Pleasanton is a city of about 70,000 people situated in Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay area. The city is known for its central location and mild weather throughout most of the year.
Pleasanton is home to many parks and green spaces, where visitors can participate in a wide range of outdoor activities, including swimming, boating, hiking, and fishing.
The city also has a variety of restaurants and shopping centres, including Stoneridge Shopping Center, Pleasanton Gateway Shopping Center, and Pleasanton Square Shopping Center.
Many festivals and events take place in and around Pleasanton each year, including the Alameda County Fair. Friday Concerts in the Park take place once a week during the summer months and feature local bands.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in Pleasanton, California.
1. Learn About the History of Pleasanton at the Museum on Main
Situated in downtown Pleasanton, The Museum on Main showcases the history of the town and its surrounding areas.
The building that houses the many artefacts was constructed in 1914, and the exhibits highlight a range of topics, such as industry, local cuisine, sports, and Native American history. There are also several audio and video presentations.
2. Spend the Day Outdoors at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreational Area
Sunny, warm days in the region are best spent outdoors taking in the natural beauty and fresh air. Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreational Area is the perfect place for the whole family to spend a day outdoors enjoy a wide range of activities.
This 80-acre park features many picnic areas and trails suitable for hiking. The on-site lake has a sandy beach area perfect for swimming, boating, and fishing for trout and catfish.
A small canteen is situated near the beach area during the summer, and an interpretive centre showcases information about the park.
3. Satisfy Your Hunger at Nonni’s Bistro
Whether it be breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, Nonni’s Bistro in Pleasanton has something to satisfy your hunger.
The extensive menu includes a wide range of soups, salads, desserts, and main courses such as grilled salmon, filet mignon au poivre, and grilled maple leaf duck breast.
The drink menu features beer, wine, and an assortment of cocktails.
4. Sample Local Wine at Rubino Estates Winery
Rubino Estates Winery is situated in a beautiful setting overlooking the stunning Livermore Valley; it’s perfect for a day of sampling wine and enjoying the peaceful locale.
The winery makes prize-winning California and Italian wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Trebbiano.
You can sample these wines in the on-site tasting room and enjoy a gourmet lunch in the on-site deli. The picturesque grounds are perfect for a picnic if you’d rather enjoy lunch outdoors. Tours of the winery and grounds are available.
5. Take in the Sights and Sounds of Downtown Pleasanton
The downtown area of Pleasanton is a pretty, peaceful place to take a stroll on a warm afternoon or evening.
Head to Main Street and do some window shopping, or duck into the cute little shops, where you just might find the perfect gift or item to add to your home decor. Grab a coffee or lunch at one of the cosy cafes or admire local art in the galleries.
The creek trickling through the area is the perfect place to take a stroll or relax and take in the natural sights and sounds.
If you happen to be in the downtown area on a Wednesday evening in the late spring or summer months, you’ll find yourself immersed in a lively block party with food trucks and live entertainment.
6. Visit the Alameda County Fairgrounds
Once a year, the Alameda County Fair is held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, but you can visit the 270-acre fairgrounds any time and see a variety of attractions.
If you happen to be there at the right time, you may be able to watch some horseracing at the on-site racetrack, the oldest of its type in the country.
Also on site is an arena, an amphitheatre, a model train display, a 9-hole golf course, and the historic Heathcote-MacKenzie Heritage House, dating back to 1905.
7. Enjoy Live Entertainment at the Firehouse Arts Center
Upon arrival in Pleasanton, be sure to check out the calendar of events to see what’s taking place at the Firehouse Arts Center. Whether you’re into live music, film, theatre, or comedy acts, there’s something for everyone at this 220-seat venue.
8. Tour the Ruby Hill Winery
Not far outside Pleasanton is the gated community of Ruby Hill, home to a family-owned winery called Ruby Hill Winery. A variety of wines are produced on-site, and visitors can tour the facility and sample some of them.
Guests can kick back in the lavish tasting room and enjoy an exclusive tasting session hosted by knowledgeable staff.
For a more elaborate experience, visitors have the option to take the two-hour Mello Cielo Vineyard Experience tour. This includes a full tour of the vineyard and production areas via a special bus, and a wine tasting and food experience at the water tower.
You can also purchase gourmet food items, accessories, and clothing on site.
9. Combine History with the Outdoors at Alviso Adobe Community Park
Alviso Adobe Community Park in Pleasanton has the best of both worlds – an outdoor oasis featuring lots of trees and beautiful landscapes, and an opportunity to learn about some local history.
Situated on the grounds of this seven-acre park is a restored Adobe House constructed in 1854. This California Historic Landmark is one of the last remaining early American adobe homes. The interior is furnished as it would have been in the early 1900s.
Also on site is a model Meadowlark Dairy, an outdoor activity area, and an exhibit showcasing the Ohlone culture.
10. Sit Down to a Meal at Salt Craft
At Salt Craft, the head chef brings his home-cooking to the open kitchen of his farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Pleasanton. The atmosphere is casual, the service is friendly, and the food is delicious.
On the menu, you’ll find a wide range of items, including homemade bread, sandwiches, salads, tacos, quesadillas, cured meats, hot main-course dinners, and baked sweet treats.
11. Pleasanton Farmers Market
Once a week throughout the year, the Pleasanton Farmers Market is held in the downtown area. A variety of items are sold across a number of vendors.
Fresh and locally-grown organic produce, honey, eggs, homemade jams, sweet treats, meat, seafood, and speciality cheeses are just some of the items you’ll find at this market. There are also live concerts featuring local artists.
12. Augustin Bernal Park
Visitors to Augustin Bernal Park, situated in a hilly area in Pleasanton, can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities across 237 acres of green space. Hiking, cycling, and horseback riding are enjoyed on the nature trails that feature stunning views of the surrounding area.
13. Admire the Granizo Tile Art Mural
The Granizo Art Mural is a community art display in downtown Pleasanton that was produced by the artist Guillermo Wagner Granizo. The piece can be viewed in multiple ways and tells the story of the region and its colourful past.
The mural is meant to give insight into the area’s agricultural, historical, commercial, and film-production contributions.
14. Indulge in Delicious Food at Pastas Trattoria
Situated in downtown Pleasanton, Pastas Trattoria is a family-run eatery that has been serving quality meals for more than 20 years. Lunch and dinner are served daily, and outdoor dining is available.
Enjoy spectacular views as you dine on a selection of appetizers, pizzas, soups, salads, pasta dishes and a variety of main courses, such as New York Steak and Penne Alla Vodka. After your meal, head to the relaxing bar area for a delicious cocktail.
15. Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park
There are many places one can go to enjoy the beautiful views of Pleasanton and its surrounding area, but Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is likely the best place to go to see them. It’s also a popular place to go on nice days to take in some fresh air, exercise, and enjoy a range of outdoor activities.
This park is the ultimate escape from the crowds of the city without having to travel far. Within this 5,200-acre park, you can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, and cycling on the miles of trails. Take a break on the ridge overlooking the city and nearby Livermore Valley.
There are picnic areas throughout the area so you can make a day out of your visit and have your lunch surrounded by a peaceful wilderness area.