Hayward is located near premier tourist locations (San Francisco), first rate educational institutions (Berkeley and Stanford), and an economic powerhouse (Silicon Valley), however relatively speaking Hayward does not have as much to offer as its neighbors. Even so, its central location may make it a very economical home base for tourists and commuters, and its panoramic views of the Bay alone are worth the side trip for visitors.
On paper, the landscape of this city of 163,000 people (2020) sounds nearly perfect. Hayward boasts of a central bay shoreline, a quaint city center with a small town feel in the city flatlands, hills which overlook the bay, and a hub of highways that connect everywhere in the bay area to the inland areas of California. Unfortunately the shoreline is mostly filled with warehouses and marshland, and the city center is slightly run down, although it is slowly being renovated.
As is the case in most of the U.S., you will find it easiest to get to and around Hayward by car.
That being said, there are several options for arriving by public transport. Amtrak runs multiple trains per day on its Capital Corridor route between Sacramento and San Jose, via Oakland. Long distance trains calls at 1 Hayward Amtrak station, located at 22555 Meekland Ave. Commuter rail is provided by BART, which serves serves Hayward via its Warm Springs/South Fremont–Daly City line with two stops within city limits. 2 South Hayward at 28601 Dixon St and 3 Hayward station at 699 B St, the latter one within walking distance to many shops and restaurants in the city centre.
There are buses run by AC Transit, but these do not go to all parts of Hayward.
Hayward does have a lot of traffic in the Downtown area and on Highways. Hayward has several bus systems that serve the city. AC Transit and All Nighter Bus Network provide bus service and Union City Transit provides service in the Southern Hayward Area along the Union City Border. SamTrans service was discontinued in 1999. The HillHopper Bus System provides service to CSUEB. BART Has two stations (Downtown, South Hayward) with BayFair and Castro Valley BART stations nearby. Hayward has an Amtrak station in the Burbank District.
- 1 Museum of History & Culture (Hayward Area Historical Society), 22380 Foothill Boulevard (Between City Center Dr and Russell Wy), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. W–Su 10AM–4PM. Beginning with the Ohlone Indians and followed by Spanish settlers and missionaries, Hayward, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley and other communities clustered on the east side of San Francisco Bay, have long been a cultural crossroads. In the wake of the Gold Rush, former miners and new immigrants established homes and businesses, planted orchards and raised livestock setting down roots that grew into communities known for their diverse population, varied industry, and suburban living. The Hayward Area Historical Society tells the region's story at its downtown museum and through tours of historic sites. Free.
- 2 The Japanese Gardens, 22373 N 3rd St (At S end of N 3rd St, behind Senior Center), ☏ . 8:30AM-4PM daily. The oldest Japanese gardens in the US designed along traditional lines. Reservations for weddings available.
- 3 Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Parks, 1320 Garin Avenue (entrance and parking at NE end of Garin Ave.), toll-free: (option 3 extension 4530). Among the number of parks in the East Bay Regional Park system located in Hayward. Beautiful walking trails through natural habitats. once a year in September the park hosts an Apple Festival, with tastings of dozens of apple varieties grown at a former ranch site in the park.
- 4 Don Castro Regional Park, Woodroe Avenue (from I-580 eastbound from San Leandro, take the Center Street exit in Castro Valley, right on Center to Kelly Street, left on Kelly and left on Woodroe to the park entrance; from I-580 westbound take the Castro Valley exit and continue west on E. Castro Valley Blvd. to Grove Way, left on Grove, left on Center, left on Kelly, and left on Woodroe to the park entrance), ☏ . open 8AM-10PM; 8AM-8PM in winter months. The clear blue waters of the Don Castro swim lagoon are a favorite with central Alameda County residents. The lagoon and adjacent lake were created in 1964 when the Alameda Flood Control and Water Conservation District dammed San Lorenzo Creek. Today the lagoon is supplied with water from EBMUD, and a large shallow area is roped off especially for children. The adjacent lake is closed to boating and swimming, but hikers along the shore will discover a surprising wilderness in miniature, where turtles and frogs splash in the water, ducks rest in the reeds and raccoons and deer come down to drink at sunset. Parking and dog fee collected weekends and holidays..
