5 Things to Do in Hayward, CA [San Fran Day Trips]

Hayward is close to Oakland, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco. This makes it easy to find things to do when you are willing to take a 20-minute drive.

But there’s no need to leave this cute town to have fun!

Hayward has plenty to experience, no matter what your idea of a good time is.

Check out these unique activities you can do in or near Hayward to keep yourself from feeling the boredom blues.

Want Some Fresh Air?

If you’re the outdoorsy type, Hayward has plenty to offer in fresh air adventure.

Garin Regional Park

This park is an old ranch that was donated by the owner to the city. It is full of rolling hills and has a great view of the sunset.

But the view isn’t the only thing this vast park offers.

Garin Regional Park has seven hiking trails and is an ideal spot for kite flying, birdwatching, and picnicking. If you are a horse enthusiast, they offer horseback riding on certain trails.

In the early fall, they host an apple festival in their bountiful apple orchard with kiddie rides, apple products, and plenty of heirloom apples to taste.

Hayward Japanese Gardens

Easily one of the most serene spots in the heart of the city, Hayward Japanese Gardens is beautifully designed with bridges, plenty of flowers and plant life, and a cute little koi pond.

Hayward Regional Shoreline

For water lovers, Hayward Regional Shoreline is a great place to explore the salt marsh ecosystem.

You can walk or jog the trails, and it’s a great place to ride a bike. This park is designated for nesting birds and wildlife, so keep that in mind and stay in allowed areas. Also, leave your dog at home.

Hungry for a Delicious Experience?

If filling your belly is your idea of a good time, Hayward has that covered too.

Off the Grid

This food truck gathering takes a stop in Hayward and offers a variety of ethnic food to please your palate. You can find delicious foods from Mexico, Hawaii, Ethiopia, as well as a few trucks offering home-style cooking.

It’s here every Monday night, and you can sit outside and enjoy the accompanied live music.

Hippie’s Brew

This unique bistro-style restaurant has plenty of style and caters its breakfast and brunch menu to the hipster community. Bagels and coffee are the most popular orders.

Down for an Active Lifestyle?

Got extra energy to spare?

You can make use of Hayward’s recreational offerings.

Operation City Quest

Operation City Quest is a nationwide online scavenger hunt that you can participate in with your smartphone. So gather your friends and family and work together to find the things on the list.

All you have to do is log in and choose Hayward as your location and then let the search begin!

Indoor Skydiving

This indoor venue allows you to experience the feeling of skydiving without actually having to jump out of an airplane, thank goodness. The indoor wind tunnel has enough power to suspend your body in the air for a realistic free fall.

If you are up for an adrenaline rush without so much risk, you can get to this spot in Union City, just minutes outside of Hayward.

Don Castro Regional Recreation Area

In the summertime, the best place to enjoy an active day is this lagoon nestled in the woods!

The recreation area has swimming, fishing, and more! There are also outdoor barbeques and a nice clean, sandy beach.

This is a great family-friendly spot to enjoy some sun.

Want to Step Back in History?

If you are a history buff and feeling closer to the people of the past gives you a feeling of purpose, you can experience it near Hayward.

Visit San Leandro

This historic spot is only a town away and holds the Casa Peralta, an early 20th century Latin American Mansion. California gets a lot of its history from the early Mexican and Spanish settlers who once owned the land.

Here you’ll be able to visit the landmarks of the historic Bal Theatre and the Historical Railway Society of San Leandro.

Visit Fremont

The first historical place to visit in Fremont is Mission San Jose, a church built in the 1700s. It was founded by the Catholic church in their quest to teach Christianity to the native Californian people.

Mission San Jose is now a historical museum, and you can tour it for a small fee.

Next, you should visit the Ardenwood Historic Farm. This farm was built in the 1850s and turned over to the city as a historic landmark in the late 70s. But, it is still a working farm.

Ardenwood continues to function through many of the same farming practices used before the industrial revolution changed agriculture. Workers costumed in Victorian attire lead tours of the beautiful Victorian home and grounds.

Looking for Some Entertainment?

Hayward also allows you to sit back and relax and allow others to do the legwork while you just enjoy the show.

This spot is a definite crowd-pleaser.

Open Mic Bay Area

Whether you want to entertain or do the entertaining, Open Mic Night is the place to be. There is a different host every Monday and is held at the Bistro Pub and Bar.

Not into the Open Mic concept? The Bistro has live music and dancing every night.

In Summary

There you have it!

Hayward is full of things to do, and this list just scratches the surface. From your favorite little hole in the wall to your secret hidden gem, Hayward offers much more than it is given credit for.

It’s a natural bay beauty that also offers some fun and excitement!


Author Bio: Jei Horca, Senior Business Manager for Alliance’s Northern California region, began his career in multifamily 16 years ago as a Leasing Associate for Carmel Partners. He works very closely with the team at Alvista at the Bridge to oversee operations and continue to make the apartment complex better every day.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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