If you’re looking to uncover the hidden gems of a charming city, then “Exploring Hayward: A City Guide” is your ultimate resource. From its historical landmarks to its vibrant community, this guide offers a captivating journey through the heart of Hayward. Discover the latest updates and local news through the City Blog & News section, providing you with insider tips and fascinating insights about this captivating destination. With “Exploring Hayward: A City Guide,” you’ll have all the information you need to make the most of your visit and truly immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of this dynamic city.

Getting to Hayward

By Car

Getting to Hayward by car is easy, as it is conveniently located near major freeways. If you are coming from the north, you can take Interstate 880 south, and if you are coming from the east or west, you can take Interstate 580. Both freeways provide easy access to Hayward. Additionally, there are several major thoroughfares that connect to the city, making it accessible from all directions. Just hop in your car, plug in the address into your GPS, and you’ll be on your way to exploring Hayward in no time!

By Public Transportation

If you prefer to leave the driving to someone else or want to reduce your carbon footprint, public transportation is a great option for getting to Hayward. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system operates in Hayward, providing convenient access to and from the city. With multiple BART stations throughout Hayward, you can easily hop on a train and be whisked away to the city or explore other areas of the Bay Area. Additionally, Hayward is also served by several bus lines, making it easy to navigate the city and nearby areas without a car.

Where to Stay


When it comes to accommodations in Hayward, you have plenty of options to choose from. There are several hotels conveniently located within the city that cater to a range of budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay or a budget-friendly option, you’ll find hotels that meet your needs. Many hotels in Hayward offer amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and on-site restaurants, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Vacation Rentals

If you prefer a more home-away-from-home experience, vacation rentals are a great option in Hayward. With a variety of rentals available, ranging from cozy apartments to spacious houses, you can find the perfect place to suit your needs. Vacation rentals often come fully furnished and equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Additionally, staying in a vacation rental allows you to immerse yourself in the local community and experience Hayward like a resident.

Exploring Hayward: A City Guide

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Dining Options

Casual Eateries

Hayward boasts a diverse culinary scene, with an abundance of casual eateries that are sure to satisfy any craving. From classic American diners and cozy cafes to vibrant taquerias and family-friendly pizza joints, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty burger and fries, a flavorful plate of tacos, or a fresh salad, you can find it all in Hayward’s casual eateries. These establishments often offer a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, perfect for grabbing a quick bite or enjoying a leisurely meal.

Fine Dining

For those special occasions or when you’re craving an elevated culinary experience, Hayward also offers a selection of fine dining establishments. These restaurants prioritize quality and attention to detail, offering exquisite dishes crafted with the finest ingredients. From upscale steakhouses and seafood restaurants to elegant Italian and contemporary fusion cuisine, the fine dining options in Hayward are sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. Treat yourself to a memorable meal and indulge in the sophisticated atmosphere that these establishments provide.

International Cuisine

If you’re looking to explore flavors from around the world, Hayward has a vibrant international dining scene that won’t disappoint. From authentic Chinese and Mexican cuisine to flavorful Indian and Thai dishes, you can embark on a culinary journey without leaving the city. Venture into small, family-owned restaurants where you can savor traditional recipes passed down through generations or try trendy spots that put a modern twist on international flavors. Expand your palate and experience the diverse tastes that Hayward has to offer.

Outdoor Activities

Parks and Recreation

Hayward is blessed with an abundance of parks and open spaces, perfect for outdoor activities and relaxation. Whether you’re looking to have a picnic with friends, go for a jog, or simply enjoy the fresh air, there is a park in Hayward to suit your needs. Some popular parks in the area include Kennedy Park, Don Castro Regional Recreation Area, and Hayward Regional Shoreline. These parks offer amenities such as playgrounds, sports fields, picnic areas, and walking trails, providing endless opportunities for outdoor fun.

