Downtown stands alone as a majestic centerpiece of Pleasanton culture. There are really only two places in Pleasanton where large groups of people congregate and socialize — the mall and downtown. With plenty of local businesses, including coffee shops, bars, restaurants, clothing stores and hair salons, there is never a shortage of people looking to hang out and spend their money. Whether you’re just out for a stroll, looking to go shopping, or feeling hungry, beautiful downtown Pleasanton offers something for everyone.
Another summer attraction, the Alameda County Fair takes place from mid-June to Independence Day. The event features live music and showcases up-and coming artists and cover bands as well established industry veterans. Grab yourself a funnel cake or a hot-dog as big as your forearm. Taste some wine or some beer, enjoy a showcase of local artists, or head on over to one of the many ticket booths and purchase tickets for some classic carnival rides and attractions. The Alameda County Fair is a great way to get out and enjoy the sunshine.
A fairly recent addition to the Pleasanton Downtown Association’s list of summer events and attractions, the First Wednesday Night Party fair is a straight-up block party. Every first Wednesday from May through August, a section of Main Street is blocked off and food trucks, music equipment, vendor booths, and fun come rushing in. Each month is a different theme, and this May kicks off with a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Grab a drink, grab some food, and join the party.
In the mood for a good hike? Look no further than Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. With thousands of acres of land for of biking, hiking, and running, breathe in the great outdoors without having to leave civilization. Bring the dog for a trail run or bring lunch and enjoy a picnic at one of the many picnic tables throughout the park. Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is a little slice of the wilderness a lot closer to home.
If you like whisky, and celebrating culture then the Scottish Games are for you. Taking place each Labor Day weekend at the Alameda County fairgrounds, the Scottish Games are a celebration of epic proportion. Come see some old boys — and young ones — play rugby, and watch kilted men toss the caber (a traditional Scottish test of skill and strength). Witness Scottish culture in an interactive environment, from traditional music to a living history exhibition. The Scottish Games are a unique experience that you won’t want to miss.
Another fantastic event held at the fairgrounds, Pirates of Emerson is am eerie experience during the month leading up to Halloween. A classic carnival with an undead pirate theme, Pirates of Emerson offers numerous attractions that are sure to get you in the Halloween spirit. Complete with spooky walkthroughs that rotate each year and carnival-style games, this once small-time operation is one of the best Halloween attractions in the Bay Area — it’s no wonder that people keep coming back for more each year.
The Stoneridge Shopping Center has been a popular hang-out spot among Pleasantonians since it opened in 1980. Today, the two level shopping mall boasts 165 stores including Nordstom, Apple, H&M, and Mrs. Fields Cookies. Stoneridge also offers some great chain restaurant options like the Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen.
Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area is a fun summer hang-out spot in the Tri-Valley. Take a pedal boat or kayak out into the reservoir, or hike, bike, or stroll along one of the many paths and trails that Shadow Cliffs has to offer. For the anglers, trout and catfish are plentiful, and the reservoir is also home to bluegill and black bass. Get outside and enjoy the beauty that the Tri-Valley has to offer.