This post will be a little different because it’s about the valley we’ve called home for the last 33 years! We’ve seen it grow from a bedroom community to an extension of Silicon Valley, with several large business headquartered in the area. We love the area for the usually great weather, diversity of the people, and the convenient location to just about everything in California.
I’m writing about Livermore Valley now because I am retiring, and we have moved out of the area (but still in the East Bay region of San Francisco Bay). We were between homes for about 6 weeks, so we stayed at the Fairpark RV in Pleasanton.
For part of that time, I was still going to work each day. I have to say, it’s a lot different waking up in your RV and instead of seeing the ocean or a lake, you drive into work…especially on cold days! We also both came down with the flu during that time, and were grateful to be sick in our own home (RV) instead of a hotel. Finally, smoke from the terrible Camp wildfire that consumed most of Paradise, CA stayed in the valley for weeks, making the air quality very unhealthy. In fact, it was reminder each day to pray for the people caught up in that tragedy and to help any way we could.
Being sick, the unseasonably cold and rainy weather, and the bad air quality made it difficult at times. In fact, there were times we wished we were somewhere else. However, we were also filled with gratitude that we could make these changes in our life at this time, and were really looking forward to the future.
The FairPark RV park is located at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. It is in a quiet section of the fairgrounds, and the people that manage it are very friendly. It turned out to be a quiet and very safe place to stay while we were between homes, as most of the people were there because of work, rather than on vacation, except for those visiting family in the area. The infrastructure needs a re-fresh, but otherwise it was a good place to stay.
There was a huge field right across from the park that our dog Lucy loved to walk in. We also liked walking through-out the fairgrounds. It’s really different without the usual crowds, and just a few maintenance workers here and there. By the way, there is always something going on at the fair, from car shows, to crafts fairs, to the Lantern Festival, which was there during our stay.
We also walked to downtown Pleasanton several times. Pleasanton has a really nice dog-friendly downtown. On Saturday mornings there is also a good farmers market. In fact, that’s where we met Lucy as a puppy for the first time over two years ago!
Here’s a few links to some of the places we’ve enjoyed while living here in the valley. If you are in the area, plan to visit the valley for a few days. If you are a local, add to the list by commenting below!
Also, now that we are retired, we will no longer be limited to RV trips on weekends and vacation! We will be able to enjoy the freedom and satisfaction of traveling in our RV as much as we want! We are already thinking about and planning 2019. As Dr. Seuss says, “Oh the places we’ll go”!
Livermore Valley Places of Interest:
Both Livermore and Pleasanton have quaint downtowns with many shops and restaurants. Walk the dog, window shop, get coffee or lunch.
Mount Diablo State Park – While not actually in the Livermore Valley, you can see it from everywhere. On a clear day, you can see from the Farallon Islands to the Sierras! Rock City is a great place to hike, as it the loop around the top of the mountain, close to the visitor center.
Iron Horse Regional Trail – This 32 mile bike trail follows the path of an old train track, starting in Pleasanton and ending in Walnut Creek. While much if it is between housing tracts, it’s quieter and more fun than riding San Ramon Road. It was great motivation to ride from home to Danville or Walnut Creek for lunch or coffee.
Sycamore Grove Park – One of the nicest walks anywhere, along a creek through the sycamores, with vineyards in the distance.
Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park – A fantastic trail on the ridge overlooking the valley. I have a good friend in his seventies that rides this trail every week! It may be the fountain of youth!
Dublin Heritage Park and Museums – A great collection of historic buildings dating back to when Dublin was just a stop on the Wells Fargo Stagecoach route.
Morgan Territory Regional Preserve – Stunning views of Mount Diablo with no development in site!
Del Valle Regional Park – A great place to RV, with plenty of hiking trails and water activities to keep too busy. You can actually hike from here to Fremont!
Winemaking – The Livermore Valley was making wine before even Napa Valley. It has some great wine! While my appreciation for wine is limited, I have friends that really know wine. The website winetastingbliss.com is run by one of them. His recommendations are always great.
Livermore Rodeo – This annual event held at the beginning for June is really worth seeing if you are in the area. Its a real rodeo and something Livermore has proudly hosted since 1918!
LLNL Discovery Center – They say Livermore is known for it’s Wine, Rodeo, and National Lab. Well, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was created in 1955 and it’s mission is still to make the world a safer place. The Discovery Center has some very interesting exhibits to acquaint you with with Lab and it’s mission. Inside the Lab you will find some of the most powerful lasers and computers in the world!
The Wave Waterpark – A great place to cool off in the summer months!
Alameda County Fairground Activities – There is always something going on at the fairgrounds, whether it be the RV show, the County Fair, the Scottish Games, the Good Guy Car Show, etc.
Thanks so much for posting! That was very timely. Some friends of ours are moving close to this location. We have been full-timers for 3 1/2 years. Tried to make it to CA in 2017, but the fires kept us away. We have a 42 foot fifth wheel, and are really concerned about getting across the mountains to CA – should we be concerned about that?
Paul, I think your friends will love the area! I kept the post to just the Livermore Valley, but there is so much more to enjoy not far away. As far as getting here, I’ve been over the sierras on I-80 through Donner Pass in both a 27 foot Class A and a 35 foot Class A with no problem. I may be wrong, but I think the steepest grades are about 6%. I think you can go the long way around on I-10 and then up 101 to avoid steep grades. Wishing you the best in your travels!
This is also a good alternative for those wanting to visit San Francisco, with access either via a toad or BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).
Great point! In fact we did that countless times when relatives and friends visited our home there! 🙂