Hiking and Biking Trails

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Hayward offers a variety of hiking and biking trails that will satisfy your adventurous spirit. Explore the trails at Garin Regional Park, where you can hike through rolling hills and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside. For mountain biking enthusiasts, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District offers a network of trails suitable for all skill levels. Get your heart rate up and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that Hayward has to offer.

Golf Courses

For those who enjoy a round of golf, Hayward is home to several exceptional golf courses. Practice your swing and enjoy a day on the greens at courses like Skywest Golf Course or TPC Stonebrae. These courses offer challenging layouts, well-maintained fairways, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner looking to improve your skills, Hayward’s golf courses provide the perfect setting for a relaxing and enjoyable day on the links.

Exploring Hayward: A City Guide

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Arts and Culture

Art Galleries

Hayward has a thriving art scene, and art galleries are a great way to explore the local talent and creativity. Visit galleries such as The Euphrat Museum of Art, showcasing contemporary works from local and international artists, or the Sun Gallery, which focuses on promoting emerging artists in the community. Take your time to appreciate the diverse range of art styles and mediums showcased in these galleries and perhaps even bring home a unique piece to commemorate your visit.

Theater and Performing Arts

If you’re a fan of live performances, Hayward has a vibrant theater and performing arts community. Catch a show at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre, where you can enjoy a variety of plays, musicals, and performances throughout the year. The Hayward City Hall Plaza also hosts outdoor concerts and performances during the summer. Immerse yourself in the local arts scene and experience the creativity and talent that Hayward has to offer.

Music Venues

Music lovers will find plenty of options for live music in Hayward. From intimate jazz clubs to energetic rock venues, there is a music venue to suit every taste. Check out places like The Bistro, a cozy spot known for its live jazz performances, or The World Famous Turf Club, where you can catch local and touring bands in an intimate setting. Whether you enjoy jazz, rock, hip-hop, or any other genre, you’re sure to find a live music experience that suits your preferences in Hayward.


Malls and Shopping Centers

If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, Hayward has several malls and shopping centers that offer a diverse shopping experience. Southland Mall is a popular destination, featuring a mix of well-known retailers, specialty stores, and dining options. The Downtown Hayward Shopping District is another great place for shopping, with its collection of boutique shops, antique stores, and local businesses. Spend a day browsing the racks, exploring unique stores, and treating yourself to a little shopping spree.

Local Boutiques

For those who prefer a more unique and personalized shopping experience, Hayward is home to a variety of local boutiques. Explore hidden treasures and discover one-of-a-kind clothing, accessories, and home decor items that you won’t find elsewhere. Support local businesses and shop at boutiques like Vintage Alley, where you can find vintage clothing and accessories, or The Cobblers, a charming store specializing in handmade leather goods. These boutiques offer a curated selection of products and a personalized shopping experience, making them a must-visit for fashion-forward individuals.

Exploring Hayward: A City Guide

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Sports and Entertainment

Sports Events

If you’re a sports enthusiast, Hayward offers various opportunities to catch live sporting events. Whether you’re a fan of basketball, baseball, or soccer, you can root for the home team at one of Hayward’s sports venues. The California State University, East Bay’s Pioneer Stadium is a popular spot to catch college sports games, while the Hayward Adult School Gymnasium hosts local basketball tournaments. Get ready to cheer on your favorite teams and immerse yourself in the excitement of live sports.

Concerts and Festivals

Hayward is no stranger to music festivals and live concerts. Throughout the year, you can enjoy a variety of music events that cater to different genres and tastes. From the Hayward Russell City Blues Festival, which celebrates the city’s rich blues heritage, to the Hayward Zucchini Festival, a quirky event that combines live music with zucchini-themed activities, there is a festival for everyone. Additionally, local venues like The Bistro and The World Famous Turf Club regularly host live music performances, offering a chance to catch both local and touring artists.


When the sun goes down, Hayward comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away at a lively club or enjoy a few drinks with friends at a cozy bar, there are plenty of options to keep you entertained. Visit popular spots like The Dirty Bird Lounge for a night of dancing and live DJs or check out Buffalo Bills Brewpub for craft beers and a laid-back atmosphere. Hayward’s nightlife offers something for everyone, ensuring a memorable night out on the town.

