If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area or are exploring the region, plan a visit to San Ramon, a beautiful city in Contra Costa County, California. The city of San Ramon is best known for its mild weather and picturesque setting. The area is home to many trees and offers stunning views of Mount Diablo. It’s a short drive of only 34 miles from San Francisco and 37 miles from San Jose. This charming Northern California city has plenty of activities to keep you busy and is perfect for a day trip during the weekends. Here are my favorite 21 places to see and things to do in San Ramon, California – an East Bay gem.21 Top things to do in San Ramon, California #Travel #California #SanRamon #BayArea Click To Tweet
1. Visit the Blackhawk Museum
Blackhawk Museum is a must-see for car enthusiasts, and cultural enthusiasts will love this Smithsonian affiliate museum that showcases some of the world’s most exotic cars. It features a wide variety of 40 historically-significant classics, sports, and styling cars.
The Blackhawk Museum not only offers visitors the opportunity to view stunning classic cars but also allows them to immerse themselves in unique cultural experiences. The Spirit of the Old West gallery showcases Native American and cowboy artifacts, while the Into China gallery features ancient Chinese art and historical objects.
The Art of Africa gallery displays a range of traditional African art, including textiles and sculpture.
The World of Nature gallery highlights diverse ecosystems and wildlife through stunning photography and interactive displays.
Overall, the Blackhawk Museum offers a well-rounded educational experience for all ages.
Once you are done exploring the Blackhawk Museum (one of the best museums in the Bay Area!), take a leisurely stroll in the Blackhawk Plaza. This open-air lifestyle center has a lot of open space and is built in a way that makes it look like a village in Mediterranean countries. The inside has a lot of water with terraces that look inviting. This attracts both people who are visiting the area and people who live nearby. I was smitten by the place and lingered long. I remember enjoying Chaplee Kabob at 786 Kabob House. Their House-Tea is refreshing too!
2. Explore Forest Home Farms Historic Park & Museum
Nestled in the San Ramon Valley, Forest Home Farms Historic Park is the perfect place to spend a day if you’re looking for a mix of history and nature. The purpose of this park is to remember and share the agricultural history of the San Ramon Valley. You can explore the sprawling 16 acres of land, which features a tractor museum and a Railroad Depot with an array of educational and interactive exhibits and displays. Forest Home Farms Historic Park has one of the largest antique tractor collections in California, with over 50 antique tractors from the 1920s through the 1950s. This park also features Glass House Museum, a walnut processing plant, and a Welcome Center with exhibits.
Timings: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm
Admission is free.
A slice of history
In 1997, Ruth Quayle Boone donated the farm to the City of San Ramon for use as a municipal historic park in memory of her husband, Travis Moore Boone. After she died in 1998, the memorial was expanded to also honor Ruth and the contribution women made to agriculture in the San Ramon area.
3. Visit the Glass House Museum
Take a tour of the Glass House Museum to experience a historic piece of architecture and learn about the Victorian era in the San Ramon Valley. The museum also offers insight into the lives of prominent families that lived in the house, adding an interesting personal touch to the area’s history.
Timings: Saturdays at 12:00pm & 1:00pm
Admission is free.
4. Visit The O’Neill National Historic Site
Eugene O’Neill was a renowned American playwright who won the Nobel Prize in Literature and three Pulitzer Prizes. He chose to live in Danville, California (15 minutes drive from San Ramon) at the height of his writing career and wrote his final and most memorable plays – The Iceman Cometh, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and A Moon for the Misbegotten, in the San Ramon Valley. He and his wife, Carlotta O’Neill, named the place “Tao House,” which means in Chinese (as interpreted by the O’Neills) “the right way of life.” Tao House islocated above the San Ramon Valley in the Las Trampas hills with an unobstructed view of 3849-foot Mount Diablo).
The Tao House and surrounding setting were established as the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, operated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. You can tour this house and learn about O’Neill’s life and works.
Advance reservations are required for guided tours. Guided tours are offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. Saturdays are self-guided.
Visitors can pick up the shuttle in downtown Danville starting at 10:00 a.m.
Shuttle Bus stop address – 205 Railroad Ave. Danville, CA 94526.
Reservations can be made by calling (925) 838-0249. Office hours are Wednesday – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission is free.
5. Go for a leisurely walk to Eugene O’Neill Commemorative Park
Stop by Eugene O’Neill Commemorative Park, a free open-air museum, to learn more about the Nobel Prize-winning playwright. The park features plaques with quotes and information about his plays and life. Visitors can also enjoy the tranquil surroundings of the park, with plenty of shade and seating areas. It is a beautiful and educational destination for fans of O’Neill and lovers of theatre.
6. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park
Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park is part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) and is perfect for nature lovers. It offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Las Trampas is Spanish for the traps or the snares. There are plenty of trails to explore, great views, and opportunities to see wildlife in this park. The park’s abundant wildlife includes raccoons, foxes, opossums, bobcats, skunks, and squirrels. It is a beautiful place to go for hiking or horseback riding, or picnicking.
The park has two ridges. If you’re looking for a more scenic route, take Las Trampas Ridge- you’ll be able to see sweeping views of the San Ramon Valley. Rocky Ridge is more isolated and more rugged. You can reach Las Trampas Ridge via Chamise and Bollinger Creek Loop trails.
7. Take an afternoon stroll in the Central Park
In San Ramon, Central Park is a beautiful 40.8-acre oasis of green space in the middle of the bustling city. The park features multiple walking trails, a large playground for children, and several picnic areas. It is perfect for a peaceful outdoor meal. During the warmer months, the park hosts various special events such as concerts and movies, adding to its charm and community feel. Overall, Central Park in San Ramon is a must-visit destination for locals and visitors alike.
P:S You can also take a short drive to Memorial park, a 16.3-acre park that honors the fallen victims and heroes of the 9/11 attacks.
8. Take a History lesson at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley
Visit the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, and get impressed with the depth and breadth of the permanent exhibits, artifacts, and pictures of historic buildings on display. From early Native American history to the development of local industries and communities, the museum paints a comprehensive picture of life in the San Ramon Valley.
9. Enjoy the views from the Bishop Ranch Regional Open Space Preserve
Bishop Ranch Regional Open Space Preserve is a large regional park situated on a ridge top at the edge of San Ramon, California. The preserve covers 806 acres and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Enjoy hiking, kite flying, and blanket picnicking at the Bishop Ranch Regional Open Space Preserve.
10. Visit the historic Iron Horse Trail
The Iron Horse Trail was originally a railway track but has now been transformed into a rail trail that travels through the East Bay area. The Southern Pacific Railway once ran through here. The multi-use trail is open to hikers, bikers, joggers, runners, and horseback riders. Along the way, you’ll see beautiful views of the surrounding area and a scenic old railway bridge that crosses over Walnut Creek.
11. Reserve Tee-Time at San Ramon Golf Club
Located in the heart of the San Ramon Valley, the San Ramon Royal Golf Course is a public golf course and offers 18 holes of championship golf. It is known for exceptional greens, always meticulously manicured and smooth rolling.
Golfers of all skill levels will enjoy playing at the San Ramon Royal Golf Course, with multiple tee options to accommodate players of different abilities. The knowledgeable and friendly staff is always available to assist with booking tee times or providing tips on how to navigate the course.
12. Go shopping at the City Center Bishop Ranch
City Center Bishop Ranch in San Ramon, California, offers a unique blend of retail, dining, entertainment, and community experiences. With 300,000 square feet of space, the shopping center is anchored by THE LOT cinema and Equinox fitness center. Located in the heart of Bishop Ranch, City Center Bishop Ranch aims to revitalize the traditional suburban shopping center model by bringing together commerce, culture, and community. Visitors can enjoy everything from boutique shopping to fine dining to fitness classes at this vibrant hub of activity.
13. For a fun night out, go to Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl
At Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl, 40 different bowling lanes are perfect for people of all skill levels. Also, their modern scoring board makes it easy to keep track of points. So whether you’re playing competitively or just for fun, Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl is a great place to go for a family-friendly fun night.
14. San Ramon Farmers Market
The San Ramon Farmers Market is a great place to get fresh produce and live entertainment. They have a pretty eclectic mix of beautiful music from jazz to country blues, folk, world music, and good old rock n roll. Bay area’s best street musicians perform here every week. At San Ramon Farmers Market, you can find fresh, locally grown produce such as fruits and vegetables. The market also features artisan goods such as homemade jams and bread, as well as ready-to-eat options like kebabs, crepe, biriyani, and many more. With live music and a community atmosphere, it’s a delightful way to spend a Saturday morning.
Timings: Saturdays – 9am – 1pm
Address: City Center Bishop Ranch, 6000 Bollinger Canyon Rd, San Ramon, CA 94583
15. Village Theatre
If you are a culture vulture, you will enjoy exploring Village Theatre. It is more than just a place to see art. It’s a center for culture and community where people can come together to enjoy various activities and cultural experiences. Throughout the year, the Village hosts seven rotating exhibits with a focus on local artists. This gives visitors a chance to see the work of many different creators and learn about the vibrant arts scene in the area. The Village also has an active theatre program, hosting a variety of musicals, theatrical performances, and movies. In addition, the Village offers many workshops and educational events throughout the year, giving people of all ages a chance to learn new skills and explore their creativity. Whether you’re interested in art or theatre, or simply want to enjoy a night out with friends, the Village Theatre has something for everyone.
