15 Best Things to Do in Castro Valley (CA)

Castrol Valley is a city of about 63,000 people situated in Alameda County. Castro Valley was named for Don Guillermo Castro, a soldier and rancher. Once famous for its chicken ranches, the metropolis is now known as a commuter city and suburb of Oakland.

Castro Valley has a pleasant climate and for lies in a central location that allows easy access to bigger centres, including San Francisco, which is 20 miles away, and San Jose, which is 30 miles away.

Many of the top attractions of the San Francisco Bay area are only a short drive away.

In Castro Valley, there are plenty of restaurants, cultural attractions, parks, and shopping areas, including Castro Gardens Center and the Castro Valley Shopping Center.

Many festivals and events take place in Castro Valley, such as the Castro Valley Fall Festival, the Greek Food Festival, and the Castro Valley Classic Car Show.

Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Castro Valley, California.

1. Get Outdoors at Castro Valley Community Park

Picnic in the ParkSource: S_Photo / shutterstock
Picnic in the Park

Whether you want to just relax in the open green spaces or participate in leisure activities, Castro Valley Community Park is the perfect place to spend some time on a beautiful, sunny day.

Some of the amenities available include baseball and soccer fields, basketball courts, a playground, and picnic areas with barbecue facilities. Washrooms and a snack bar are also on-site.

2. Admire Local Art at the Adobe Art Center and Gallery

Adobe Art Center and GallerySource: Adobe Art Center / Facebook
Adobe Art Center and Gallery

The Adobe Art Center and Gallery is where you’ll be able to view local art, learn about art, and even try your hand at creating some art.

The main goal of the centre is to promote interest in the visual arts by showcasing local artists in the rotating galleries and offering art classes throughout the year.

Some of the exhibits that have been showcased at this fine art gallery include Nature and Abstraction, The Magic of Collaboration, Dreams, Repetition in the Everyday, and 200 years of Castro Valley History.

3. Have a Family Fun Day at Golden Tee Golfland

Golden Tee GolflandSource: mliu92 / Flickr | CC BY-SA
Golden Tee Golfland

Golden Tee Golfland is one of Northern California’s best mini golf courses, and their fun facilities are suitable for the whole family.

The themed courses are beautifully-maintained. The first course’s theme is an enchanted trip to a fantasy wonderland, while the other is based on an adventure quest. The property also features a video arcade with many popular games.

4. Dine on Delicious Cajun Cuisine at Southern Comfort Kitchen

Southern Comfort KitchenSource: Southern Comfort Kitchen - "SoCo Kitchen" / Facebook
Southern Comfort Kitchen

Southern Comfort Kitchen is a family-owned restaurant in Castro Valley serving traditional Cajun cuisine.

Popular New Orleans dishes and deep-south comfort food are on the menu. Sandwiches, seafood dishes, salads, and various entrees such as three cheese mac, chicken strips, and cajun fries are among the items available.

The restaurant also has several food trucks that travel around the San Francisco Bay Area, so you can grab a delicious meal or snack on-the-go.

5. Visit the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive CenterSource: Hank Shiffman / shutterstock
Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center is a fascinating combination of education, nature, and history. The centre’s primary focus is the preservation of the shoreline ecosystems and wetlands of San Francisco Bay.

Upon arrival, you can start your visit by checking out the exhibits that showcase the native wildlife of the area before hiking the five miles of trails along the shoreline. You can also participate in an interpretive program led by a naturalist.

During your explorations of the area, you’ll see a variety of landscapes and ecosystems, including mudflats, salt marshes, grasslands, and wetlands.

Other popular activities in the area include biking, bird-watching, fishing, and picnicking. A variety of events and educational programs are held at the centre throughout the year.

6. Sample Local Wine at Chouinard Vineyards

Chouinard VineyardsSource: Sharon Hahn Darlin / Flickr | CC BY
Chouinard Vineyards

Situated in the nearby Palomares Canyon, Chouinard Vineyards is a family-run vineyard that has been producing various red, white, port, and sparkling wines since the early 80s.

The on-site tasting room is open during certain days of the week; this is where you can sample some of their creations, including malbec, chardonnay, and cabernet varietals.

You can bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy with your wine under one of the ancient oak trees situated on the lovely grounds. Many events – including concerts and movie nights – are held throughout the year.

7. Spend a Day on the Greens at Redwood Canyon Golf Course

GolfSource: Mikael Damkier / shutterstock
Golf

As one of the region’s top golf courses, Redwood Canyon Golf Course offers golfers of all levels a unique, challenging and fun experience. The beautiful 18-hole course overlooks the spectacular scenery of East Bay and San Leandro Creek.

Lessons are available, and a pro golf shop, water driving range, and practice putting green are also on-site. Meadows Bistro Restaurant features a variety of gourmet meals, including panko-crusted chicken and braised beer penne pasta.

