Things to Do in Hayward, California USA

Hayward, California is a city in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. With a population of 162,954 as of 2020, Hayward is the third largest city in Alameda County and the sixth largest city in the Bay Area. It is the 34th most populous city in the state of California.

Don Castro Regional Park swimming lagoon

The Don Castro Regional Park swimming lagoon is part of the East Bay Regional Parks system in Hayward, California. The park offers a variety of water sports including swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking, and more. This is an ideal location for families who want a relaxing place to swim during a hot summer day.

Don Castro Regional Park is a 101-acre urban oasis between Hayward and Castro Valley. It features a clear, blue swimming lagoon and an adjacent lake. The area is also home to many wild creatures, including turtles, frogs, and deer.

To make the pool more accessible, the park added a wheelchair ramp that winds down from the parking lot to the shore. Special stainless steel wheelchairs will be available for rent at the park. Previously, wheelchairs with wheels were not permitted in the water. The park has also installed new filters that will cycle the 1.2 million-gallon water more quickly.

The lagoon area is family-friendly, with a roped-off area for kids. There’s also a large, grassy area for picnicking, and a bathhouse with restrooms and showers. The park also offers reservations for weekends. Lifeguards guard the swimming area from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day during the summer.

Mission Hills Golf Course

Mission Hills Golf Course in Hayward, California is an excellent municipal course. The 9-hole course features two putting greens and three green chipping areas. Opened in 1999, Mission Hills Golf Course has two sets of tees for golfers of various skill levels.

Mission Hills is a great choice for golfers new to the game. This course is well-maintained and features an excellent range. It is also a great venue for a quick 9-hole round, which is ideal for beginners. It offers a challenging Gary Bye design, as well as a double-decker driving range. The golf course offers a membership that includes unlimited non-flighted Titleist golf balls, as well as complimentary launch monitors.

Japanese Gardens

The Hayward Japanese Gardens are the oldest Japanese Gardens in the Western United States and are located in the center of downtown Hayward. This garden was created by master gardener Kimio Kimura and is comprised of 3.5 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. Many elements of the garden are traditional, such as the use of recessed fasteners and wood that is not stained.

The Japanese Gardens in Hayward have a meditative atmosphere and are a short walk from downtown. They feature 1500 plants of 70 different species, winding pathways, a reflecting pool, three gazebo-like structures, a bridge over the swimming pool, and a traditional teahouse. The gardens were formerly the botanical gardens of Hayward Union High School, but the city’s Park and Recreation District recently acquired the land and transformed it into an idyllic park.

The gardens are a blend of Japanese and Californian plants, and use traditional Japanese Garden art and techniques. The late landscape designer Kimio Kimura used more than eight hundred tons of stone and 4,500 plantings to create the Japanese-American garden. The Japanese gardens are characterized by their lush landscape, which tries to hide the urban surroundings.

The Japanese Gardens in Hayward are open every day during the spring and summer. You can visit the garden for free. There are free tours and lectures that are held on the first Saturday of every month. The garden is open from 8:30am to 4pm. This is one of the gems of Hayward.

Nature Centers

If you’re looking for a fun, educational and hands-on nature experience, you’ll love Sulphur Creek Nature Center and the Shoreline Interpretive Center in Hayward. Both nature centers are run by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District and specialize in wildlife education and rehabilitation. You can visit either one to learn about the local wildlife or schedule a visit for the entire family.

The Hayward Japanese Garden is the oldest Japanese garden in California and is open daily (except Christmas Day). The 3.5-acre garden was designed by Kimio Kimura and features California trees and native stone. The Japanese gardens were established in Hayward in 1913 and hosted agricultural programs until 1962.

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center is another nature center that focuses on the San Francisco Bay Estuary and has educational programs for children. The center is located at the base of the Hayward-San Mateo bridge and features exhibits and programs designed to educate visitors about local wildlife.

The Sulphur Creek Nature Center is a small but fun nature center that features animals on display. There are plenty of placards explaining the animals’ habitats, and the naturalists here are friendly and helpful. This nature center doesn’t currently have any kid-friendly activities, but it is planning to hire more docents soon so that families can enjoy their nature experiences with their kids.


Located just 30 minutes from San Francisco, Hayward, California USA offers classic American fare. The city also has a number of international cuisines to choose from, including Mexican and Afghan food. There are also sushi and Italian specialists, and a pit-smoked bbq joint.

Many restaurants in Hayward offer delivery, including Postmates. You can use this service to get food and drink delivered right to your door in no time. Postmates, for example, can deliver alcoholic beverages and grocery items in Hayward. You can even get food delivered from Walgreens or other local establishments.

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