Dublin, California, completes a geographical triangle by being approximately 35 miles east of San Francisco and 31 miles north of San Jose. It sits 24 miles south of Mt. Diablo in California State Park. It was referred to as “Dublin” (as in the same city in Ireland) because of the large Irish population that originally settled there back in the 1800s and formally adopted the name in the 1890s.
According to a 2019 census, Dublin was labelled one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and in 2018, it was ranked #7 in Money Magazine’s list of “The Best Places to Live” in the country. There are many interesting features of Dublin, and lots of great ways for people of all ages to spend their time, so let’s look at 15 things you can do in Dublin California.
1. Dublin Rockin’ Jump
Got energy to burn and running out of ideas on how to expend it? Head over to Rockin’ Jump – Dublin’s indoor trampoline park. Not just a great place to take some overactive kids for a few hours, Rockin’ Jump also has some seriously fun ways to use trampolines that even adults can benefit from.
Up your slam dunk skills from average to superhuman, introduce gravity-defying elements to a game of dodge ball, become the inner gladiator you always knew you were on the X-beam, or experience the unprecedented freedom of launching unhindered into a giant foam pit. There’s also a rock-climbing wall with different lanes of complexity – from beginner to advanced – and a ‘Zip Glider’ – a single-seater ‘cart-less’ zip-line roller coaster.
2. K1 speed Dublin
K1 are renowned for their great indoor kart racing tracks that span the globe, and Dublin CA is home to one of the 42 within the United States. There’s no reservation required for what they term ‘arrive and drive,’ but they offer great discounts on group bookings for birthdays, private parties and corporate events, which do need to be booked ahead.
They have periodic promotions such as ‘date nights’ and ‘food drive,’ where further savings can be taken advantage of; they even host their own ‘G.P. league’ for hard-core regulars while accommodating different age groups.
You don’t need a drivers licence to enjoy the fun, but there is a weight/height limit of 300 pounds and 6’7″ – as well as a minimum height of 48” (4 feet). But don’t worry; there’s a games arcade to occupy the smaller children while the bigger kids lap the track.
3. Dublin Iceland
Dublin Iceland is the home of the Tri-Valley Blue Devils ice hockey team and a great place to have fun with a friend or the whole family using their ‘open skate’ facilities. Offering beginner lessons to all ages, they also make the rink available for their ‘broomball’ events (hockey without skates) for those who have yet to acquire any ‘ice skills.’
Another great aspect of ice skating that is rarely mentioned is that it’s an amazing workout for your lower back, so it’s not just a productive way to pass your spare time; it could also be a potential low impact physiotherapy remedy for office worker ailments gained from sitting in the ‘desk saddle’ for too long.
4. Regal Hacienda Crossings Stadium 21 and IMAX cinemas
Big screens are hugely popular, and they don’t get any bigger than IMAX. The Dublin complex can be found in the Hacienda Crossings outdoor mall. However, big should not steal the spotlight from the other amazing interactive cinema technology on offer from Regal.
Their ‘Screen X’ cinemas utilize arrays of multiple projectors producing a 270-degree panoramic viewing experience, including up to twelve additional digital laser projectors for the ‘wing images’ (side screens). Their 4DX cinemas surely must take the cake due to the motion enabled chairs that create strong vibrations and other sensations, as well as other environmental controls for simulated weather or other conditions that you’ll have to experience to believe.
If bigger is better, then IMAX has the goods, but with all the other technology employed to give Netflix competition, you’re sure to have a memorable experience at Regal’s cinemas, even if your choice of movie didn’t live up to your expectations.
5. Dublin Aquatic Centre – ‘The Wave’
‘The Wave’ is host to six (yes SIX) exciting outdoor water slides. The ‘splash zone’ is an interactive area with sprayers, nozzles, water jets, and its own designated slides for younger patrons not ready for the larger towers. The outdoor sports pool is designed for team practices and individual athletic training. It offers eight 25-yard competition lanes that are seven feet deep and three 25-yard warm-up lanes at four feet deep.
The centre runs extensive water education programs, which all take place in the ‘Natatorium’ – the indoor pool heated to a comfortable 82-84 degrees all year round. The Natatorium itself has six swimming lanes of 25-yards each, three instructional bays, and lots of stairways, including a ramp to cater for all abilities. There are also shaded outdoor areas for rental to groups, and of course, locker facilities to secure your personal items while you enjoy your time in the water.
6. Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl
Want to go ten-pin bowling? Then Earl Anthony’s is the place to visit in Dublin, CA. Hosting 40 championship lanes and a Brunswick Vector Plus automatic scoring system (read – state of the art for you pros), you’re bound to get your fix here. They have a junior league for locals wanting to get more involved in the community, and constantly renew ‘specials’ throughout the year, tempting repeat visits for lovers of the game.
Their full-service snack bar with extensive ‘party’ menu is decked out with enough goodies to satisfy any appetite. You can also relax in the spacious lounge of their ‘Lotto’ area by watching current sporting events on the large screen TV while relaxing with a beverage from the full-service bar.
7. Dublin Ranch golf course
Dublin Range Golf Course was the first, and is still the only golf course in Dublin, CA. The company boasts 11 unique par 3s, five solid par 4s, and two demanding par 5s, which it assures can be played through within less than four hours.
