Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Livermore, CA

  • Published 2022/05/05

The city of Livermore in Alameda County lies in the easternmost part of California’s San Francisco Bay Area.

This urban city had many names, from Livermores to Livermore Ranch and Nottingham.

The city covers 26.44 square miles of land area with surrounding coastal ranges that give Livermore Valley a pleasantly mild climate.

Livermore is the most populous of the Tri-Valley areas, including the Amador and San Ramon valleys.

William Martin Mendenhall registered and platted the area as a railroad town in 1869.

He named the town after Robert Livermore, who planted the first vineyard in the area.

Livermore presents a western heritage with acres of ranches, farmlands, and top-notch wineries, making it California’s oldest wine region.

The city is a technological hub and home to distinguished science and technology centers Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

Moreover, not many know that the chemical element Livermorium got its name after Livermore.

Besides the excellent wineries, the booming city hosts wonderful family parks, scenic hiking trails, and engaging local historical sites.

Experience the Livermore adventure with the best things to do in the city.

Spend a Relaxing Afternoon at Del Valle Regional Park

Aerial view of Del Valle Regional Park

Hank Shiffman /

The Del Valle Regional Park is a lakeside resort located just ten miles south of Livermore, which spans approximately 4,000 acres of oak-covered hills and woodlands.

Lake Del Valle is a storage reservoir spanning five miles at the park’s center.

It offers park visitors some fantastic scenic views and recreation.

Drop by the visitor center on the west side of Lake Del Valle to see exhibits and learn information about Del Valle’s natural history.

Otherwise, catch their exciting programs happening all year round.

Take a dip in the park’s swimming beaches, and rent motorboats, pedal or patio boats, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards at the East Beach marina and Kayak Center.

Scenic view of Del Valle Regional Park's lake

Chris LaBasco /

Lake Del Valle is a famous fishing spot where you can get a good catch of trout, catfish, striped bass, smallmouth bass, and panfish.

Have a picnic at the landscaped grounds or reserve picnic tables for large groups.

You can set up camp at the 150 sites available on the Del Valle Family Campground or choose several group campsites good for more than 11 people.

The park also offers the Little Chaparral horse camp and Caballo Loco equestrian group camp, which are open for reservations.

A trail at Del Valle Regional Park

Ventu Photo /

Learn Science at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Discovery Center

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was founded in 1952 to meet the United States’ security needs and improve national defense by developing and applying science and technology.

The Laboratory, which hosts free tours, is a great place to see and have hands-on experience in science.

Join a public tour with the assistance of retired engineers and learn more about science and technology.

Enjoy the detailed wall displays, and learn about how the Laboratory started.

You’ll also learn about the life and works of Dr. Lawrence Livermore and the crucial contributions of the institution to national defense and its role in nature conservation.

Kids will have a fun and productive learning experience with exhibits and displays.

They can participate in the Fun with Science shows and see live demonstrations and experiments.

Visit the Historical Livermore Heritage Guild and Carnegie Building

Front exterior of Carnegie Building

Saehrimnir, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Third Street, the Carnegie Building houses the History Center Museum.

It is also home to the Livermore Heritage Guild and Livermore Art Association Gallery since 1974.

Landscape in front of Carnegie Building

Saehrimnir, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The building was also the former location of the Library, which opened in 1911, until the library transferred to a new facility in 1966 on South Livermore Street.

You’ll see archives and artifacts of Livermore’s early developments from the native settlers and the Spanish and Mexican era until the town’s establishment in 1869.

View the curated exhibits of microfilms from newspapers, over 5,000 historical photographs, extensive maps, and reference books that depict the city’s colorful history.

Buy Local Treats and Goods at the Livermore Farmers’ Market

Find an array of local flavors, goods, and produce at Livermore’s Farmers Market.

Check out some Kouign-Amann pastries by Starter Bakery, or try some fresh oysters and seafood from Cali Feeds.

Get fresh fruits like Asian pears, cherries, Italian plums, nectarines, apricots, peaches, and pomegranates from local orchards.

You can also buy fresh greens and other vegetables.

Enjoy authentic local Bay Area food specialties from food trucks and pop-up stands.

And a great way to enjoy the farmers’ market is catching live music by street performers and musicians, bringing you jazz, folk, country blues, and rock n’ roll.

