Venture from San Francisco to the East Bay, where this small city combines old-town charm with great shopping, food and a variety of activities and events.
Pleasanton lives up to its name. This pleasant town is located in Alameda County, a gorgeous suburban area in San Francisco’s East Bay region. Pleasanton consistently ranks among both the wealthiest cities and the best places to live in the United States. Enjoy its high-end shops, diverse restaurants and beautiful scenery.
The land that is now Pleasanton was settled in the 1850s. Known as the “Most Desperate Town in the West,” this spot was a refuge for criminals during California’s Gold Rush. Over time, the town became increasingly gentrified. Its unusual spelling is attributed to the typographical error of a U.S. Postal Service employee.
Explore Pleasanton’s historically preserved buildings. In the downtown area, you can find buildings in Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Italianate and Gothic Revival styles. Identify the iconic downtown Kolln Hardware building by its distinctive cupola.
Regardless of when you visit Pleasanton, you are sure to find a special event. On any Saturday morning, get fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers market just off Main Street. From May through September on first Wednesdays of the month, visit the themed street fair. In summer, bring a picnic to enjoy a free Friday Concert in the Park with local talents performing free at the Lions’ Wayside Park downtown. The Firehouse Arts Center also regularly hosts plays, concerts and art exhibitions.
For a quick getaway from Pleasanton’s suburbia, hike the Ridgeline Trail at Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. Just a short drive outside downtown Pleasanton, this oft-overlooked park is a calm place to enjoy the East Bay’s wilderness. The 7.4-mile (11.9-kilometer) trail is popular with both day hikers and mountain bikers.
Pleasanton is easily accessible by car, train and public transportation. The central Amtrak station provides national train service. Use the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to reach San Francisco in just 1 hour.Warm weather, a convenient location and diverse attractions await you in this California town any time of year.