Things to Do

Pleasant Hill offers easy access to the best of Northern California. Oakland and San Francisco are a quick BART ride away. Napa, Sonoma, and the many vineyards of wine country await to the north. To the west, the great expanse of the Pacific begs to be explored in Bodega Bay, Monterey, or Big Sur. To the east, the mighty Sierra Nevadas offer winter and summer adventure in Tahoe and Yosemite.

Phill’s Favorite Attractions

  • Mt. Diablo
  • Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Cable Cars
  • Napa Valley Wine Country
  • Sonoma Valley Wine Country
  • Livermore Valley Wine Country
  • Yosemite
  • Jack London State Historic Park
  • John Muir National Historic Site
  • Briones Regional Park
  • Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline
  • Muir Woods National Monument

    17 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Towering over the East Bay, Mt. Diablo offers sweeping views of the Bay Area, including eight bridges, to the west and the Sierra Nevada to the east. The mountain boasts one of the largest viewsheds in the Western United States; you can even see Lassen Peak on clear days. Drive the scenic, curvy route to the summit, and enjoy numerous hiking and biking trails within the state park.

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    29 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Fishing boats, sea lions basking in the sun, seafood stalls and restaurants, steaming crab cauldrons, sourdough bread bakeries—you know you’re in world-famous Fisherman’s Wharf. The historic F-Line streetcar and two cable car lines terminate in the area and sightseeing boats and boat charters link to Alcatraz, Angel Island, and other points around San Francisco Bay.

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    27 miles from Pleasant Hill

    San Francisco is one of the few places in the world where you can ride on a national historic landmark. The cable cars are the world's last manually operated cable car system, a tramway whose cars are pulled along by cables embedded in the street. Refurbished and equipped with new tracks, cables, turnarounds and cable propulsion machinery, they operate much as they did in 1873 when Andrew S. Hallidie guided the first car down the Clay Street grade. Once upon a time, cable car lines serviced the entire city. Today, only three lines remain, but they can take you to some of San Francisco's most popular neighbourhoods.

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    35 miles from Pleasant Hill

    More than 400 wineries dot the fertile soils of Napa Valley, one of the world’s premier viticultural regions and famous for its prized Cabernet Sauvignon. But wine, as visitors quickly discover, is only the beginning. Find top-rated chefs at scores of restaurants who work alongside the farmers who tend this land. Take a hot air balloon ride or taste the bounty of the valley on a wine tour. Whatever your pleasure, the result is something understated and exceptional.

    Discover More > > >

    43 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Sonoma wines are legendary. Smell. Sip. Smile. Home to more than 400 award-winning wineries, Sonoma County barrels a varietal for everyone. Down home hospitality resonates, from small family-run wineries to internationally heralded wine houses.

    Discover More > > >

    36 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Just east of Pleasant Hill, Livermore Valley Wine Country welcomes visitors with a flourish of vineyards, wineries, and wine country experiences. Amid picturesque canyons, ridges and outposts of suburbia, the lush vines and convivial tasting rooms increasingly define the quality of life in the valley. To the delight of residents and visitors alike, the region is enjoying a wine renaissance harking back to the golden years of early California wine history.

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    176 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra. First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

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    50 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963, this park boasts historic buildings from the time when famous writer/adventurer Jack London called the area home. The park also features over 29 miles of trails with stunning vistas of the Sonoma Valley.

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    7 miles from Pleasant Hill

    As America’s most famous naturalist and conservationist, John Muir fought to protect the wild places he loved, places we can still visit today. Muir’s writings convinced the U.S. government to protect Yosemite, the giant Sequoia, the Grand Canyon and Mt. Rainier as national parks. The John Muir National Historic Site is located in the Alhambra Valley, just 7 miles northwest of Pleasant Hill. The historic home of the United States' most influential preservationist and naturalist is free and open seven days a week from 10 am to 5pm.

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    4 miles from Pleasant Hill

    With its rolling, grassy hills and secluded, shady canyons, Briones is a secret wilderness surrounded by the towns of central Contra Costa County. Although the park is close to several cities, there are peaks within it from which you can see only park and watershed lands for miles in every direction. From Briones Peak, the highest point in the park, there are panoramic views of Mount Diablo and the Diablo Valley to the east, the Sacramento River and Delta to the north, the East Bay hills and Mt. Tamalpais to the west, and Las Trampas Regional Wilderness to the south.

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    9 miles from Pleasant Hill

    This shoreline park along Carquinez Strait offers group picnic areas, softball fields, bocce ball courts, soccer fields, quiet open lawns, and small family picnic areas. Nearly three miles of trails offer peaceful walks through the marsh and along the shoreline.

