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About Livermore, CA
This city situated on the eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay Area is the namesake for the radioactive element livermorium, thanks to the prestigious research facility Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that's located within its borders. In addition to its nuclear notoriety as reflected in the periodic table, Livermore also is well known for its vineyards and history as the first stop for prospectors headed to Sacramento and beyond during the state's mid-1850s Gold Rush.
The Community of Livermore
With nearly 90,000 residents, Livermore is the largest community in the Tri-Valley east of San Francisco. One of its bigger districts called Springtown was once established as a retirement community but has since transformed into a family district ideal for those who commute to the Bay Area. North Livermore is primarily a quiet residential area while South Livermore is home to more than 40 wineries due to its excellent soil. Situated between the two, Livermore's recently renovated downtown district hosts several restaurants, galleries and unique retail shops as well as a regular farmer's market.
What to Do in Livermore
Livermore's semi-arid, Mediterranean climate and well-drained soil make it a great spot for growing wine grapes, and dozens of wineries offer tastings and tours. Stop by Concannon Vineyard, operated by the same family since 1883, with beautiful grounds and knowledgeable staff to help you learn about the wines. Wente Vineyards is another great location where you can even make your own wine blends.
What? You've never seen a light bulb that's burned almost continuously for 117 years before? Better fix that with a quick stop to observe the Centennial Light Bulb inside the city's Fire Station No. 6. The hand blown bulb contains a carbon filament that's lasted through several moves and many decades. Open to the public whenever firefighters aren't out on a call.
The Del Valle Regional Park is a perfect spot for getting back to nature while inside the city. Several walking trails, picnic areas and a marina where you can rent a canoe, pedal boat or rowboat frame a lovely lake that's great for fishing, swimming or simply relaxing.
One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Livermore
As the home of The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, you'd expect to find science-related activities in the city. The most interesting for adults and children alike is the Discovery Center housed right inside the National Laboratory. Filled with interactive exhibits aimed at older elementary students, the Discovery Center primarily hosts field trips of school kids but is open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. Adults can peruse the historical exhibits that explain Lawrence Livermore's role in major nuclear research. You can also schedule a spot on a public tour, held most Fridays, to view more of the laboratory facility.
Dining in Livermore
Zephyr Grill & Bar in downtown Livermore serves contemporary American food in a fun atmosphere. Braised short ribs and Molasses Glazed Meatloaf earn rave reviews, or enjoy a perfectly prepared prime rib or sirloin.
Get authentic Greek food at Demitri's Taverna, which boasts a rotating menu of specials, traditional pitas and popular dishes like moussaka. Get started with the saganaki, a classic flaming cheese appetizer, and don't stop until you've finished off some loukoumathes (honey puffs) or baklava.