How to Spend 50 Perfect Hours in the Tri-Valley

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Bay Area visitors looking to escape the fog and embrace warmer temperatures, rolling Wine Country hills, and cute downtown districts are smart to head to a region called Tri-Valley. This area consists of four cities: Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore and offers endless outdoor activity options, yummy restaurants, cute shops and vineyards that go on for miles.


DAY 1

8:30 a.m. – Wake up at the Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa, a sprawling property in Livermore with 10 uniquely designed suites, all with fireplaces and private hot tubs. Throw on your bathing suit and some sunscreen, grab your beach towel and some sandals and walk over to the pool where you can take a dip and eat your complementary breakfast after splashing around. After breakfast, swim a little more and walk around the property situated within the beautiful Livermore wine country.

10:30 a.m. – Shower and change into some comfortable-yet-nice clothing (sundresses for the ladies, slacks and a polos for the men). Reapply your sunscreen and bring a hat, then drive on Tesla Road until you arrive at Concannon Vineyard, a spot that dates back over 130 years. Back in 1883, Irish immigrant James Concannon planted his first vineyard and today the location is best known for its Petite Sirah varietals.

Walk into the building surrounded by vine-blanketed rolling hills. Belly up to the bar at the tasting room (tasting prices range based on your desired experience), then take your glass outside and sit under the shade of trees to enjoy the view and delicious vino.

12:30 p.m. – Stop at Wente Vineyards, which, like Concannon, is one of the oldest vineyards in California. Also in 1883, a German immigrant named C.H. Wente purchased more than 40 acres in the Livermore Valley to build his winery. Since then, the property is still family-owned (now fourth and fifth generation) and is known for its Chardonnay varietals.

Grab a seat at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, a high-end place for lunch (white tablecloths and all). This place (reservations recommended) specializes in sustainable and local foods and changes its menu almost daily. If available, try the deviled eggs and artisanal cheese plate to start (oh yes, and ask for the best wine pairings), then move on to the roasted beet salad, chicken breast, and the grass-fed burger. End your experience at Wente with a wine tasting (be sure to drink water between each pour).

2:00 p.m. – Drive back to Purple Orchid, pack your belongings, and check out. Then drive to Pleasanton and settle into your new digs for the next two evenings: The Rose Hotel. Get comfy in your elegantly-decorated room, which most likely has a window with a view of downtown Pleasanton. Take a short nap, break out the book you’ve been meaning to read while on vacation and just relax.

3:30 p.m. – Rested, it’s time to go out on the town. Keep your car parked and walk a few blocks until you reach Museum on Main, a fun and free (donations are happily accepted) museum that offers exhibits highlighting the history of the area. Spend the next few hours walking the streets of downtown Pleasanton and tucking into a few of its cute shops (some of the best include TherapyLanvie and Lotus Consignment Boutique).

6:00 p.m. – Probably starving by now, walk towards 443 Main Street and into Lokanta, a wildly popular Mediterranean restaurant (reservations highly recommended). Start with the meatballs and meze sampler and then move on to the musakka (roasted eggplant), mixed grilled shish kebabs, and lamb burger. End your experience with some baklava and bread pudding.

7:30 p.m. – Pleasantly full, walk into the Firehouse Arts Center. This place is a mecca for creativity with film offerings, musical performances and art exhibits. Check online in advance for the night’s offerings and enjoy some original art.

DAY 2

9:00 a.m. – Wake up in your comfortable bed at The Rose Hotel, then change into breathable-yet-nice clothing and walk downstairs for your complementary breakfast of oatmeal, pastries, fresh fruit and salmon. Wash it down with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

10:00 a.m. – Time to continue your tour of the Tri-Valley with a journey to the city of Danville. Jump in your car and drive to the Blackhawk Automotive Museum (note: this place is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays). Spend the next hour checking out antique cars from around the world and old-time jukeboxes and gas pumps—perfect for the transportation lover in your group.

11:00 a.m. – Drive into downtown Danville and get ready for a history lesson. Danville was settled about 130 years ago when people came as part of California’s Gold Rush. Several early buildings still stand today, which makes a walking tour the perfect activity. Download a downtown history walking tour map and spend the next two hours reading about and looking at some of the town’s oldest structures.

1:00 p.m. – Drive over to 44 Church Street and walk into Bridges Restaurant & Bar, the perfect spot for lunch. If you’re a Robin Williams fan, this place may look very familiar. It was the filming location for one of the most memorable scenes in Mrs. Doubtfire, when Robin’s character was forced to change from a man into a woman in the bathroom (if you haven’t seen it and are looking to belly laugh for two straight hours, I recommend renting it tonight). Fill up on truffled fries, the grilled chicken chop salad and the Rolls Royce burger.

2:30 p.m. – Time for some outdoor activity. Drive to the Iron Horse Regional Trail in the city of Danville. This trail goes on for miles and is well groomed. Walk for as long as you’d like or spend some time playing catch or throwing a Frisbee. Don’t forget your sunscreen and hat for this experience.

4:00 p.m. – Drive back to The Rose Hotel and relax for an hour or so. Take a shower, change into some nice dinner clothes, and walk around the property to meet new friends who are also visiting.

5:30 p.m. – Drive into cute downtown Dublin and walk into Amakara, a tasty Japanese restaurant at 7222 Regional Street. Start with the sashimi salad, tuna ceviche and a caterpillar roll (eel, avocado and tempura). Then move on to servings of ramen and sesame chicken.

DAY 3

10:00 a.m. – Wake up late, eat breakfast at The Rose Hotel and check out. Just before you end your vacation, drive to Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area, a beautiful park and former gravel quarry where you can rent paddle boats and enjoy the water. Bring your camera to take a few final holiday snaps of your family. This is the perfect way to end your 50-hour getaway in the Tri-Valley.

This article comes to us courtesy of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee. Each week the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee features a #Perfect50 Hours series detailing how to spend 50 hours in a different San Francisco Bay Area city. See more here

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