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    42 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Walk among old growth coast redwoods, cooling their roots in the fresh water of Redwood Creek and lifting their crowns to reach the sun and fog. Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908, this primeval forest is both refuge and laboratory, revealing our relationship with the living landscape. What will you discover in Muir Woods?

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Best of the Best

  • Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • The Painted Ladies
  • Cable Cars
  • Coit Tower
  • Haight-Ashbury
  • Napa Valley Wine Country
  • Sonoma Valley Wine Country
  • Yosemite
  • Pacific Coast Highway
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Alcatraz
  • Jack London Square
  • San Francisco Ferry Building
  • Embarcadero
  • Muir Woods National Monument
  • Shopping in Pleasant Hill

    29 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Fishing boats, sea lions basking in the sun, seafood stalls and restaurants, steaming crab cauldrons, sourdough bread bakeries—you know you’re in world-famous Fisherman’s Wharf. The historic F-Line streetcar and two cable car lines terminate in the area and sightseeing boats and boat charters link to Alcatraz, Angel Island, and other points around San Francisco Bay.

    Discover More > > >

    31 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Once called "the bridge that couldn't be built," today it is one the seven wonders of the modern world. This magnificent span, perhaps San Francisco's most famous landmark, opened in 1937 after a four-year struggle against relentless winds, fog, rock and treacherous tides. The 1.7 mile long bridge, easily identified by its International Orange color, connects San Francisco and the Marin headlands. Pedestrians and bicyclists can travel the sidewalks of the bridge during daylight hours, or enjoy vista points on both north and south sides of the bridge.

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    29 miles from Pleasant Hill

    One of the most photographed locations in San Francisco, Alamo Square's famous "postcard row" at Hayes and Steiner Streets is indeed a visual treat. A tight, escalating formation of Victorian houses is back-dropped by downtown skyscrapers, providing a stunning contrast. The grassy square itself is an ideal midday break.

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    27 miles from Pleasant Hill

    San Francisco is one of the few places in the world where you can ride on a national historic landmark. The cable cars are the world's last manually operated cable car system, a tramway whose cars are pulled along by cables embedded in the street. Refurbished and equipped with new tracks, cables, turnarounds and cable propulsion machinery, they operate much as they did in 1873 when Andrew S. Hallidie guided the first car down the Clay Street grade. Once upon a time, cable car lines serviced the entire city. Today, only three lines remain, but they can take you to some of San Francisco's most popular neighbourhoods.

    Discover More > > >

    29 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Coit Tower, a slender white concrete column rising from the top of Telegraph Hill, has been an emblem of San Francisco’s skyline since its completion in 1933, a welcoming beacon to visitors and residents alike. Its observation deck, reached by elevator (tickets can be purchased in the gift shop), provides 360-degree views of the city and bay, including the Golden Gate and Bay bridges.

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    30 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Forty years later, the "Summer of Love" lives on throughout this charming Victorian sector. The corner of Haight and Ashbury streets still has its tie-dyed roots; vintage clothing, books and records are abundant here and along lower Haight Street. Locals will point out Buena Vista Park, with its city views, and, for architectural highlights, Masonic, Piedmont and Delmar Streets.

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    35 miles from Pleasant Hill

    More than 400 wineries dot the fertile soils of Napa Valley, one of the world’s premier viticultural regions and famous for its prized Cabernet Sauvignon. But wine, as visitors quickly discover, is only the beginning. Find top-rated chefs at scores of restaurants who work alongside the farmers who tend this land. Take a hot air balloon ride or taste the bounty of the valley on a wine tour. Whatever your pleasure, the result is something understated and exceptional.

    Discover More > > >

    43 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Sonoma wines are legendary. Smell. Sip. Smile. Home to more than 400 award-winning wineries, Sonoma County barrels a varietal for everyone. Down home hospitality resonates, from small family-run wineries to internationally heralded wine houses.

    Discover More > > >

    176 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra. First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

    Discover More > > >

    30 miles from Pleasant Hill

    California State Route 1, or the Pacific Coast Highway, is one of the most beautiful drives in the country. Winding in and out of coastal towns, around steep cliff sides plunging into the ocean, and passing some of California’s most beautiful and notable destinations, this route makes for perfect leisure traveling. Recommended stops include Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Bodega Bay where Alfred Hitchcock famously filmed The Birds.

