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24 Best Things to Do in Livermore and Tri-Valley, California

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Tucked away in California’s Tri-Valley region lies Livermore, a destination that surprised me with its charm and unique things to do!

Exploring not just Livermore but also Danville and Pleasanton over a long weekend, I discovered a blend of experiences worth sharing. From wandering through historic streets to exploring the quiet beauty of its parks and hiking trails, the region offers a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle.

Join me as we delve into this picturesque landscape, where each town has its own character, and every outdoor trail promises a new adventure. Whether you’re into wine tasting, small-town vibes, or outdoor exploration, the Tri-Valley has something to offer.

Get ready for an authentic experience that goes beyond the usual tourist spots with this guide to the best things to do in Livermore and the Tri-Valley!

Visit Tri-Valley sponsored this post, and as always, all opinions are my own!

Green hills at a Murrieta's Well Vineyard in Livermore Tri-Valley California

About Livermore and Tri-Valley

Where is the Tri-Valley?

Situated just an hour east of San Francisco, the Tri-Valley encompasses Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, and Danville. This serene escape from the city bustle is known for its rolling hills, vineyards, and open spaces. While easily accessible from San Francisco, it’s also conveniently located about 2.5 hours from Yosemite National Park, making it an ideal stop for travelers exploring Northern California’s diverse landscapes.

What Towns Comprise the Tri-Valley?

  • Livermore: Home to renowned wineries and tasting rooms, Livermore invites visitors to indulge in wine-tasting experiences while also exploring its vibrant downtown, which boasts eclectic shops, cozy cafes, and cultural events throughout the year.
  • Danville: With its picturesque setting at the base of Mount Diablo, Danville offers visitors a charming downtown area filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy nearby hiking trails and parks, while history buffs can explore the town’s historic landmarks.
  • Pleasanton: Visitors to Pleasanton can explore its historic downtown, featuring charming storefronts, antique shops, and a weekly farmers’ market. Families will appreciate attractions like the Alameda County Fairgrounds and the Alviso Adobe Community Park, while outdoor enthusiasts can explore nearby hiking and biking trails.
  • Dublin: Known for its family-friendly attractions, Dublin offers visitors a variety of experiences, including exploring the Dublin Heritage Park & Museums, and hiking or picnicking in the scenic hills of the Dublin Hills Regional Park.

Best Things to Do in Livermore and Tri-Valley

A. Best Wine Tasting Activities in Livermore and Tri-Valley

The Livermore Valley wine region holds a significant place in California’s winemaking history, dating back to the 1840s when Robert Livermore planted the first commercial vineyards in the area. This makes Livermore Valley the oldest wine production area in California.

Livermore Valley gained prominence in the late 19th century when it was recognized for producing award-winning wines, even outshining Napa Valley at times.

Prohibition dealt a blow to the wine industry here, but it experienced a revival in the mid-20th century.

Today, Livermore Valley is celebrated for its diverse microclimates, which produce a wide range of varietals, and its pioneering spirit continues to drive innovation in winemaking.

Green hills at a Murrieta's Well Vineyard in Livermore Tri-Valley California

1. Murrieta’s Well Wine Hike

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Livermore Valley with a wine hike at Murrieta’s Well. This unique experience takes place every other Friday evening throughout the spring, summer, and early fall.

As an avid hiker with a penchant for charcuterie, this was the ideal wine tasting idea for me! I was greeted with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and I was delighted by how smooth it was.

To kick things off, our guide gave a short introduction to Murrieta’s Well and it’s fascinating history as one of the oldest continuous grape-growers and winemakers in California.

Then, we began a hike into the vineyards, with scenic and educational stops along the way. One thing that makes Murrieta’s Well unique is that it is California Certified Sustainable. Along the trail, our guide educated us on the vineyard’s unique eco-friendly methods.

At the top of a hill, with the rolling hills of the vineyard spread out before us, we enjoyed a flute of champagne, a charcuterie box, and a wine bottle of our choosing. I chose the Winemaker’s Red Blend.

If you like sunset, hiking, and wine, this is definitely an activity you should do!

2. Vasco Row Wine Tasting

Another great wine tasting experience in Livermore is a trip to Vasco Row! In just a 1-mile block you can visit 9 different tasting rooms reflecting the diversity of wineries in Livermore Valley.

