activities. Along these lines, the benches are on the outskirts of the play area--parents may find it difficult to relax and supervise. Small pieces of wood from nearby trees tend to get mixed in with the sand, so splinters when playing in the sand aren't unheard of. On hot days there is shade under the trees but not as much in the actual play area, so remember to wear hats and sunscreen.