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    170 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, is deep and wide, bluer than blue, and surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s an alpine paradise, for sure, a winter wonderland November through April then gorgeous mountain spring, summer, and fall after that, with an average 300 days of sunshine each and every year. Year-round things to do include winter sports and water sports, blackjack and bike trails, family fun and nightlife—all with a unique, Tahoe spin.

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    27 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Alcatraz Island offers a close-up look at the first lighthouse and fort on the West Coast and the infamous federal penitentiary long off-limits to the public. Rich in history, there is also a natural side to the Rock—gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare.

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    20 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Situated along the scenic Oakland/Alameda estuary, Jack London Square brings together dining, retail, recreation, and exciting events year-round. From lively summer night markets and outdoor movies to kayaking and bicycling along the waterfront, the verve and energy of Jack London Square make it a travel destination for individuals from all over the Bay Area and beyond. Stroll, walk, run or bike the waterfront walkways and peaceful park-like areas, and meet, greet, sip, chat, or just relax and enjoy the waterfront view.

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    27 miles from Pleasant Hill

    The Ferry Building is one of San Francisco’s most iconic buildings, and the anchor of the Embarcadero. This architectural landmark is located at the center of a major transit hub where Bart, Muni, and the Ferry lines all come together. With nearly 50 shops inside, this market hall is a great place to wander, window shop, and grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants and food stalls.

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    27 miles from Pleasant Hill

    The Embarcadero is one of the liveliest and most scenic areas in San Francisco and a great place for a weekend stroll along the waterfront looking out over the Bay

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    42 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Walk among old growth coast redwoods, cooling their roots in the fresh water of Redwood Creek and lifting their crowns to reach the sun and fog. Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908, this primeval forest is both refuge and laboratory, revealing our relationship with the living landscape. What will you discover in Muir Woods?

    Discover More > > >

    Bring something home from Pleasant Hill

    Pleasant Hill boasts a wealth of retail, entertainment, and services. From niche retail offerings catering to wild bird or fly-fishing enthusiasts to great deals from the likes of Kohl’s or DSW, you’re sure to find what you need (and want) in Pleasant Hill. Downtown offers a lovely, walkable outdoor shopping experience while a variety of neighborhood centers feature local favorites and convenient access to anything you might need during your stay.

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Find the Hidden Gems

  • Mt. Diablo
  • Livermore Valley Wine Country
  • Jack London State Historic Park
  • Charles M. Schulz Museum
  • SS Red Oak Victory
  • Orinda Theater
  • Eugene O’Neil National Historic Site
  • John Muir National Historic Site
  • Andy Goldsworthy at the Presidio
  • Crockett & Bailey Art Museum
  • TreasureFest
  • USS Hornet Museum
  • Briones Regional Park
  • Mt. Wanda
  • Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline

    17 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Towering over the East Bay, Mt. Diablo offers sweeping views of the Bay Area, including eight bridges, to the west and the Sierra Nevada to the east. The mountain boasts one of the largest viewsheds in the Western United States; you can even see Lassen Peak on clear days. Drive the scenic, curvy route to the summit, and enjoy numerous hiking and biking trails within the state park.

    Discover More > > >

    36 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Just east of Pleasant Hill, Livermore Valley Wine Country welcomes visitors with a flourish of vineyards, wineries, and wine country experiences. Amid picturesque canyons, ridges and outposts of suburbia, the lush vines and convivial tasting rooms increasingly define the quality of life in the valley. To the delight of residents and visitors alike, the region is enjoying a wine renaissance harking back to the golden years of early California wine history.

    Discover More > > >

    50 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963, this park boasts historic buildings from the time when famous writer/adventurer Jack London called the area home. The park also features over 29 miles of trails with stunning vistas of the Sonoma Valley.

    Discover More > > >

    65 miles from Pleasant Hill

    View the largest collection of original Peanuts artwork in the world at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Located in Santa Rosa, the Museum gives depth to the funny pages through the preservation, display, and interpretation of the life and art of Peanuts comic strip creator, Charles M. Schulz. Visitors can laugh at Schulz’s original comic strips, learn about the art of cartooning, and Schulz’s role in its development, view a re-creation of Schulz’s art studio, watch animated Peanuts specials and documentaries, and draw their own cartoons.

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    31 miles from Pleasant Hill

    The SS Red Oak Victory is the last surviving vessel of 747 ships built at the Richmond Kaiser Shipyards during World War II. Today, she continues to serve as a museum ship and monument to the thousands of men and women who built these ships in a time of national crisis.

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    11 miles from Pleasant Hill

    [one_third_last]Built in 1941, this three-screen cinema was saved from demolition in the 80s and still boasts its restored art deco interior. The old-Hollywood glamor of the building envelops moviegoers in the magic and ceremony of seeing a movie on the big screen.