Vasco Row is only 3 miles, or about 10 minutes by car, from downtown Livermore. It’s a perfect destination to take an Uber or Lyft and spend a day walking from tasting room to tasting room. It’s the ideal option for those who don’t want to have to worry about transportation between tastings.

Below are all of the tasting rooms you can visit on Vasco Row. I personally visited the ones marked with an *.

Interior seating area of Wood Family Vineyards
Wood Family Vineyards

Bonus: There are also two breweries in Vasco Row: Rivers End Brewing Company and Altamont Beer Works.

3. Livermore Wine Trolley

For an all-inclusive experience, you can book a seat on the Livermore Wine Trolley to visit three wineries with historic trolley transportation in between each. This is a fun and social way to explore Livermore’s wineries.

4. Wine E-Bike Tour

Livermore Valley has an official bicycle route for exploring the vineyards by bike. You can rent an e-bike for effortless riding, or opt for a traditional bike to get a workout in between tastings.

B. Best Outdoor Activities in Livermore and Tri-Valley

The natural areas and parks in Tri-Valley, California, hold a rich history dating back centuries, when indigenous peoples revered these lands for their natural beauty and abundance.

Today, these parks serve as cherished sanctuaries, preserving the region’s diverse ecosystems and providing opportunities for outdoor recreation and education.

From the rugged trails of Mount Diablo State Park to the tranquil waters of Del Valle Regional Park, each natural area tells a story of conservation efforts and the enduring connection between people and nature in the Tri-Valley region.

5. Mt Diablo State Park

View of the summit of Mount Diablo
  • Entrance Fee: $10 at the South Gate (Danville)
  • Best Things to Do: Scenic Drive, Hiking, Biking, Museum

Towering majestically over the East Bay, the 20,000-acre Mount Diablo State Park offers panoramic views stretching from the Sierra Nevada to the Farallon Islands. Hikers, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts flock to its diverse terrain, which ranges from oak-studded foothills to rugged peaks.

The best way to visit Mount Diablo is to drive the winding scenic road from Danville to the peak’s summit at 3,849 feet above sea level. Note that the drive is narrow and steep in sections, so it’s not for the faint of heart! The road is also shared with hikers and cyclists. Allow about an hour to an hour and a half in each direction.

Along the way, stop at Rock City to explore the unique rock formations and caves throughout this popular picnic area.

At the top of Mount Diablo, check out the view from the Observation Deck, where you can see the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, as well as 35 of California’s 58 counties.

View from the summit of Mount Diablo

Don’t miss the historic watch tower, built in the late 1930s. The watch tower is home to the Visitor Center, which is open 10 am to 4 pm daily, has a small museum with fascinating exhibits and a 15-minute film running on a loop. It also houses the official summit of the mountain!

There are over 50 miles of hiking and biking trails in Mount Diablo State Park. Trails meander around the mountain, as well as lead to the summit, giving you ample options for hiking and biking.

6. Del Valley Regional Park

Hiking trails wind through green hills in Del Valle Regional Park
  • Entrance Fee: $6
  • Best Things to Do: Hiking, Biking, Boating

Nestled in the heart of Livermore Valley, Del Valle Regional Park sprawls across 4,316 acres of pristine wilderness, captivating visitors with its scenic beauty and abundant recreational opportunities.

Boasting a tranquil lakeside setting, the park offers a refreshing retreat for outdoor enthusiasts seeking respite from the urban hustle. Del Valle’s centerpiece, Lake Del Valle, provides a picturesque backdrop for fishing, boating, and swimming, while its surrounding oak woodlands and rolling hills invite hikers and picnickers to explore its network of scenic trails.

Lake set amidst green hills in Del Valle Regional Park

For those craving adventure, the park offers over 20 miles of multi-use trails, perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, each offering unique perspectives of the park’s diverse landscapes.

For the best views, I recommend hiking the 3-mile East Ridge and Canyon Loop Trail. But watch out for cows!

