Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Dublin, CA

  • Published 2022/01/18

Dublin, California, is one of the premier destinations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The city sits in an ideal location, at the crossroads between Interstate 580 and Interstate 680, which means thousands of people stop by before moving on to other cities.

Like many West Coast cities, Dublin was a Spanish territory.

At the height of colonial expansion, the Spanish drove out the Native Americans as they colonized the Bay Area.

They established the Mission San Jose in 1797 and forced the Native Americans to live and work there.

In 1835, the Mexican government granted Jose Maria Amador the largest plot of land in Dublin, the 17,600-acre Rancho San Ramon.

The city got its name from many Irish people who lived there.

During the 1890s, the post office formally adopted the name.

In honor of this heritage, the city celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day every year, which features a popular parade.

This celebration also goes all weekend and features various activities for the whole family.

Do you want to know more about Dublin, CA?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in the city:

Spend the Day at the Emerald Glen Park

Emerald Glen Park

FASTILY, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t waste your California trip by staying inside all the time.

You need to catch some sun, and you can do that in Dublin’s Emerald Glen Park.

This 48.2-acre park sits between Tassajara Road and Central Parkway.

Emerald Glen Park

FASTILY, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bring your friends and play various sports, such as baseball, soccer, tennis, and basketball.

If you know how to play it, you can also go to the Bocce ball courts.

You can reserve a spot at the group picnic area that seats 200 people if you’re with family.

There are also smaller picnic areas if you want to keep it simple.

View of Emerald Glen Park

FASTILY, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Splash around the Emerald Glen Recreation & Aquatic Complex

Stay for a while at the Emerald Glen Park, and you’ll find the Emerald Glen Recreation & Aquatic Complex.

Also known as “The Wave,” this complex is the park’s crown jewel, a swimming facility designed like a boardwalk and entertainment center.

This 11-acre complex features an indoor pool available all year for exercise and recreation.

Likewise, you can dive into the deep-water competition pool or bring your kids to the water playground.

You can also hang out at the outdoor amphitheater to see summer concerts and other performances.

Learn Local History at the Dublin Heritage Park

Dublin shares a rich history with other California cities.

Over 200 years ago, the city was the crossroads of two major stagecoach routes, one going from the Bay Area to Stockton and the other going from Martinez to San Jose.

Travelers went to the Alamilla Spring, near the present-day Heritage Park, to rest before resuming the journey.

Immigrants from various cultures founded Dublin.

They grew the city and developed the area near Heritage Park.

Likewise, they built different buildings there, such as the St. Raymond’s Church, the Pioneer Cemetery, Green’s Store, a blacksmith and wagon shop, and a shoemaker.

Today, the 10-acre Dublin Heritage Park and Museums still contain these historic buildings.

You can hang out on the lawns or grab a bite at the picnic areas.

Then, you can tour the area to learn more about the city’s history.

Enjoy Premium Entertainment at the Hacienda Crossing

The largest shopping center in Dublin offers various high-quality specialty shops to serve all needs of the interested traveler.

For example, go shopping at Old Navy; Bed, Bath, and Beyond; and Barnes & Noble, among others.

Likewise, if you want to grab a meal after a day’s shopping, you can eat at several top-notch restaurants.

Bring your family to Five Guys or FuddRuckers and enjoy a delicious meal.

You can also try Vietnamese and Thai food if you’re feeling adventurous.

Afterward, see the latest blockbuster at the Regal Movie theater, inside the shopping center.

Discover Nature at the Tassajara Creek Regional Park

If you prefer to discover new places, you might want to go to the Tassajara Creek Regional Park, one of the most obscure parks in the whole East Bay Regional Park System.

You’ll find it adjacent to Camp Parks’ eastern border.

The city established the park in 1991 as a staging area for the Tassajara Creek Regional Trail.

The Tassajara Creek Regional Park is also relatively small, spanning only 27 acres, which means only a few people go there.

If you’re lucky, you might spot wildlife.