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    12 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Of all the places Eugene O'Neill-- America's only Nobel Prize winning playwright--called home during his restless life, Tao (pronounced "Dow") House was the one that held him longest, the refuge where he wrote his last plays. Drawn to the privacy and climate of the San Ramon Valley, they purchased a 158-acre ranch near Danville and planned what O'Neill hoped would be his final home. Tour through Tao House and explore the grounds, but note you require an appointment to visit.

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    7 miles from Pleasant Hill

    As America’s most famous naturalist and conservationist, John Muir fought to protect the wild places he loved, places we can still visit today. Muir’s writings convinced the U.S. government to protect Yosemite, the giant Sequoia, the Grand Canyon and Mt. Rainier as national parks. The John Muir National Historic Site is located in the Alhambra Valley, just 7 miles northwest of Pleasant Hill. The historic home of the United States' most influential preservationist and naturalist is free and open seven days a week from 10 am to 5pm.

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    30 miles from Pleasant Hill

    British artist Andy Goldsworthy celebrates the Presidio’s landmark forest in this ongoing, organically evolving project. Goldsworthy has created four site-specific installations, all making use of trees felled as part of the Presidio’s reforestation and park management efforts: Spire (2008), Wood Line (2011), Tree Fall (2013), Earth Wall (2014). Over time, the natural materials used in Spire and Wood Line will decay and return to the earth.

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    16 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Stroll through the quirky town of Crockett and stop by the even weirder Bailey Art Museum for a taste of curious artistic creations, including metal robots, a bigfoot Cyclops skull, and burping bowls. Be ready to confront the strange.

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    24 miles from Pleasant Hill

    One part shopping, one part feasting, and one part music and entertainment. TreasureFest is a unique monthly festival that showcases the best of the bay area. 10am - 4pm. $5 General Entry, Kids Under 12 are Free.

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    23 miles from Pleasant Hill

    The USS Hornet Museum is composed of the USS Hornet (CV-12) aircraft carrier, exhibits from the NASA Apollo moon exploration missions, and several retired aircraft from the Second World War and the transonic and early supersonic jet propulsion period. The flight deck, hangar deck, and first deck below are open for self-guided tours. Docent-led tours are available into the ship's navigation and flight deck control areas of the island and down into one of the engineering spaces containing two of the four ship's propulsion turbines.

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    4 miles from Pleasant Hill

    With its rolling, grassy hills and secluded, shady canyons, Briones is a secret wilderness surrounded by the towns of central Contra Costa County. Although the park is close to several cities, there are peaks within it from which you can see only park and watershed lands for miles in every direction. From Briones Peak, the highest point in the park, there are panoramic views of Mount Diablo and the Diablo Valley to the east, the Sacramento River and Delta to the north, the East Bay hills and Mt. Tamalpais to the west, and Las Trampas Regional Wilderness to the south.

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    6 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Explore the hills where John Muir hiked with his two daughters, Wanda and Helen. Named after Muir's eldest daughter, Mt. Wanda is 326 acres of oak woods and grasslands the Muir family used as an escape. Mount Wanda is open daily sunrise to sunset. Pets are permitted on a leash. Bicycles and horses are allowed on fire roads only.

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    9 miles from Pleasant Hill

    This shoreline park along Carquinez Strait offers group picnic areas, softball fields, bocce ball courts, soccer fields, quiet open lawns, and small family picnic areas. Nearly three miles of trails offer peaceful walks through the marsh and along the shoreline.

    Discover More > > >

Family Forward

  • Mt. Diablo
  • Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • The Painted Ladies
  • Cable Cars
  • Coit Tower
  • Pacific Coast Highway
  • Oakland Zoo
  • Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
  • Exploratorium
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Lindsay Wildlife Experience
  • Alcatraz
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Children’s Fairyland
  • Model Railroad Society
  • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

    17 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Towering over the East Bay, Mt. Diablo offers sweeping views of the Bay Area, including eight bridges, to the west and the Sierra Nevada to the east. The mountain boasts one of the largest viewsheds in the Western United States; you can even see Lassen Peak on clear days. Drive the scenic, curvy route to the summit, and enjoy numerous hiking and biking trails within the state park.

    Discover More > > >

    29 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Fishing boats, sea lions basking in the sun, seafood stalls and restaurants, steaming crab cauldrons, sourdough bread bakeries—you know you’re in world-famous Fisherman’s Wharf. The historic F-Line streetcar and two cable car lines terminate in the area and sightseeing boats and boat charters link to Alcatraz, Angel Island, and other points around San Francisco Bay.