Sip Fine Wines at Wood Family Vineyards

The Wood Family Vineyards began in 1991 when Rhonda Wood, who was then pregnant, made her home-brewed beer recipe upon hearing that beer can help produce breast milk.

A couple of years later, Rhonda and her husband Michael tried planting a few grapevines to learn about winemaking.

After discovering a vineyard property in Livermore Valley, the rest was history.

Today, Wood Family Vineyards has garnered several awards and offers high-quality, flavorful wines at their winery.

When you visit the vineyard, reserve a spot for Barrel seating, Couch seating, their High Top Game Tables, or stay in the Barrel Room.

Wine tastings include an ounce of six different wines, refundable when purchasing two bottles.

You can also enjoy Acoustic Music every Wednesday and music on Fun Fridays.

Discover the Centennial Light Bulb

The lit up Centennial Light Bulb

Gazebo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See a one-of-a-kind attraction at the Livermore Fire Station 6 on East Avenue.

The Centennial Light Bulb is an odd but intriguing find, holding a Guinness World Record for the Longest Burning Light Bulb.

The Light Bulb commemorated its centennial in 2001 and its 110th birthday in 2011.

A fire truck under the Centennial Light Bulb

Rjaerial, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The fire department installed the bulb at the fire department cart house in 1901.

In 1976, the firehouse moved the bulb to its location with full police and fire truck escort.

The firefighters had hooked the hand-blown light bulb to a 120V power source and UPS.

It shines for 24 hours to provide lighting for fire engines with a 4-watts capacity.

You can drop by the fire station to visit this attraction on any day and greet the local city firefighters, too.

Enjoy Wine Tasting at Fenestra Winery

The Replogle family built the winery on the old Ruby Hill in Pleasanton in 1976.

In 1980, they acquired the abandoned George True Winery building on Vallecitos Road, Livermore.

This winery would become the Fenestra Winery, which produces award-winning wine specialties.

It is the first boutique winery in Livermore, with a rustic country wine setting surrounded by vast vineyards.

It is an excellent location to picnic and sip fine wine on a sunny day.

Enjoy your glass of wine on the garden’s southside lawn, where you can sit at the picnic tables and chairs and get a fantastic view of the winery garden designed with repurposed materials.

On the west side of the lawn, you can find the tasting room that offers a more intimate experience.

You can even book an event inside the winery among the barrels to get a feel of a working winery.

The winery offers a stunning venue and a great experience for big or small events.

Wine tasting is open from Friday to Sunday from noon through the afternoon with a serving of seven unique wine blends.

See the Duarte Garage and Lincoln Highway Museum

Frank H. Duarte built the Duarte Garage in 1915 along Lincoln Highway, the country’s first intercontinental highway.

Besides offering car repair services and selling Associated-brand gasoline and oil products, the garage also serviced farm and agricultural equipment.

Later, the garage added a car dealership to its southern section.

In 1950, Frank transferred ownership to his son Fran, focusing the business on repairing winery and farm equipment.

The City of Livermore was about to demolish the garage to give way to a large park.

However, the Livermore Heritage Guild intervened in 1976, arguing for its restoration and making it a museum.

Visit this unique attraction and catch the events held here throughout the year like the Guild’s Annual General Meeting, car shows featuring antique and classic cars, and yearly auctions.

Have Fun Outdoors at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area

Aerial view of Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area

Kit Leong /

Located at the borders of Pleasanton and Livermore and part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRP) system, the Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area is one of the most enjoyable outdoor parks you can visit.

Shadow Cliffs used to be a Kaiser Industries gravel quarry until its donation to the EBRP.

The recreational area opened in 1971.

Pleasanton developed the 266-acre area through funds from the U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation.

Have a day’s catch of trout, catfish, bluegill, and black bass at the main lake, and get a Park District Daily Fishing Access Permit at the Park District.

You can stroll or enjoy the views of smaller lakes and ponds in the shady areas nearby.

The swimming beach is usually open on weekends in the spring and fall and daily during summer.

However, take note of park announcements when the beach is closed, especially when water levels are low.

You can also enjoy a relaxing picnic, go boating by the lake, or observe waterbirds along the area.

Work Those Golf Clubs at Poppy Ridge Golf Course

Get to swing and practice at Poppy Ridge Golf Course.

The golf range offers the best practice facility in the city and boasts a full acre of natural grass, excellent range balls, pitching green and chipping green, and three putting greens.

