One Fine Day: Livermore
Spend a day in this Tri-Valley destination, and you’ll experience more than crushed grapes.
Photo courtesy of Kim Grandfield
Start with a serene morning kayak on Lake Del Valle. It’s the best time to catch a glimpse of the area’s thriving birdlife, including osprey or even one of the park’s two resident bald eagles.
Rentals $15 per hour; contact Sunrise Mountain Sports at (925) 447-8330, kayakdelvalle.com.
After your nature interlude, opt for upscale sophistication with lunch at Underdog Wine Bar’s chic back patio, overlooking Concannon’s vineyards. The slider trio—pulled pork, burger, and crab cake—is excellent, and the wine flights are a steal.
4590 Tesla Rd., (925) 583-1581, underdogwinebar.com.
Time to hit the wineries! A scenic five-minute drive away, you can find McGrail Vineyards’ tony tasting room and sample the excellent lineup of reds (the 2008 Reserve Cab won best red in the recent Chronicle Wine Competition).
5600 Greenville Rd., (925) 215-0717, mcgrailvineyards.com.
Then, check out Steven Kent Winery’s luscious Napa-style Cabs and La Rochelle Winery’s 90-point Pinots at their joint barrel-tasting room (or splurge for the reserve room experience, with small-lot and reserve pours paired with cheeses).
5443 Tesla Rd., stevenkent.com, lrwine.com.
Still thirsty? Take a step back in time at historic Murrieta’s Well, magically situated on winery grounds founded in the 1880s and surrounding a still bubbling artesian well.
3005 Mines Rd., (925) 456-2390, murrietaswell.com.
Head downtown to refuel with a soft carnitas taco at Tequila’s Taqueria. 160 S. Livermore Ave., (925) 371-1191. Grab an afternoon espresso (make it a double) with the hipsters at the artsy Panama Red coffee shop.
2115 First St., (925) 245-1700, panamaredcoffee.com.
Stroll First Street for the latest fashions (and shirt bedazzling) at Shakabuku Designs, or get in touch with Livermore’s cowboy roots while browsing the Stetson hats, cowboy boots, and 501 jeans at the 131-year-old Baughman’s Western Outfitters. Don’t forget to duck down fun K Street, which has a little something for everyone.
Sick of wine? Hit up the popular new craft beer–centric Tap 25 in charming Blacksmith Square.
25 S. Livermore Ave., taptwentyfive.com.
Dinner options abound along First Street, but a burger and beer at First Street Alehouse is never a bad option.
2106 First St., (925) 371-6588, firststreetalehouse.com.
Next door, Double Barrel Wine Bar offers Spanish-style tapas, a selection of local and international wines, plus live music on the back patio.
2086 First St., (925) 243-9463, doublebarrelwinebar.com.
End your night with a show at the beautiful Bankhead Theater. Performances this month include everything from Nashville singer Shelby Lynne, to Elton John– and Beatles–themed musicals, to symphony and classical guitar concerts.
2400 First St., (925) 373-6800, mylvpac.com.
Or catch a flick (classic movie nights are every 2nd and 4th Thursday), and a bite catered by next-door Zephyr Grill, at the popular Vine Cinema.
1722 1st Street, Livermore, (925) 447-2545, vinecinema.com.