- Swimming (fee) in the lagoon is the park's main attraction from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Swim hours are from 11AM to 6PM, and only when lifeguards are on duty. There is a bathhouse, a vending machine, a sandy beach and large lawn areas. Dogs are not allowed in the swim complex.
- Picnic sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, although some reservable group sites are available (fee).
- Fishing Anglers along the lake may catch trout, bass, catfish and bluegill. The lake is stocked regularly with trout and catfish. A California state fishing license is required for anglers age 16 or older. In addition, a Park District daily fishing permit is required and may be purchased through a self-registration process located at the swim complex entrance - exact change required. State fish and game regulations apply.
- Trails are open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders.
- Murals. The city has an extensive set of public murals, some of them quite spectacular (if out of the way). they have won a state award for the program that administers them as a joint beautification/graffiti abatement project. Cinema place downtown has 3, and 2 long murals are next to Jackson/92, towards downtown.
Hayward is home to the CSUEB, the California State University East Bay. The highlight of Hayward is in the beautiful panoramic views of the bay which can be seen from and near the university in the hills. Visitors anywhere in the bay should definitely take this detour. From the Hayward hills, one can see Fremont, Silicon Valley, Oakland and San Francisco at once.
The drive from Hayward/Castro Valley to Oakland on Redwood Road is quite beautiful. This road is usually empty, and has the feel of being in a remote area despite the fact that it is near the bay. Beware of the cyclists and the Import racers that frequent Redwood Road.
- 1 Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, 4901 Breakwater Av, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. F-Su 10AM-5PM. A place where children can go to learn about nature, and families can hike on paths through the marshland. Aquariums, an interactive computer exhibit on the Bay, videos, maps, exhibits, a gift shop, and restrooms. Outside an elevated observation platform gives a good view of the surrounding marshlands. Free.
- 2 Sulphur Creek Nature Center, 1801 D St, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM (Discovery Center until 4:30PM). Outside are enclosures to view larger birds and other animals, including a raven, red-tailed hawk, coyote, owl and vulture. All animals found here are rescued animals (it operates as a rescue and rehabilitation center) who cannot return to the wild. There also is a beautiful wildflower garden. Interior displays and most events are geared toward younger children, with terrariums at a kids eye level. Monthly programs about animals for a cost of $5–6 per family. Picnic tables, hiking trail. Free.
- Hayward/Russell City Blues Festival, 777 B St (In front of City Hall), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. First weekend in July. A celebration of the African-American history associated with the music of the World War II-era community of Russell City. Free.
- Cinema Place Gallery, 1061 B St. W-Su noon-. A Hayward Arts Council Gallery.
- John O'Lague Galleria at City Hall, 777 'B' St.. M-F 9AM-5PM. A Hayward Arts Council Gallery. Please visit the web site for details on current exhibits.
- 3 Kennedy Park, 19501 Hesperian Blvd, ☏ . The most popular park and picnic area in town. The carousel, petting zoo, pony ride, and train ride are usually closed on school days. Free entrance; $2 for each ride/activity.
The best shopping in the Bay Area is found in the cities of Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. The downtown lost a lot of its smaller businesses when Southland Mall opened off of 880, which is a fine place for mall and big box store shopping. Cinema Place in downtown on B Street is a new theater with shopping and restaurants.
Every Saturday at Main St. and B St. 9AM-1PM the Hayward Farmers Market is held.
Southland Mall is a large sized old fashioned mall, with a central closed building, and satellite businesses, including some good restaurants like Elephant Bar. Anchor stores include Sears, Macy's.
Although the overall number of restaurants in Hayward is respectable by the standards of most cities in the United States, the choices are disappointing compared to those in nearby gourmet powerhouses Berkeley and Oakland. The advantages here: plentiful parking, lower prices, shorter waits. Most of the Mexican restaurants, especially the taquerias, are excellent inexpensive places to chow down on authentic, if non-gourmet, traditional dishes. If you choose to find a place to eat in Hayward, the city center is normally the best place to go, though many eateries can be found all around Hayward. You can also find food on Mission, Jackson, and Foothill Blvds.
There are also the usual chain restaurants including Dominoes, Taco Bell, McDonald's, The International House of Pancakes, and so on.
- 1 Favorite Indian Restaurant, 24052 Mission Blvd (near the Foothill Blvd curve), ☏ . Daily 11AM-2:30PM, 5PM-10PM. A proper Indian lunch and dinner buffet with excellent prices, online ordering and delivery services. Under $20.