Learn from professional golfing instructors to improve your game and get those pars.

Poppy Ridge Golf Course is also a famous outdoor wedding venue in Livermore with an outstanding garden atmosphere.

Enjoy a hearty lunch at Grill at Poppy Ridge with its homey intimate setting and a panoramic view of Livermore Valley’s vineyards and the rolling grassy hills of the course.

You can also enjoy your meals and cocktails on the impressive patio area.

Order from the Grill’s extensive menu, from tasty lunch to sunset dinner menu and their champagne brunch every weekend.

Taste Award-Winning Wines at Clos De Mayo Vineyard

Clos de Mayo, the Manor of Springs, started as the Wente family acquired several estates that became top-quality chardonnay plantations.

The winery may have faced several challenges with the changing economic trends in the Bay Area, but it now boasts of its unique world-class wine collection that stood the test of time.

The high-end estate is a frequent venue for social gatherings and meetings.

The winery is proud of its location suitable for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Still, you can also savor their Clos De Mayo Reserve Petite Syrah, made with traditional brewing methods, namely the dip, pressing, and bloodletting methods.

Grab the Clos De Mayo Reserve Merlot, carefully processed with the right temperature, consistency, and aroma.

You can also purchase their signature Clos De Mayo Reserve Chardonnay, made from quality chardonnay grapes and fermented in oak barrels.

Go for Trout Fishing at Hagemann Ranch

Daytime view of the Hagemann Ranch

Sanfranman59, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A family-owned business presently run by husband and wife Matt and Stephanie Hagemann, the Hagemann Ranch has already operated for more than 30 years.

Besides the fishing ranch, they also have a working sheep ranch and a more recent addition, a cattle ranch.

Enjoy family fishing time at the pond, catch some rainbow trout, and have them cleaned and bagged on ice.

They have everything you need for the fishing tour, including baits and tackle, poles, nets and stringers, and rods.

You and your kids can also enjoy some cold drinks, chips, fresh popcorn, and snacks at Grammy’s Snack Shack.

Horse rides are also available at the ranch.

Have Amazing Family Time at Boomers Livermore

Have loads of amusement fun at Boomers Livermore.

Speed up with excitement in their Thunder Road Go-Karts, and ride through banked curves, turns, and straight lanes.

Play a game of mini-golf on the grass lawns with windmills and water features for a bit of a challenge and swing away.

Ride the bumper boats with built-in water canons for some next-level water fun.

Play a game of Lazer Tag combat and score some points in this high-tech game.

Enjoy great arcade games at their state-of-the-art Game Room, win tickets, and claim your prize at the redemption center.

Enjoy Card Games and Good Food at Livermore Casino

Bet on a deck of cards at Livermore Casino with its 24-hour gaming floor.

Have a night of Three Card Poker, get your game on with a blackjack or enjoy a baccarat game.

The casino also has a full bar to hang out and have some wine or drinks.

One of the casino’s highlights is the excellent food at the restaurant, where you can enjoy hefty servings of burgers, hot sandwiches, salads, and pasta.

You can enjoy your meal and drinks indoors and on their relaxing patio.

Drop by Lizzie Fountain Park

Lizzie Fountain Park is one of Livermore’s numerous family and community parks you can enjoy on your visit.

Sit back, relax, and watch kids run about the water fountain to play.

Bring your kids to this free fountain to cool down on a hot afternoon.

The fountain park has enough benches under shady trees where you can have some much-needed downtime and retreat.

Read a book or enjoy some snacks from nearby local restaurants.

You can also drop by the Bankhead theater or the Livermore 12 theaters for some entertainment or visit other green spaces in nearby areas.

Final Thoughts

Livermore is filled with great wineries and vineyards that give this city the trademark for the best wines.

It also has many family-oriented attractions that reflect a great sense of community.

See both the growing technology and abundant natural resources the city offers.

Pack your bags and visit Livermore for a unique city experience.

Discover More of Alameda County, CA

Things to Do in Oakland, CA

Things to Do in Berkeley, CA

Things to Do in Alameda, CA

Things to Do in Fremont, CA

Things to Do in Dublin, CA

Things to Do in Castro Valley, CA

Things to Do in Pleasanton, CA

Things to Do in Emeryville, CA

© All rights reserved.