    Discover More > > >

    31 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Once called "the bridge that couldn't be built," today it is one the seven wonders of the modern world. This magnificent span, perhaps San Francisco's most famous landmark, opened in 1937 after a four-year struggle against relentless winds, fog, rock and treacherous tides. The 1.7 mile long bridge, easily identified by its International Orange color, connects San Francisco and the Marin headlands. Pedestrians and bicyclists can travel the sidewalks of the bridge during daylight hours, or enjoy vista points on both north and south sides of the bridge.

    Discover More > > >

    29 miles from Pleasant Hill

    One of the most photographed locations in San Francisco, Alamo Square's famous "postcard row" at Hayes and Steiner Streets is indeed a visual treat. A tight, escalating formation of Victorian houses is back-dropped by downtown skyscrapers, providing a stunning contrast. The grassy square itself is an ideal midday break.

    Discover More > > >

    27 miles from Pleasant Hill

    San Francisco is one of the few places in the world where you can ride on a national historic landmark. The cable cars are the world's last manually operated cable car system, a tramway whose cars are pulled along by cables embedded in the street. Refurbished and equipped with new tracks, cables, turnarounds and cable propulsion machinery, they operate much as they did in 1873 when Andrew S. Hallidie guided the first car down the Clay Street grade. Once upon a time, cable car lines serviced the entire city. Today, only three lines remain, but they can take you to some of San Francisco's most popular neighbourhoods.

    Discover More > > >

    29 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Coit Tower, a slender white concrete column rising from the top of Telegraph Hill, has been an emblem of San Francisco’s skyline since its completion in 1933, a welcoming beacon to visitors and residents alike. Its observation deck, reached by elevator (tickets can be purchased in the gift shop), provides 360-degree views of the city and bay, including the Golden Gate and Bay bridges.

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    30 miles from Pleasant Hill

    California State Route 1, or the Pacific Coast Highway, is one of the most beautiful drives in the country. Winding in and out of coastal towns, around steep cliff sides plunging into the ocean, and passing some of California’s most beautiful and notable destinations, this route makes for perfect leisure traveling. Recommended stops include Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Bodega Bay where Alfred Hitchcock famously filmed The Birds.

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    24 miles from Pleasant Hill

    The Oakland Zoo is the perfect destination for a day trip with your family. Learn about wildlife conservation, see amazing animals, or attend one of many interactive and educational programs. Zoo attractions include the African Savanna, Flamingo Plaze, and Wild Australia.

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    2 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Head to Hurricane Harbor to cool off in your pick of a giant wave pool, lazy river, rafting ride, or crazy slides like the Break Point Plunge or the Cliffhanger.

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    27 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Step inside a tornado, turn upside down in a curved mirror, walk on a fog bridge, and explore more than 650 hands-on exhibits. You'll find all of this plus unique programs, discussions, and events; a café and restaurant; two stores (one with an Art-O-Mat machine); and more.

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    31 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Based in Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences is the only place on Earth to house an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum—all under one living roof. From the splashing penguins in African Hall to the wildflowers on the roof, the building is bursting with life. A four-story living rainforest and awe-inspiring coral reef ecosystem showcase Earth’s biodiversity, while an immersive planetarium shows offer a new perspective on the planet.

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    2 miles from Pleasant Hill

    This wildlife rehabilitation center and museum is one of the oldest wildlife rehab centers in the county. Visit the center’s interactive discovery room, pet education center, and natural history exhibits.

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    27 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Alcatraz Island offers a close-up look at the first lighthouse and fort on the West Coast and the infamous federal penitentiary long off-limits to the public. Rich in history, there is also a natural side to the Rock—gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare.

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    119 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Urchins, otters, jellyfish, sharks, octupuses, penguin chicks, and a kelp forest are all on display at the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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    19 miles from Pleasant Hill

    Since 1950, Children's Fairyland has delighted children and their parents with whimsical storybook sets, gentle rides, friendly animals, and live entertainment.

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    2 miles from Pleasant Hill

    The Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society operates the Diablo Valley Lines model railroad, one of the most mountainous and largest exclusively HO scale model railroads in the United States. This model railroad features standard gauge, narrow gauge, and interurban (overhead electric) freight and trolley lines.

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    20 miles from Pleasant Hill

    At Discovery Kingdom, fun comes in all shapes and sizes. Choose from thrilling roller coasters, family and kid-friendly rides, and animal attractions including sea lions, tigers, and sharks, oh my!

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