- 2 Red Chili, 29583 Mission Blvd (between Overhill Dr and Alquire Pky), ☏ . M-F 11AM-3PM, 5PM-9:30PM; Sa 11AM-9:30PM; Su 11AM-9PM. Cozy spot for Southeast Asian favorites in large portions for very good prices. Under $20.
- 3 Buon Appetito, 917 A St (near corner of A St and Mission Blvd), ☏ . M=Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-10:30PM, Su 3PM-10PM. A clean and old-fashioned Italian place with fine art on the walls, quality vino and reasonable prices. $20-30.
- 4 Emil Villa's California Barbecue, 24047 Mission Blvd (near corner of Mission Blvd and Fletcher Ln), ☏ . Daily 7AM-8:45PM. Old fashioned diner with beige vinyl seats and checkerboard floors. $20-30.
- 5 Han Yang Korean Bar-B-Q, 22365 Mission Blvd (between Melvin Ct and Smalley Ave), ☏ . Daily 11AM-9:30PM. A choice stop for Korean standards and good prices. $15-30.
- 6 La Piñata, 904 Rose St (corner of Rose St. and Mission Blvd), ☏ . Daily 10AM-3AM. A cozy decades-long Mexican fixture of the town, first of a local chain. Reservations for large groups. $15-30.
- 7 The Pizza House, 954 B St (between Main St and Mission Blvd), toll-free: . M-Sa 11AM-3AM, Su noon-3AM. Local, friendly hole-in-the-wall pizza and pasta place. Try the linguini verde. (Free) Delivery area: Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Castro Valley $15-25.
- 8 Sapporo, 22507 Main St (corner of A St and Main), ☏ , email@example.com. M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM 4:30PM-9:30PM; Sa 4:30PM-9:30PM. A chill place for lunch and dinner, a good sushi list and everything's fresh. $20-30.
- 9 Val's Burgers, 2115 Kelly St (near Center St Fork), ☏ . Tu-Sa 6:30AM-10PM. A vintage burgers, coffee, shakes and fries joint that looks right out of the 1950s. $15-30.
- 10 Yuki Hana Sushi (Formerly Hayward Japan Grill), 920 C St (near corner of C St and Mission Blvd), ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-10PM, Sa 3PM-10PM, Su 4:30PM-9:30PM. A standard of the town with a fine brick edifice and a clean sushi bar. $20-30.
- 11 Neumanali, 742 B St (between Montgomery Ave and Watkins St), ☏ . Tu-Sa 5:30PM-10PM. California Cuisine, mid to high end prices, and an excellent wine selection and wine bar. Located in a renovated Victorian house, just off downtown, with beautiful plantings, this is a completely romantic yet stylishly modern restaurant. The food is quite good, and worth the prices (with good portions to boot). House special Mushroom brushetta is excellent, and the chef's use of vegetables is actually something new, like finely sliced, nearly raw, crispy cauliflower on a trout amandine; original texture and flavor contrasts, such as warm marinated olives with orange peel and garlic, in the style of a Tapas bar. Reservations recommended, holidays like Valentine's day fill up quickly. Worth a trip from other parts of the Bay. $40 and up.
The downtown area has enough odd little hangouts and events, one can easily perambulate on a Friday night and pick up on blues or other music at the Music Depot (944 B St.), "pub" crawl, see a movie at Cinema Place. Always plenty of parking.
- 1 The Bistro, 1001 B St, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-midnight, F-Sa 11AM-1AM, Su noon-10PM. A comfortable corner bar that is really the only place to hear live music in the area on a consistent basis almost every night. They usually have open mic on Mondays. Never a cover charge, and the music ranges from 1920s, blues, jazz, and rock on any day of the week. It's a small place on B street that's worth checking out if you're there after all the downtown shops close down. They serve salads and sandwiches and have tables that flow outside the establishment. No hard liquor, wines and 12 microbrews on tap, and good coffee.
- 2 Buffalo Bill's Brewery, 1082 B St (near corner of B St and Foothill Blvd), ☏ . Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. Among the very first of the state's active brewpubs, serving the usual favorites of poppers and pizza late into the evening. Kitchen closes an hour before closing, last call is 15 minutes before close. $15-30.