Breathtaking views of Mount Diablo and Livermore Valley’s rolling hills can be enjoyed via the large picture windows of the estate’s ballroom or from the patio of their full-service bar, which is part of their dining facilities. These are open from Tuesday to Sunday, and public holiday Mondays from 8 am to 2 pm, covering breakfast and lunch.
Like all good picturesque establishments, it does cater to private events, so best check before you just ‘drop-in’ to see if the facilities are available on the day if you’re a casual guest.
8. Arlen Ness Museum and dealership
If you didn’t already know, Dublin California is home of the late, great Arlen Ness’ custom motorcycle workshop and showroom. Now run by Arlen’s son, Cory Ness, the business has a museum displaying many of Arlen’s unique custom bikes, such as ‘The Untouchable,’ the ‘Too Bad’ (which has two engines), and the ‘Top Banana,’ which was built during the Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-Off competition episodes.
The venue is also a huge dealership for Victory and Indian motorcycles, as well as Harley Davidson.
9. Emerald Glen Park
The Emerald Glen Park directly neighbouring the aquatic centre is an extensive complex that includes tennis courts, basketball courts, a skate park, baseball fields, soccer fields, and restrooms. There are also two playgrounds – one of them is a “water” park during the summer (independent of ‘The Wave’).
There are plenty of swings, slides, sandpits, and climbing structures, as well as a ‘rock structure’ that adults have trouble ignoring (outta my way, kid!). You’ll find barbeque and picnic areas, a rose garden and endless tree lined paths for literally thousands of people to enjoy all at once. The council also utilizes this urban utopia for farmers markets, food trucks and movies in the park after dark. This is a great place to mingle with the community or chill solo in shady, grassy bliss.
10.Dublin Heritage Park and Museums
Dublin Heritage Park and Museums is a ten-acre area home to picnic areas, historic buildings, and a cemetery going back to Gold Rush era 1859. Some of the structures include Murray Schoolhouse, where you can find a permanent exhibition of Dublin’s history, St. Raymond’s Church built in 1859, and Kolb House, the home of George Kolb – one of the original owners of the Dublin General Store.
Erected back in 1911, the building is now termed a ‘historic house museum.’ Here, you can experience a completely original period-style home with the family’s own Mission and Arts and Crafts furniture, family photographs, and many personal items of the Kolb family. All are great places to visit if you’re interested in the local history of Dublin, CA.
11. Dublin Camp Parks Military History Centre
Dublin Camp Parks Military History Centre is situated at the gates of the U.S. Army camp parks, where you can also find the Parks RFTA Visitor Centre. It has on display permanent museum-quality exhibits, periodic temporary exhibits, and also hosts historical activities several times a year.
The centre tells fascinating stories of the military settlement – which it fronts – that influenced Dublin’s transformation from a rural crossroads centre to the thriving city it is today.
12. Iron Horse Trail
Nature lovers will enjoy this trek along what was once a railway track through California’s East Bay area.
Some stunning views can be had of Contra Costa counties and inland central Alameda while walking, cycling or horseback riding (if you have a horse that is; this one is B.Y.O.) along the track.
Keep your eyes peeled for the historic railroad bridge that crosses Walnut Creek.
13. Pacific Catch Seafood Restaurant
Pacific Catch is an eco-conscious restaurant working hard to ensure the supply of sustainable sea produce to its customers. The restaurant is of modern design and has options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. There’s outdoor seating in a pleasant patio area, which they advertise as pet-friendly. It’s licenced, so it has a full bar with beer and wine selections to complement your meal choices.
Although its speciality is seafood, a quick perusal of their menu reveals a wide range of international flavours, such as Japanese Wasabi Ahi Poke, West Coast Grilled Salmon, Mexican Grill Guajillo Shrimp, Korean BBQ Bowl Steak or Ribs and Hawaiian Teriyaki Grilled Chicken – just to name a few.
14. Black Angus Steak House
Are you all about traditional American beef? If that’s the case, then you need to check out the Black Angus Steak House on Dublin Boulevard. Their cuts are all aged at least 21 days, seasoned to excellence, and expertly flame-grilled. They offer the finest Certified Angus Beef and USDA Choice steaks and burgers in addition to seafood, salads, sides and desserts.
You’re sure to find something on the menu to satisfy the appetite you created after exploring all Dublin has to offer. They also stock a range of craft beers, wines, and hand-crafted tasty cocktails, ensuring not just a satisfying dining experience, but a pleasant and relaxing one, too.
15. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
BJ’s has a dizzying array of fantastic dishes and desserts covering pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and speciality selections, which they make available not only off the menu but also in boxed or combo options. Not to mention the truly tantalizing family bundles of Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Ribs, Chicken and Salmon, Pork Chops and Ribs or Steaks and Ribs combos; but that’s just scratching the surface.
Food is not the only expert service available from this master kitchen. They also have an extensive selection of in-house craft beer, which you can select from individually as you please or take advantage of with their excellent value meal packages. They say their guests go there for their award-winning handcrafted beer, for the Southern California twist they’ve put on the Chicago-style pizza, and for their unique, world-renowned ice cream Pizookies desserts.