7. Brushy Peak Regional Preserve

  • Entrance Fee: None
  • Best Things to Do: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Picnicking

Nestled in the rugged landscapes of the Tri-Valley, Brushy Peak Regional Preserve spans 1,500 acres of pristine wilderness. Its namesake peak offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Hikers, equestrians, and nature lovers explore its network of trails winding through native grasslands, oak woodlands, and seasonal creeks, offering glimpses of native flora and fauna.

8. Dublin Hills Regional Park

  • Entrance Fee: None
  • Best Things to Do: Hiking, Biking, Horseback riding

Perched gracefully amidst the rolling hills of Dublin, Dublin Hills Regional Park offers sweeping vistas and tranquil trails for outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning over 654 acres, this park boasts a network of scenic pathways that wind through oak woodlands, grassy meadows, and wildflower-filled valleys.

For those seeking adventure, the park offers over 10 miles of multi-use trails, perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

C. Best Arts and Museums in Livermore and Tri-Valley

In Tri-Valley, California, the art and museums tell stories as rich and diverse as the landscapes that surround them. From the Blackhawk Museum’s fascination with vintage cars to the Dublin Heritage Park and Museums’ homage to pioneer life, each venue offers a unique journey through our region’s history and culture.

9. Livermore Murals

Downtown Livermore is adorned with vibrant public art installations, including painted utility boxes, statues, and murals, showcasing the talents of local artists. From larger-than-life murals to hidden gems off the beaten path, these colorful works of art add charm to the cityscape.

You can follow this guide to discover all of the murals in downtown Livermore.

10. Blackhawk Museum (Danville)

  • Entrance Fee: $20/adult

The Blackhawk Museum, located in Danville, California, is a renowned institution dedicated to celebrating automotive history, art, and culture. Its primary focus is on showcasing vintage and classic automobiles from various eras, highlighting the craftsmanship, design, and innovation of these iconic vehicles.

Additionally, the museum features rotating exhibits that may include themes such as the Spirit of the Old West, the Art of Africa, Into China, and the World of Nature, providing visitors with diverse cultural and historical perspectives.

11. Dublin Heritage Park and Museums

  • Entrance fee: None

Dublin Heritage Park and Museums, situated in Dublin, California, is a cultural hub dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history and heritage of the region. The park encompasses several historic buildings, including the Murray Schoolhouse, Kolb House, and Old St. Raymond Church, which offer visitors a glimpse into the area’s past.

Exhibits within the museum explore various aspects of Dublin’s history, from its early settlement days to its growth and development over the years.

D. Shopping in Tri-Valley

Whether you’re looking for boutique experiences or brand-name bargains, Tri-Valley has ample shopping opportunities.

12. Shop Local Boutiques Downtown

Each of Tri-Valley’s four towns offer dozens of local shopping opportunities. From bookstores to gift shops, vintage shops to high-end boutiques, there is a shopping experience for everyone. Here are some of the best shops to visit.

You can read more about Tri-Valley’s best boutiques here.

13. San Francisco Premium Outlets

For those with discerning tastes on a budget, Livermore’s premium outlet stores at San Francisco Premium Outlets offer a delightful shopping experience. With over 180 stores showcasing renowned designers such as Coach, Gucci, Prada, and Kate Spade, this destination is a treasure trove of luxury brands at affordable prices.

E. Best Places to Eat in Livermore and Tri-Valley

If you did nothing else but eat during your trip to Livermore and Tri-Valley, it would still be a trip well-spent. I had the pleasure to try several of the best restaurants in the region. Here are the spots you shouldn’t miss.

14. Crumbs

I had one of the best breakfasts of my life at Crumbs in Danville.

I can never decide between sweet and savory for breakfast, so I decided to try both! I ordered sausage gravy and biscuits. The gravy was so rich and creamy!

I also ordered the Ube (purple yam) pancakes and, OH MY GOSH, I am ruined for pancakes forever. I can’t imagine anything ever topping how velveting smooth and sweet they were. I also got to sample the gluten-free and vegan waffles, a perfect sweet option to please any diner.

15. The Press

For a delicious build-your-own breakfast sandwich and creamy latte, you can’t beat The Press in downtown Livermore. They also have a location in Pleasanton!

I made my own breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, avocado, and mayo, all on a delicious biscuit.

