Great Things to Do in Hayward, CA

If you're tired of working all the time and bored of your routine, you can find something fun and different to do not far from home. You don't have to plan a big vacation or make reservations to enjoy a day of play. Here are a few great things to do in Hayward with friends or family.

Hayward Japanese Gardens

Located right downtown is a quiet getaway where you can relax and enjoy nature. The Japanese Garden is designed from traditional guidelines with a koi pond which is fed by a small waterfall. You can cross the bridge to see an authentic Japanese teahouse. As you take a stroll, pay attention to the 70 various plant species and trees. The design gives visitors the impression of having been in place for centuries.

Garin Regional Park

Once a ranch, this land is now a lovely park. You can still see evidence of the former ranch through the orchards which still produce fruit. Enjoy a spectacular view at the peaks of the hills as you enjoy a relaxing walk. In the fall, the park hosts an apple festival with live music and games.

Mural Art Program

Walk or drive around downtown to see the work of local artists on buildings. The city decided to handle the graffiti problem by inviting artists to paint murals on walls that would normally be covered by graffiti. As you take a walk, you'll enjoy the inspiring artwork on the exteriors of stores, offices, and even empty buildings.

Don Castro Recreation Area

Take the afternoon off to go fishing close to home. A lagoon is hidden within the miniature wilderness. Cool off with a walk in the woodland or sit by the lagoon as you watch for deer and other local wildlife. You can even rent a boat to get out on the water.

Sulphur Creek Nature Center

This place is popular with kids and adults alike who love animals. A wildlife rehabilitation center, the staff teach kids about animals and how to care for and handle them. They have everything from eagles to rattlesnakes, salamanders to foxes. Even though it feels like its miles away, the center is just five minutes from downtown.

Hayward Regional Shoreline

Take a walk along the shoreline in the East Bay. This is a salt marsh where you can catch a view of the local birdlife. Bring along binoculars or borrow them from the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center if you want to see the long-billed curlews or double-crested cormorants. Take a longer hike on part of the San Francisco Bay Trail which runs right through the park.

Watkins Street

Spend some time on Watkins Street on Mondays to sample the fare from the local food trucks. The trucks park at Off The Grid where you can sample Mexican, Japanese, Korean, and classic American food.

Add one or more of these attractions and activities to your itinerary if you're in the mood for some local fun right in Hayward.