There are also limited amenities, such as a single picnic table and a short hiking trail.

If you want some alone time, you will get all the solitude you need from this park.

On the other hand, if you want to let your kids and pets experience hiking for the first time, this place is also for you.

Check Out Public Artwork at the Alamo Creek Park

Besides the picnic area, you can also drop by Alamo Creek Park for the public art installation titled “Black Pool.”

The Irish artist Alan Counihan created the work under commission from the City of Dublin.

According to the city, “Black Pool” allows the guests’ imagination to connect the park’s landscape with the soft rolling hills of the area.

They also wanted viewers to visualize how the place must have looked before humans came along and how they have lived there ever since.

Get Your Blood Pumping at K-1 Speed Kart Racing

What if hiking doesn’t quite fill your hunger for adventure?

The answer is simple: You just need to hit up K-1 Speed Kart Racing in Dublin, an indoor go-kart racing park and the premier entertainment hotspot in the greater East Bay area.

Test your driving skills against your friends or family, and bring home the trophy!

Besides racing in go-karts, you can also check out displays of authentic racing memorabilia.

Otherwise, you can relax with a snack in their spacious lobby.

Check Out More Public Art at Kolb Park

Kolb Park’s main attraction is the public art installation titled “Dust in the Universe.”

The artist John King, a native of Eureka, California, created this piece under commission from the city of Dublin.

This piece uses concrete tile for the “floor,” whose complete design evokes principles of particle physics.

On the other hand, many viewers also take away different things from work.

According to King, they see them as Celtic designs, Native American carvings, or even ancient hieroglyphics.

Bring Your Pooch to the Dougherty Hills Dog Park

Dublin will be your dog’s favorite place after visiting the Dougherty Hills Dog Park.

Its amenities accommodate dogs of all sizes and types, which means you can let them make new friends without worry.

The park also contains separate turf dog runs.

One of these turf runs is appropriate for smaller dogs, while the other fits bigger canines.

Let your dog play freely and safely with other similar dogs.

After they play, you can let them take a break by bringing them to a doggie drinking fountain.

Play Sports at the Dublin Sports Grounds

You don’t need to be a baseball or soccer superstar to enjoy these games at the Dublin Sports Grounds.

This facility prides itself in being inclusive, promising a day of fun for people of all ages and skills.

Located off Dublin Boulevard and Civic Plaza, the Dublin Sports Grounds sits in the middle of Dublin.

This 22.8-acre land features a lighted baseball diamond, softball diamonds, and two lighted soccer fields.

You can rent these fields for casual games or practices, so bring your A-game when you visit.

See the “Dog of Dublin” at the Dougherty Hills Park

In 2020, lead artists Emily Leighton and Tellart Studios completed the public art installation “Dog of Dublin,” which the city installed the same year.

What is this piece?

The “Dog of Dublin” features a series of brightly colored dog silhouettes, which follow an ombre pattern.

If you look closely, you’ll see that the colors of dusk inspired the color choices for the dogs’ figures.

You’ll also find 80 silhouettes along 500 feet of fence on Amador Valley Boulevard.

The artists held a photoshoot of pet neighborhood dogs at the park to create this piece.

Then, the artists used the photos as models to create replicas for the installation.

Enjoy More Sports at the Fallon Sports Park

Drop by the Fallon Sports Park to get your juices flowing if you want to play more sports.

You can even grill barbecues between games for when you get hungry.

Likewise, you can jog all the food off by going on the walkways and hiking trails.

The 28-acre Fallon Sports Park features several basketball courts, some of them lighted for nighttime play.

You can also play tennis at the lighted courts, or play bocce at the bocce ball courts.

If you were the daring type, you could practice your bike tricks at the BMX course.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go Hiking along the Tassajara Ridge Trail Loop

Tassajara Ridge Trail Loop

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz /

Near San Ramon, California, the Tassajara Ridge Trail Loop is another excellent trail for people who want to stay active outdoors.

