Livermore Valley is renowned for their wineries. Not as advertised as Napa or Sonoma they keep the cream of the crop hidden from the general tourist. Since the vally is so spread out a car is definitely required and a few days needed to cover all the wineries, but it is well worth it. there a many boutique wineries that produce only a few hundred cases a year. Yes, it a hobby to some to produce great wine in small quantiity.
There are many wineries in the Livermore Valley Wine Country. You can find twelve of them just on South Livermore Avenue which curves into Tesla Road. There are five more on Greenville Road that curves into Crane Ridge Road. The Livermore Valley is one of California's oldest wine regions. Robert Livermore planted the first commercial vines in the 1840s. Pioneer winemakers C. H. Wente, James Concannon, and Charles Wetmore founded their wineries in the early 1880s. International recognition followed when Livermore Valley captured America's first international gold medal for wine in 1889 at the Paris Exposition, putting California on the world wine map.
The pictures here are from the well-established Stony Ridge winery, whose facilities are also used by the newest (Feb 02) Livermore winery, the Crooked Vine. The tasting area is part of the building with the fermenting vats and barrels. There is no charge for tasting, since the prices are reasonable and you will probably buy something you liked after you taste it.
In the summer time the hills near Livermore, California, turn "golden" (more like brown) from lack of rain. Grass fires can occur easily. One can see where they plow firebreaks (dark stripe around the towers in the picture) but also where the fires burned. I assume the wind generator towers were designed to withstand this threat. BTW, Patterson Pass Road is narrow (especially at the top) two-lane road and people still drive really fast on it...scary. Fortunately the road is not busy. These pictures were taken in October.
The Altamont Pass wind farm is the largest power plant fueled by wind in the world. It stretches north and south along the hills perpendicular to the old Altamont Pass Road and the I-580 interstate highway between Livermore and Tracy. Though the Altamont Pass wind farm still contains the world's largest concentration of wind turbines, it has been surpassed in electricity generation capacity by the wind farm in the Tehachapi-Mojave area. The ~6,000 wind turbines in the Altamont Pass farm currently generate 1 to 1.2 TWh (1,000,000,000-1,200,000,000 kWh) per year. There are issues now about aging wind turbines and raptor fatalities, but they are being addressed by using fewer, larger and taller wind turbines. It is a spectacular sight. I recommend Patterson Pass (south of Altamont Pass) for a better view and quiet road. These pictures were taken in March.
This park is surrounded by gravel Quarries. In fact that's exactly what it used to be. But now it is part of the regional park district. There are many things to do here at the park which include boating, fishing, hiking, sunbathing, volleyball, four-flume watersides, and much, much more. Bring your family, bring your freinds, and have fun.
Keep in mind that the park is only open weekends during spring and fall, but is open daily dyring the summer.
Park Hours: they variate please check website below.
Park Fee: $6 per each vehicle.
Dog Fee: $2 per each dog.
The Sycamore Grove Regional Park opened in the month of August, 1979. It is 742 acres of majestic hiking/bicycle trails; it offers horseback trails, as well as picnic areas thrughout the park. There are restrooms at either of the two enterances. One fo my favorite things to do, whenever I'm in town, is visitng Sycamore Gorve. It is a big part of my past, and a place I go to relax, with friends or just myself. It is a very peaceful, relaxing, and quite experience. So, If your ever by this way, take a few hours and enjoy.
Park hours: open daily 7 a.m. to sunset
Park Fee: enterance $2 per each vehicle
Downtown Livermore is small enough that it makes a nice walk. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and historical buildings on First Street in the few blocks west of Livermore Avenue. The area has just undergone some construction and is looking very nice now with new gazebos, benches and green areas. Park in the lots behind the buildings on the north side of First Street. Sometimes (like for Halloween) they block First Street and have a big street party.
The Wente Vineyards Winery was founded by C.H. Wente 1883. Since its establishment it has grown from 48 acres to over 2000 acres of vineyards. The winery still remains in the Wente family. It's located deep within the Livermore Valley, and now apart from being exclusively a winery, it has become a popular tourist attraction, which includes a restaurant, a golf coure, Concert series, and host to many special events such as caterings and weddings. So go there, relax, and enjoy.
Located in the Livermore Valley is the picturesque Lake Del Valle...we love going to this little known park, well hidden in the greens. You can go boating and do a little bit of fishing too. They have clean benches and grills and basic necessities like restrooms and water fountains.
Go to one of the many wineries. The Livermore valley has about a dozen good wineries, most offer free wine tasting at their vistor centers. Many Napa wineries,by contrast, charge for sampling their wines. Wineries such as Stony Ridge, Concannon, Ivan Tomas, Fenestra, all have tours and free wine tasting. Wente winery also has one the best restaurants in all of the east bay. They also have a championship, Greg Norman designed, golf course.