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#4. Pleasanton

A picturesque California community in the Tri-Valley, Pleasanton offers a mix of small-town charm and big-city amenities. Plus, it’s a half-hour’s drive from the beach, and it’s only 45 miles outside of San Francisco – could there be a more perfect location?

No matter when you visit Pleasanton, you’re practically guaranteed fantastic weather as the average temperature in July is just 71 degrees, January’s average temperature is a mild 46 degrees and it’s rarely rainy, particularly during the summer months. That’s a good thing because there are dozens of outdoor opportunities to enjoy in Pleasanton, including 44 community and neighborhood parks, more than 24 miles of trails and over 600 acres of undeveloped open space. Locals recommend checking out Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, a 5,271-acre destination ideal for hikers, equestrians and cyclists.

Pleasanton’s walkable downtown is another great place to enjoy the community’s beautiful weather. Filled with historic structures and tree-lined streets, the district has more than 40 restaurants, many offering al fresco dining, along with unique boutiques and attractions such as the Firehouse Arts Center that hosts theatrical performances, concerts, comedy shows and more.

In addition, downtown Pleasanton is a hub of activity and entertainment, with the Downtown Pleasanton Association coordinating more than 45 special events throughout the year. For example, the DPA goes all-out for Halloween by hosting a fun scavenger hunt for kids and a brew crawl for adults, and during the holiday season, the association organizes a “Spirit & Sweater Stroll” in which participants enjoy craft cocktails at more than 20 downtown locations while wearing their most festive attire.

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