With its plethora of shopping and restaurants, historic downtown and calendar full of cultural events, this inland suburb of the Bay Area is happy to stand alone rather than rely on some other city for entertainment. It's also the gateway to the Livermore Valley Wine Region, home to more than fifty wineries.
Pleasanton keeps its dance card full with free concerts in the park, Saturday farmers' markets and first Wednesday street parties in the middle of Main Street. You can find events year-round at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, but the biggest is the Alameda County Fair that takes place over several weeks in June and July.
Downtown, you can explore the Museum on Main, housed in the 100-year-old former City Hall. To get your shopping fix, head just a few miles north to Livermore Premium Outlets, which houses both popular chains and big-name designers. Or get outside at Alviso Adobe Community Park or Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area, a lakeside park where you can stroll or take a dip.