Breakfast sandwich and latte at The Press in Livermore

16. Story Coffee Co.

Serving delicious coffee and espresso drinks in an Instagrammable and bright setting, it’s no surprise Story Coffee Co is a Livermore favorite AND a must-do stop on Tri-Valley’s Caffeine Trail! If you visit 5 participating coffee shops, you can upload your photos to get a fun prize!

Story Coffee in front of mural

17. First Street Alehouse

Local favorite First Street Alehouse is home to the largest collection of beer cans on public display in the United States. Serving up classic American fare with an impressive accompaniment of brews on tap, this is one of the best places for lunch or dinner in Livermore.

Similar to the Caffeine Trail, Tri-Valley also has a beer trail. Learn more about the Tri-Valley Beer Trail here.

18. Sideboard

Sideboard restaurant evokes the nostalgic charm of family meals around the sideboard, offering a casual atmosphere reminiscent of home.

Located in the heart of the downtown Danville neighborhood, it serves as a welcoming gathering place where locals and visitors alike come together to enjoy rustic comfort food made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients.

I ordered the Plato Mexicano, a delicious dish of beans, pork, and eggs. The iconic Breakfast Mac is a favorite, as well!

19. Locanda Amalfi

If you love Italian food as much as I do, a dinner at Locanda Amalfi is a must! I indulged in all of my favorite things here: sparkling water, burrata cheese, and a decadent pappardelle bolognese that has me hungry just thinking about it.

20. Bridges Restaurant

Remember that Heimlich scene in Mrs. Doubtfire? It was filmed here at Bridges Restaurant in Danville! More than just a backdrop for a scene in one of the best movies of all time, Bridges also specializes in seafood dishes.

Bridges Restaurant entrance Danville

21. Elliott’s Bar

Elliott’s Bar is an iconic dive bar in downtown Danville. Over 100 years old, it’s a must-stop for a drink and to socialize with locals!

22. Meadowlark Dairy

Meadowlark Dairy is an old-fashioned creamery where you can drive through or walk up to the counter for soft-serve ice cream on a cone that will remind you of your childhood. Just to prove how much nostalgia drips out of this spot, Meadowlark Dairy was the very first certified dairy in California, dating from the early 1900s! The current drive-through location opened in 1969 and has been satisfying customers ever since.

Want even more ice cream? Good news, Meadowlark is part of the Tri-Valley Ice Cream Trail!

Line for Ice cream cone at Meadowlark Dairy Pleasanton Tri Valley

F. Annual Events in Livermore and Tri-Valley

23. Wine and Wags

If you love wine, dogs, shopping, food trucks, and live music, then you don’t want to miss Livermore Valley Wine’s annual Wine and Wags event, held in April.

Indulge in wine tasting at participating wineries, mingle with adoptable dogs from local rescues, and enjoy vendors and fun activities for your furry friends.

Wine and Wags event

24. St. Patricks Day Festival

Of course, Dublin, California has to have its own St. Patrick’s Day Festival! This annual event is a local favorite, featuring a gala, a parade, and even a pancake breakfast.

Tips for Planning Your Trip to Livermore and Tri-Valley

When to Visit Livermore and Tri-Valley

The best time to visit Livermore and Tri-Valley depends on your preferences and interests.

Spring and fall are popular seasons due to mild temperatures and fewer crowds, making them ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, wine tasting, and exploring the region’s natural beauty.

Summer brings warmer weather and the peak of the tourist season, making it perfect for outdoor events, festivals, and concerts.

Winter offers a quieter experience with cooler temperatures, but it’s still a great time to enjoy indoor attractions, wine tastings, and holiday events.

How to Get to Tri-Valley

To get to Tri-Valley, you should fly into one of these airports:

  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – 1 hour from Livermore
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK) – 36 minutes from Livermore

From either airport, you can take public transportation, an Uber or Lyft, or rent a car to get to Tri-Valley.

Getting Around Tri-Valley

I highly recommend renting a car for your trip to Tri-Valley. While you can Uber to and from the airports and between towns, you’ll want your own wheels if you plan to visit any of the regional or state parks.

Use the search form below to find your rental car!

Where to Stay in Livermore

Use the map below to shop for places to stay in Livermore, California!

Moonscape Overlook Road Trip Destination

Stuck in a packing quandary?

Check out our ultimate Road Trip packing list!

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