If you’re looking for an up and coming new spot in California then Hayward, a thriving regional center, and the sixth-largest city in the Bay Area should be on the top of your list. This diverse city of 150,000 residents is continually planning for the future while seeking to maintain a balance between preserving open spaces and expanding the city’s economic endeavors.
1. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PRIME LOCATION
Hayward sits as the heart of the dynamic Bay Area offering easy access to larger metropolitan areas while still maintaining a smaller city feel. If you’re working in Silicon Valley skip the sky-high prices of living in the valley but keep a short commute. The Seven-mile Hayward/San Mateo Bridge will get you to work in no time! At only twenty-five miles southeast of San Francisco, you’re perfectly situated for easy day trips or weekend getaways. Hayward is the perfect spot for convenient travel to spots all around the Bay Area.
2. FUN FESTIVALS
There is no shortage of engaging festivals in Hayward. If music is your cuppa tea, follow the melodic beats wafting through the air and find yourself at The Hayward Russell City Blues Festival. This two-day blues music festival has been happening every July since the 40s. If you’re more into vegetables, then the Hayward Zucchini Festival is the perfect fest for you. This unique festival features all sorts of zucchini, fried, raw, plain, steamed, and smothered in cheese. The fest falls mid-August and features a silly contest that all local growers can enter which judges zucchini on how similar they look to Richard Nixon. For something even more relaxed roam around The Summer Street Fair and enjoy live music, face painting, games, beer gardens, and pony rides. Every third Thursday night in June, July, and August.
3. THIS CITY KNOWS HOW TO EMBRACE THE ECLECTIC
Hayward is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. and you can see it in everything from the eclectic mix of restaurants and shops to the many murals decorating the city. Hayward’s Vintage Alley is the stop for all your retro needs. Slide into your newly purchased poodle skirt and head over to Val’s Burgers, a true 1950s original that looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Just make sure to pack cash while visiting Val’s as they don’t accept credit cards. For a restaurant like nothing you’ve seen before, check out Digger’s Diner co-founded by a gravedigger and featuring menu options like The Crypt and The Coffin Burger. Hayward is sure to enthrall even the most creative.
4. TUNE IN WITH NATURE
If you’re needing a little R&R and reconnection with nature there are tons of options in and around the city. The Hayward Japanese Garden is an urban oasis. It was California’s first Japanese Garden and the perfect peaceful spot to find solace or spend time with a loved one. Admire the koi pond, sit on a bench in the shade to enjoy nature, or reflect under the center pagoda. This spot is one of the best in Hayward to slow down and appreciate life. If you’re looking for something with higher energy take a hike on one of the many great trails or adventure outside the city to the blue waters of The Don Castro Swim Lagoon which are perfect for a morning swim and picnic.
5. COMMUNITY IS A PRIORITY
There’s nothing better than community and local bites from food trucks. Off The Grid supplies just that by bringing together local businesses and community once a week for good food, music, friends, and creativity all strung together in this fun event. When you need another dose of community be sure to check out The Saturday Farmers’ Market. Vendors set up all over downtown and there’s no better way to spend a Saturday than strolling through the colorful booths lined with fresh fruits and veggies. In Hayward there is never a shortage of activities, even if it’s just you and a friend grabbing a drink together at a local brewpub, you’ll find connecting to a community even easier here.