- 3 The Funky Monkey, 22554 Main St (between A St and B St), ☏ . Daily 10:30AM-1:30AM. A local favorite dive bar that serves a variety of beers and ales as well as mixed drinks. Crowded during football season on Monday nights. Weekly live DJ, dropping quality hip-hop beats. Under $20.
- 4 The World Famous Turf Club, 22519 Main St (between A and B streets), ☏ . M-F 4PM-1:30AM, Sa Su 1PM-1:30AM. Very straight friendly, somewhat Western themed gay bar, with a large, sandy, funky patio area in back. They state they have existed since 1923. Very much a legendary local hangout. Not fancy, nothing to notice from the outside.
- 1 Best Western PLUS Inn of Hayward, 360 West A St (corner of West A St and Happyland Ave), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A nice, clean business-class hotel near the freeway in an otherwise suburban residential area. Cable sat TV, phones and dataports with high-speed Internet. Full meeting and banquet facilities, pool, full complimentary breakfast. Free parking. All rooms require $100 deposit above and beyond rental price and must be 21 or older to rent. Not pet-friendly. $120-150.
- 2 Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Hayward, 24400 Mission Blvd (between Pinedale Ct and Highland Blvd), ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A low-cost no-frills hotel with free breakfasts, available cribs and no smoking allowed. $95-120.
- 3 Days Inn by Wyndham Hayward Airport, 450 West A St (near corner of West A St and S Garden St), ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A low cost and clean no-frills hotel located up the street from the Hayward Executive Airport, hence the name. $100-120.
- 4 Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Oakland Hayward, 25921 Industrial Blvd (near corner of Industrial Blvd and Cryer St. and an offramp from Hwy 92), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. An executive class hotel at the edge of a major industrial zone. Many amenities from Internet services to meeting and wedding reception spaces. $200-300.
- 5 Motel 6, 30155 Industrial Parkway Southwest (near Whipple Rd. and I-880, behind Denny's and Chevron), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A clean budget motel that tends to be a frequent stop for truckers on long hauls. Many amenities; discounts for online booking and US military personnel. $70-100.
- 6 Quality Inn (Formerly Comfort Inn), 24997 Mission Blvd (between Orchard Ave/Carlos Bee Blvd and Berry Ave), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Complimentary hot breakfast as well as juice, coffee, milk and tea. Complimentary wifi. Full business center with fax and copy services available. Reservations must be cancelled at least 24 hours before 4PM/24 hours before the first day of your stay. $100-150.
- 7 Rodeway Inn (Formerly Mainstay Suites), 835 West A St (between Hesperian Blvd and Royal Ave), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A good mid-range hotel with the business-class amenities without the business-class pricing. $120-150.
- 8 Vagabond Inn Executive Hayward, 500 West A St (at intersection of West A St and Garden Ave), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Executive-class suites at budget prices. Pets allowed, with $10 fee. Complimentary breakfast and wi-fi. Fully accessible amenities and options. $75-100.
Like most cities in the United States, Hayward does have its rougher areas. Most of these are small areas right off of the five main streets in Hayward that run east to west. (A St, Winton Ave, Jackson St, Tennyson Ave, and Industrial Blvd.)
The City has a free Wi-Fi network or "Hot Spot" for the Downtown area. This area of coverage is approximate and may vary in strength and availability and best reception is found at the Main Hayward Public Library (835 "C" Street). The City does not provide technical support for this Wi-Fi system.
Due to its central location it is easy to get to most parts of the Bay Area using a car, BART, or Amtrak.
San Leandro - Hayward's eclectic neighbor to the north, home of the Otis Spunkmeyer headquarters, worldwide industries, malls, hotels and regional parks and shorelines.
|Routes through Hayward|
|Oakland ← San Leandro ←||N S||→ Union City → San Jose|
|Redwood City ← Newark ←||W E||→ Sunol → Livermore|
|San Mateo ← Foster City ←||W E||→ END|
|END ←||N S||→ Union City → Fremont|
|Richmond ← Bay Fair ←||N S||→ Union City → Fremont|
|San Francisco ← Bay Fair ←||N S||→ Union City → Fremont|
|Emeryville ← Oakland ←||N S||→ Fremont → San Jose|