Things to do on the Happy Trails of Tri-Valley California

Tri-Valley California
Tri-Valley California

By Mary Charlebois

Trails are for more than hiking or biking in Tri-Valley California. This trail happy San Francisco Bay region has a wine trail, beer trail, ice cream trail, caffeine trail, parks trail, hiking trail, and biking trail. There are also escorted Tri-Valley tours that cover many of the trails mentioned above.

Tri-Valley is in the San Francisco East Bay. It’s known as the birthplace of California Chardonnay. Farms cover the hills like an organic quilt, producing some of California’s best wine, beer, spirits, meat, fruit, and veg. City parks, woodlands, and lakes are waiting for you to get out and occupy nature.

Map of Tri-Valley California - Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and Danville.

Downtown Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and Danville sport ‘old California’ architecture and lots of history. They are walkable, shoppable, drinkable, and edible. An entire weekend can be spent strolling and absorbing Tri-Valley downtown.

For a week or a day

Tri-Valley has plenty to do, beautiful weather, accommodations for all travel-styles, and excellent public transit. Come for a weekend escape, staycation, or a day-trip. Thirty-five miles east of San Francisco, the region is less crowded and much easier on your budget than her big sister to the west. But no matter how long you stay you must try one of Tri-Valley’s happy trails.

WINE TRAIL

 Wente Vineyards Estate Tasting Room 
 Photo-Mary Charlebois
Wente Vineyards Estate Tasting Room
Photo-Mary Charlebois

The Livermore Valley Wine Trail has 55-stops at wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms. Visit the wine trail HERE for a list of all the stops plus descriptions, locations, and websites. Download the map and plot your route.

There’s more to do than taste wine along the trail. Every winery will have a comfy place to sit and enjoy a glass of vino. Many have spectacular views, yard games, shops, art galleries, or eateries. Check websites for special events like winemaker’s dinners and concerts.

I had the chance to visit several wineries in Tri-Valley. Two of my favorites are Wente Vineyards Estate Tasting Room, and Charles R.
Wente’s Estate Tasting Room is a luscious experience of food and wine. Charles R makes award-winning chardonnays to enjoy in the lovely sipping garden.

Charles R Winery Sipping Garden
Photo-Mary Charlebois
Charles R Winery Sipping Garden
Photo-Mary Charlebois

Take the trolley

If you don’t want to drive, try the Livermore Wine Trolley. You hop on and leave the driving to someone else. There are several tours available year-round. For the 2019 holiday season, the Lights of Livermore Holiday Tour will start with wine tasting and nibbles, then continue with a trolley tour of Livermore’s merry holiday lights.

BEER TRAIL

The Tri-Valley Beer Trail features 22 craft breweries, taprooms, and alehouses. Visit HERE to see a list of all the breweries on the trail, what beer they offer, and what there is to do at their locations.

Pick up your passport at your first beer trail brewery. You qualify for a special beer after 5-stops.

Take the bus

Blue Brew Bus, Tri-Valley CA
Blue Brew Bus

A great way to tour Tri-Valley breweries is on the Blue Brew Bus (Try saying that 3-times quickly.) This lively blue bus picks up and drops off at convenient locations, including the BART station. Your BBB ticket is good for restaurant and hotel discounts.

ICE CREAM TRAIL

The Tri-Valley Ice Cream Trail has 12-stops around the area. Pick up a passport at your first stop. After you visit 5-locations, you’ll get a Tri-Valley Ice Cream scoop. Participating ice creameries, their locations, and maps are available on the ice cream trail website.

CAFFEINE TRAIL

Caffeine Trail Mug, Tri-Valley CA
Caffeine Trail Mug

Find 20-places to get your caffeine glow on the Tri-Valley Caffeine Trail. Coffee houses, tea-houses, and cafes roast grind, brew, and serve a creative array of caffeine beverages. Be sure to get a passport at your first stop. A visit in each Tri-Valley community gets you a Tri-Valley mug.

PARKS AND HIKING TRAILS

Walking, biking, swimming, boating, paddle boarding, and fishing activities can be enjoyed all over Tri-Valley.

The City of Pleasanton has a wonderful website where you can preview parks and trails in and around the city.

Visit Dublin Parks to explore their 22-parks.

Livermore Parks and Rec show off their outdoor beauty on their website with aerial videos.

Danville Community Parks offers 167-acres of parkland for your enjoyment.

BIKING TRAIL

Tri-Valley Biking
 Photo-Mary Charlebois
Tri-Valley Biking
Photo-Mary Charlebois

Tri-Valley is crisscrossed with bike trails. They pass through towns, farms, vineyards, and rolling hills. A bike can be transported on all public transit, including BART. Find details on seven popular routes at Tri-Valley Top Biking Trails.

TRI-VALLEY TOURS

As if the trails aren’t enough to do, you can try an escorted tour on a trolley, luxury van, big blue bus, Segway, electric bike, or on foot.

Livermore Foodie TourLivermore Segway ToursPedego Livermore Bike ToursRavenswood Historic Site ToursBlackhawk Museum Guided Tours –  Livermore Valley Wine TrailBlue Brew Bus

VISITING THE HAPPY TRAILS OF TRI-VALLEY

Sleep with a rose

The Rose Hotel
 Photo-Mary Charlebois
The Rose Hotel
Photo-Mary Charlebois

If you spend the night in Tri-Valley, stay at The Rose Hotel in Pleasanton. It’s luxurious, elegant, timeless, yet casual. It’s a Tri-Valley treasure. Guest rooms are spacious, spotless, and sublime. Soaking tubs and walk-in showers are spa-like.

The staff greets you like family. A lobby buffet offers coffee, water, and baked treats throughout the day. In the morning, the area is used to serve a delicious breakfast. The lobby bar serves a selection of local libations.

Getting there

Tri-Valley is easy to get to by auto or public transit.

Located 35-miles east of San Francisco, 18-miles southeast of Oakland, and 35-miles northeast of Silicon Valley, the closest airports are San Francisco and Oakland. From the airport come by car, BART, or bus. More travel details are available HERE.

To learn more about where to eat, sleep, and play, go to Visit Tri-Valley.

Happy trails, MaryGo

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