This 13-kilometer trail doesn’t see that many hikers, so you can enjoy a relaxing hike while admiring the beautiful flowers along the trail.

Likewise, you don’t need to be a veteran hiker to have a good time here.

You can also bring your dog.

Tassajara Ridge Trail Loop

Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz /

Grab Fresh Produce at the Pleasanton Farmers’ Market

Start your journey toward a healthier lifestyle at the Pleasanton Farmers’ Market, located in the city of Pleasanton, just 11 minutes away from Dublin.

You’ll get the chance to buy California-grown fresh fruits and vegetables and talk to the farmers who planted them.

Likewise, the Pleasanton Farmers’ Market allows guests to give back to their community through the Open Heart Kitchen program.

This program prepares nutritious food and distributes them to the underprivileged people living in Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton.

Join Open Heart by buying extra produce and asking the farmer to put them in a separate bag.

After that, drop off that bag in collection boxes around the market.

Fill Your Belly along the Livermore Food Tours

Sixteen minutes away from Dublin lies the city of Livermore, where you can have the gastronomic experience of a lifetime by joining its famous food tours.

In all, these tours consist of a food tasting and cultural walking tour, both unique experiences taking all over Livermore through history and food.

During the tour, you’ll taste mouthwatering meals from terrific local restaurants and sample local drinks from specialty shops.

Exercise your taste buds, make new food buddies, and treat yourself to a new culinary world by meeting the chefs behind Livermore’s unique culinary creations.

The tour is also open to everyone of all ages and fitness levels.

It’s also less than a mile long, making it a suitable way to relish the flavors of the city.

You have two tour choices, the Historic Livermore Food Tour and the Livermore Foodie Tour. Both tours last 2.5 hours.

The Historic Tour takes you on a journey to six restaurants offering award-winning recipes and generational ethnic cuisine.

On the other hand, the Foodie Tour lets you taste the flavors of the world.

You can try seafood, Asian cuisine, fine wines, cheeses, teas, and more.

During the tour, you can also check out interesting souvenir items your family and friends might love.

Admire the Scenery at the Bishop Ranch Regional Open Space Preserve

Just eight minutes away from Dublin is the city of San Ramon, where you can find the Bishop Ranch Regional Open Space Preserve.

It’s a relatively tiny park, but it punches far above its weight thanks to its gorgeous blue oak groves and sweeping hilltop views.

If you’re still a newbie hiker, you’ll also appreciate the park’s friendly size.

Lots of people visit this place, especially during peak times.

You might see groups of hikers on the road every two or three minutes, so why not make some friends?

People with dogs also love this place, so you might want to bring yours.

Try Your Luck at Parkwest Casino 580

Twelve minutes away from Dublin lies the city of Livermore, where you can bring your friend for an all-night gaming escapade at the Parkwest Casino 580.

You’ll feel like a big shot playing the games at this casino, thanks to its luxurious décor and modern premium games.

During your trip, you can play Baccarat, Blackjack, and 3 Card Poker, among other popular California games.

It’s an upscale gaming experience you won’t forget anytime soon.

Sip Fine Wine at Westover Winery

This time, drive ten minutes from Dublin to Castro Valley, California, and visit the Westover Winery to enjoy the finest wines in the area.

In 1986, William Westover Smyth bought the Palomares Canyon winery to start his own business.

He planted grapevines on the land to drive property values and make money by selling to local wineries.

In 1991, Westover received his first alcohol license, and Westover Winery began. He opened his tasting room in 1994.

Today, the winery produces nearly 1,500 cases of small-lot wines, champagnes, dessert wines, and ports.

You can also book a place for events and parties.

Westover Winery is your best bet if your dream wedding happens in a pastoral setting.

You can also hold business meetings and private parties there.

Final Thoughts

Dublin, California, is proud of its Irish heritage and outdoor attractions.

Its various outdoor attractions also help you stay active in this serene city.

Likewise, you can venture to other nearby cities for more outdoor activities and fine wineries.

Book your Dublin trip today!

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