8. Escape from the City at Hayward Japanese Gardens

Hayward Japanese GardensSource: Conrad Moore / shutterstock
Hayward Japanese Gardens

The Hayward Japanese Gardens, located in nearby Hayward, are the oldest gardens of this type in the state.

These traditional gardens were beautifully-designed by Kimio Kimura and feature a range of plants and trees. As you wander the picturesque paths, you’ll also discover turtles, a koi pond and granite boulders.

9. Take in a Show at the Castro Valley Arts Foundation

TheatreSource: Andrey_Kuzmin / shutterstock
Theatre

The main goal of the Castro Valley Arts Foundation is to provide the community and visitors to the area with entertaining artistic experiences through a variety of live performances.

Throughout the year, the foundation hosts concerts, comedy nights, ballet performances and tribute bands. While local acts are the focus, national acts are also invited to perform from time to time.

10. Learn About Local Wildlife at the Sulphur Creek Nature Center

Sulphur Creek Nature CenterSource: boingr / Flickr | CC BY-SA
Sulphur Creek Nature Center

The Sulphur Creek Nature Center in nearby Hayward is a rehabilitation and education centre focused on the well-being of local wildlife.

During your visit, you’ll have the chance to get up close and personal with various birds and mammals who were brought to the centre because they were sick, injured or orphaned.

Throughout the year, a variety of educational programs and events take place at the nature centre.

11. Try Out Some Local Craft Beer at Buffalo Bill’s Brewery

Buffalo Bill's Brewery, America's Original Pumpkin AleSource: Scottb211 / Flickr | CC BY
Buffalo Bill’s Brewery, America’s Original Pumpkin Ale

The first brewpub in the United States opened in 1983, and that brewpub was Buffalo Bill’s in Hayward. It’s still going today, and stronger than ever with a wide selection of tasty craft brews.

You can sample some of these options, including Ruby in the Sky Blood Orange Imperial Ale, America’s Original Pumpkin Ale, and Black Pumpkin Oatmeal Stout. The on-site kitchen serves snacks and light meals to go with your beverages.

12. Check out the Beautiful Murals in Downtown Hayward

Murals in Downtown HaywardSource: jay galvin / Flickr | CC BY
Murals in Downtown Hayward

The Mural Arts Program of Hayward was started with the intention of curbing the graffiti problem that was plaguing the downtown district. The idea was that beautiful artwork would deter people from vandalizing the sides of buildings and other structures.

With the help of some local artists, schools, and property owners, the program set out to paint the town with a different kind of graffiti in the form of murals depicting historical and cultural scenes related to the city.

During certain months of the year, the Hayward Historical Society provides guided tours of these murals, but you can also set out to find them on your own.

13. Travel Back in Time at High Scores

ArcadeSource: iChzigo / shutterstock
Arcade

It’s part arcade, part museum, and all fun and games at High Scores in nearby Hayward. All your favourite video games from the 80s and 90s are brought back to life.

Pac-Man, Tron, Star Wars, Donkey Kong, Congo Bongo, and Mortal Kombat are just some of the arcade games you’ll find on-site, with more than 400 playable games in total.

14. Go on an adventure in Anthony Chabot Regional Park

Anthony Chabot Regional ParkSource: Alexei Novikov / shutterstock
Anthony Chabot Regional Park

With more than 3,300 acres of public green space, there’s no shortage of places to explore in Chabot Regional Park. Hiking and biking are popular activities in the park, and there’s a series of trails that pass through scenic areas, including a eucalyptus grove. Many visitors come for the fishing at Lake Chabot.

If you would like to stay in the area longer than a day, a campground is on-site. During the summer months, this campground hosts concerts and nature programs at the amphitheatre.

15. Visit the Castro Valley Veterans Memorial

Castro Valley Veterans MemorialSource: Castro Valley Veterns Memorial / Wikimedia | CC BY-SA 4.0
Castro Valley Veterans Memorial

A labour of love that took several years to complete, the Castro Valley Veterans Memorial is a beautiful tribute to the local men and women who served the country.

The memorial is made of granite and concrete, and the names of local veterans are engraved on the back.

 

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Castro Valley, California (CA)
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15 Best Things to Do in Castro Valley (CA):

  • Get Outdoors at Castro Valley Community Park
  • Admire Local Art at the Adobe Art Center and Gallery
  • Have a Family Fun Day at Golden Tee Golfland
  • Dine on Delicious Cajun Cuisine at Southern Comfort Kitchen
  • Visit the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center
  • Sample Local Wine at Chouinard Vineyards
  • Spend a Day on the Greens at Redwood Canyon Golf Course
  • Escape from the City at Hayward Japanese Gardens
  • Take in a Show at the Castro Valley Arts Foundation
  • Learn About Local Wildlife at the Sulphur Creek Nature Center
  • Try Out Some Local Craft Beer at Buffalo Bill's Brewery
  • Check out the Beautiful Murals in Downtown Hayward
  • Travel Back in Time at High Scores
  • Go on an adventure in Anthony Chabot Regional Park
  • Visit the Castro Valley Veterans Memorial