16. Experience the best of both worlds at Canyon Lakes Golf Course and Brewery
Canyon Lakes Golf Course & Brewery in San Ramon offers the unique combination of a championship 18-hole golf course and a craft brewery. The on-site restaurant serves scratch-made dishes for all taste preferences, and the views from the course and brewery are unparalleled. This is the first facility of its kind in the country, making it a must-visit destination for golfers and beer lovers alike.
Canyon Lakes Golf Course and Brewery hosts daily happy hour deals on food and drinks from Monday – Friday, 3 pm to 6 pm.
17. Visit an Art Gallery
There is nothing like standing in front of a beautiful piece of art and getting lost! Whether it’s a painting, sculpture, or photograph, art has the power to move us in ways that words can never express. When we visit an art gallery, we have the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the creative vision of the artist. We can spend time studying the composition, color, and texture of each work. And we can let our imaginations run wild, transported to another time and place. It’s a chance to celebrate the creativity of the human spirit and to be inspired by the beauty that surrounds us. If you are an art lover like me, you will enjoy visiting an art gallery.
Let me share some addresses of art galleries in San Ramon.
Lindsay Dirkx Brown Art Gallery
12501 Alcosta Blvd. San Ramon, CA 94583
Monday – Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
City Hall Art Gallery
7000 Bollinger Canyon Rd. San Ramon, CA 94583
Monday – Friday 8:30 am-5:00 pm
Alcosta Senior and Community Center Art Gallery
9300 Alcosta Blvd. San Ramon, CA 94583
Monday – Friday 8:30 am-5:00 pm
Dougherty Station Community Center Art Gallery
17011 Bollinger Canyon Rd. San Ramon, CA 94582
Monday – Friday 8:30 am-5:00 pm
San Ramon Library Art Gallery
100 Montgomery St. San Ramon, CA 94583
Open during library hours only.
18. Go to Zscape Games in San Ramon, California for a fun night out
ZScape Games is a great place for family fun and entertainment. The escape room is a physical adventure game in which players solve puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives and have a set time limit to unveil the secret plot hidden within the rooms. It usually takes about an hour to get out of the escape room, but it’s well worth it for the fun and excitement. The friendly staff at ZScape Games are always on hand to help with any queries or problems you may have, and they cater to all types of events and functions, from corporate gatherings and team-building to birthday parties and celebrations. So if you’re looking for something different and exciting, check out ZScape Games!
19. Sit by Annabel Lake, especially in Autumn
Visit Annabel Lake in San Ramon, California, for its breathtaking scenery and tranquil atmosphere. The best time to visit is during autumn when the leaves are changing color. As the sun sets over the shimmering water, the colorful leaves of autumn create a picturesque view. The peaceful sounds of nature, such as chirping birds and rustling leaves, provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and reflection. Visiting Annabel Lake is an opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with oneself and nature.
20. Spend some family time at Hap Magee Ranch Park
I adore visiting Hap Magee Ranch Park with my children and doing family picnics. It has a rich history and a variety of amenities. The park’s past as a ranch for longhorn steer and a summer camp for San Francisco orphans adds an interesting element to the outdoor experience. Look for a drinking fountain commemorating Camp Swain with a plaque and a brick rendering of children playing. This park has a barn façade at the park entrance commemorating the park’s former life as a ranch. The water feature, walking trails, and separate play areas for different age groups make it a great destination for families.
21. Hike the Tassajara Ridge Trail Loop
Tassajara Ridge Trail Loop is an 8.1-mile loop trail near San Ramon, California. The rolling hills and scenic overlooks on the trail make for an excellent view of San Ramon, Dublin, and Danville. If the day is clear, you’ll also have an unobstructed view of Mt. Diablo. This trail is most gorgeous during spring and early summer, when the grasses are an emerald green from all the rain, brightly colored wildflowers line the path, and you might even meet some cows grazing in nearby fields!
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San Ramon is a great place to explore, and there is something for everyone to enjoy. From hiking and picnicking in the beautiful Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park to taking a stroll in Central Park or visiting the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. And don’t forget to tee off at one of the city’s many golf courses or visit Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl for some fun nightlife. Whatever your interests, you’re sure to find something to love in San Ramon. So come on down and explore all that this city has to offer!
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