Hayward, California is a convenient and affordable base destination for anyone wanting to easily explore every other place within the San Francisco Bay Area. Right behind the city, visitors can get an excellent panorama at Hayward Hills that captures Oakland, Silicon Valley, Fremont, and San Francisco all in one single memorable view. The city is full of gardens, parks, restaurants, craft beers, and theater. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Hayward Japanese Gardens

Hayward Japanese Gardens
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The Hayward Japanese Gardens are the state of California’s oldest Japanese gardens designed along traditional lines. Situated close to downtown Hayward, the gardens are open to visitors everyday from 8:30am until 4:00pm, with the exception of Christmas Day. There is no charge for admission to the Hayward Japanese Gardens and the grounds can be a fun place for children, as there are turtles and koi they can watch in the large pond. The gardens were designed by Kimio Kimura, a master gardener, and include imaginatively shaped trees and granite boulders, all designed to provide an oasis from the bustling urban life.

22373 N 3rd St, Hayward, CA 94546, Phone: 510-881-6700

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2.Garin Regional Park

Garin Regional Park
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The Garin Regional Park, along with the Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park, offers over twenty miles of hiking and horseback riding trails that allow visitors to explore the more than 4,790 acres of land the parks encompass. Open on Saturdays and Sundays between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, the Garin Barn Visitor Center exhibits artifacts from the area’s farming and ranching history. It also includes a tool shop and a blacksmith shop. Guests can also take a look at the antique farm machinery collection just outside of the barn housing the Visitor Center.

1320 Garin Ave, Hayward, CA 94544, Phone: 888-327-2757

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3.Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Hayward, California

Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Hayward, California
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The Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward, California is a center for wildlife rehabilitation and wildlife education. The mission of this nature and wildlife center is to foster a feeling of responsibility to the fo the world’s welfare by bringing animals and people closer together through the their wildlife education and rehabilitation. The Sulphur Creek Nature Center’s wildlife education programs let visitors get an up close look at a variety of animals that are native to the surrounding area. In addition to education and rehabilitation, the center offers special programs, birthday parties, and volunteer opportunities among other activities and events.

1801 D St, Hayward, CA 94541, Phone: 510-881-6747

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4.Hayward Area Historical Society

Hayward Area Historical Society
© Hayward Area Historical Society

The Hayward Area Historical Society strives to promote an understanding among visitors and the public in general of the opportunities and challenges, as well as the shared history, of the future through the collection, preservation, and interpretation of the East Bay community’s diverse heritage. Visitors can join one of the complementary tours offered by the City of Hayward, which includes visiting the city’s award-winning mural art program in downtown Hayward. These tours are available from May until October, weather permitting. The Hayward Area Historical Society is also home to a History Gallery, a Children’s Gallery, and special exhibits.

22380 Foothill Blvd, Hayward, CA 94541, Phone: 510-581-0223

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5.Mural Arts Program of Hayward

Mural Arts Program of Hayward
© Mural Arts Program of Hayward

The Mural Arts Program of the City of Hayward is a collaborative effort to stop the blight and chronic graffiti throughout the city. The intention of the art program is to partner with several artists, schools, private and public organizations, business owners, property owners, and volunteers to foster a number of different things through inspirational artwork, including sense of community identity, cultural enrichment, artistic expression, cultural diversity, positive collaboration, and civic pride. It is part of the city’s “Cleanliness” and “Crime and Public Safety” priorities. The Hayward Area Historical Society offers a tour of the Mural Arts Program between May and October.

Foothill Blvd, Hayward, CA

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6.Don Castro Regional Recreation Area

Don Castro Regional Recreation Area
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The Don Castro Regional Recreation Area encompasses slightly more than one hundred acres on border between the Castro Valley and Hayward. This urban oasis features a clear, blue-watered swim lagoon that is a favorite of local residents. Hikers can explore a surprising miniature wilderness area along the San Lorenzo Creek Reservoir’s shore and fishing is allowed throughout the year. The swim lagoon features an extensive shallow area particularly for kids that is roped off. Visitors can access the Chabot to Garin trail and the Bay Area Ridge Trail in the Don Castro Regional Recreation Area as well.

22400 Woodroe Ave, Hayward, CA 94541, Phone: 510-544-3073

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7.Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center
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The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center is an interpretive nature center focused on ecology and natural history in the city of Hayward. The center is operated primarily as more of a resource center for educational field trips of local schools. However, the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center is open to general visitors during the weekends. The focus of the center is on shoreline ecosystems and the San Francisco Bay wetland with exhibits about aquatic, native wildlife, as well as rotating displays about other related topics. The interpretive center opened in 1986 and was built next to salt ponds that are now restored wetlands.