Family-Friendly Attractions

Theme Parks

For a fun-filled day with the family, Hayward is located close to several theme parks that guarantee a day of excitement and adventure. Head over to California’s Great America, located just a short drive away, where you can enjoy thrilling roller coasters, family-friendly attractions, and live entertainment. Another great option is Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, which offers a mix of amusement park rides, live animal shows, and water attractions. Create lasting memories and bond with your loved ones as you indulge in the exhilarating experiences these theme parks have to offer.

Zoos and Aquariums

If you’re an animal lover or want to teach your kids about wildlife, Hayward’s proximity to zoos and aquariums makes it a great destination. The Oakland Zoo is just a short drive away and offers a wide variety of animals to admire, as well as interactive exhibits and opportunities to learn about conservation. For an aquatic adventure, visit the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, where you can explore the underwater world and get up close and personal with marine life. These attractions provide educational and entertaining experiences for the whole family.

Children’s Museums

For a day of hands-on learning and exploration, Hayward is located near several children’s museums that offer engaging exhibits and activities. Visit the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, where kids can immerse themselves in interactive exhibits that encourage creativity and curiosity. The Bay Area Children’s Theatre in Oakland is another great option, providing live performances and workshops that inspire young minds. These museums provide a safe and stimulating environment for children to learn, play, and create lasting memories.

Exploring Hayward: A City Guide

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Historical Sites


Hayward is rich in history, and there are several museums in the city that offer a glimpse into its past. The Hayward Area Historical Society Museum is a must-visit for history buffs, showcasing artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the story of Hayward’s development over the years. For aviation enthusiasts, the Oakland Aviation Museum is just a short drive away and offers exhibits on the history of aviation in the Bay Area. Explore these museums and delve into the rich and fascinating history of Hayward and its surrounding areas.


From historical buildings to iconic landmarks, Hayward has several sites worth exploring for those interested in architecture and local history. The Hayward City Hall and the Old City Hall Building are prime examples of architectural gems that have withstood the test of time. The Meek Mansion, a Victorian-era mansion, offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the past. Take a stroll through the Hayward Japanese Gardens or visit the Eden Congregational Church, a historic church with beautiful stained glass windows. These landmarks provide a tangible connection to the city’s past and are a testament to its cultural heritage.

Day Trips from Hayward

San Francisco

Just a short drive away from Hayward is the iconic city of San Francisco. Known for its breathtaking views, diverse neighborhoods, and famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island, San Francisco offers endless opportunities for exploration. Take a ride on the iconic cable cars, visit world-class museums like the de Young Museum or the Exploratorium, or indulge in delicious seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf. Whether you’re interested in history, art, architecture, or simply want to experience the vibrant atmosphere of the city, a day trip to San Francisco is a must.

Napa Valley

Wine enthusiasts will delight in the fact that Napa Valley, one of the world’s premier wine regions, is within easy reach of Hayward. Embark on a day trip and explore the picturesque vineyards, indulge in wine tastings, and savor exquisite cuisine at renowned restaurants. Whether you choose to hop on a guided tour or plan your own itinerary, the scenic beauty and world-class wines of Napa Valley are sure to impress. Relax, take in the stunning landscapes, and delight in the flavors of this renowned wine region.

Santa Cruz

For a taste of California’s famous coastal beauty, head south from Hayward and discover the charming city of Santa Cruz. Known for its vibrant boardwalk, picturesque beaches, and a laid-back atmosphere, Santa Cruz offers a perfect escape from the everyday hustle and bustle. Take a ride on the Giant Dipper roller coaster, stroll along the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, or explore the natural wonders of the area at Natural Bridges State Beach or Wilder Ranch State Park. Santa Cruz’s unique blend of beachside relaxation and outdoor adventure make it an ideal day trip destination.

Exploring Hayward: A City Guide

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