4901 Breakwater Ave, Hayward, CA 94545, Phone: 510-670-7270

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8.Douglas Morrison Theatre, Hayward, CA

Douglas Morrison Theatre, Hayward, CA
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The Douglas Morrison Theatre aims to involve and enlighten both visitors and locals of the Hayward community through the live theater experience it provides. The theater offers performers with a chance for social participation and artistic expression. The Douglas Morrison Theatre puts on a season of musicals and plays every year beginning in September. During the summer season, youth aged seven to fifteen can take part in theater camps lasting one or two weeks. The theater also offers classes for teenagers and adults covering an array of theater disciplines. The theater program originally started as the HARD Community Players during the 1960’s.

22311 N. Third St, Hayward, CA 94546, Phone: 510-881-6777

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9.Hayward Flight, Hayward, California

Hayward Flight, Hayward, California
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Hayward Flight, located in the area of the San Francisco Bay, is the leading aviation services provider in Hayward. The aviation services company operates its business with a focus on flexibility, convenience, and reliability. Situated at the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the scenic surroundings and unique beauty of the area makes it one of the most desirable areas in the country in which to fly. It because of this that the staff of Hayward Flight, the friendly atmosphere, and the maintained fleet fulfills each and every flight. They provide a convenient, flexible, and safe training center.

19990 Skywest Dr, Hayward, Ca 94541, Phone: 510-372-6693

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10.High Scores, Hayward, California

High Scores, Hayward, California
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High Scores is both an arcade and a museum with a particular focus on the popular classic games from the 1980’s. The success the owners have had in Alameda, California encouraged them to also open a second place in Hayward in 2016. High Scores boasts a large collection of all the favorite games, including Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Tron, Punch-Out, and Star Wars. There are also cult favorites like Congo Bongo and Star Castle, an 90’s titles, such as Mortal Kombat II and Street Fighter II. There are more than four hundred playable class games at High Scores, as well as a jukebox.

1051 B St, Hayward, CA 94541, Phone: 609-468-3083

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11.Buffalo Bills, Hayward, California

Buffalo Bills, Hayward, California
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The Buffalo Bill’s Brewery pioneered the brewing industry into a new and bold direction, changing the idea of brewing in America. Founded in the year 1983, the brewery became one of the country’s first brewpubs and helped to launch the craft beer movement in the United States. The Buffalo Bill’s brewpub still continues to provide a good assortment of amazing craft beer, along with seasonal and year-round favorites. The kitchen at Buffalo Bill’s is open Sunday to Thursday from 11:00am until 10:00pm and 11:00am to 11:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Last call is 45 minutes after the kitchen closes.

1082 B St, Hayward, CA 94541, Phone: 510-886-9823

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12.Buon Appetito, Hayward, California

Buon Appetito, Hayward, California
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Buon Appetito serves contemporary Italian fare within a charming setting. The restaurant boasts real Italian food made-from-scratch every day, claiming to take absolutely no shortcuts when they make their authentic Italian cuisine. Buon Appetito offers freshly made bread, salads, pastas, seafood, desserts, and more dishes, as well as both local white and red wines that pair well with Italian dishes. The restaurant offers take out as well, along with daily chef specials for both lunch and dinner. Chef Martino at Buon Appetito works every day to create tasty, beautiful, and healthy food using local and fresh ingredients.

917 A St, Hayward, CA 94541, Phone: 510-247-0120

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13.Casper’s Hot Dogs Hayward

Casper’s Hot Dogs Hayward
© Casper’s Hot Dogs Hayward

Casper’s Hot Dogs in Hayward, California can be described as a fast-casual restaurant serving old-fashioned style frankfurters. The hot dog restaurant chain consists of eight different location in Hayward and the surrounding area of East San Francisco Bay. Casper’s was first founded back in the year 1934 by an Armenian immigrant family. It has been serving footlong hot dogs using a secret recipe for generations. Casper’s Hot Dogs also serves Cajun, Polish, and Chicken “hot dogs,” as well as kid size Junior hot dogs. The owners also established the SPAR Sausage Company in order to manufacturer their own brand of frankfurters.

21670 Foothill Blvd, Hayward, CA 94541, Phone: 510-581-9064

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14.Val's Burgers, Hayward, CA

Val's Burgers, Hayward, CA
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Val’s Burgers is a beloved Hayward eatery that serves old-fashioned American food in a classic diner atmosphere that perfectly complement the menu, which includes huge burgers and old-fashioned milkshakes. In addition to milkshakes and burgers, the versatile menu at Val’s Burgers includes hot dogs, fish and chips, salads, fries, and onion rings. However, the burgers are certainly the superstars at the diner. Customers at the cash-only eatery can choose from the Baby Burger at one-third of a pound, the Mama Burger at half of a pound, and the huge Papa Burger, which weighs in at an entire pound of beef.

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15 Best Things to Do in Hayward, California

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