Santa Clara is a great choice for a day trip to the South Bay Area of San Francisco from Livermore. The two cities are less than 35 miles apart. Most people drive from Livermore to Santa Clara and take I-680 and I-880.
Santa Clara is in the heart of Silicon Valley and has a rich and varied history following the many changes in the Santa Clara Valley. Evidence of its early beginnings under Spanish rule is still visible in the Mission Santa Clara de Asis, the site of one of the famous Spanish missions in Northern California. The imposing façade of the restored Mission is now part of Santa Clara University.
Today, Santa Clara is a technology hub and an integral part of Silicon Valley, which is home to a large number of high technology firms.
The city of Santa Clara has many great activities for families to participate in and several world-class attractions such as the nearby San Jose Tech Museum. Families visiting Santa Clara will enjoy California’s Great America, an amusement park with thrilling-rides and fun for even the little ones. Many visitors also enjoy learning about the history of the Mission Santa Clara that is on the campus of Santa Clara University. You can explore a history church and lovely garden here.
Santa Clara has many good museums for art lovers. Some of the most notable museums include the Triton Museum of Art, which has free museum admission, and the Edward Peterman Museum of Railroad History, which is also free to the public.
For another trip back in time try the Roaring Camp Railroads. This charming period steam engine takes you back to the days when innovation and opportunity in Santa Clara County was led by the railroad and not the microchip. In 1875 the Santa Cruz and Felton served as the area's first railroad, carrying tourists to the beach and other local attractions. Roaring Camps Founder F. Norman Clark worked to preserve the region's rich railroad history. Make a reservation before you leave to make sure you can fit this into your day trip.
Silicon Valley wineries have a history that goes back a couple of centuries to when this area was more famous for its agricultural products and farmlands than it was for technological innovation. The land and climate in the Silicon Valley has some of the same characteristics as that in the Napa Valley vineyards, making the wineries near San Jose produce some very fine vintages. Wine tasting is an excellent and relaxing outing for adults. Discovering a good wine is always a pleasure and Santa Clara has many wineries that produce good vintages.
Santa Clara also is popular with sports fans. The San Francisco 49ers have had its practice field in Santa Clara for several years. In 2014, the 49ers will play in the new Santa Clara Arena and make their home base here in Santa Clara.
When it comes to dining, Santa Clara has a good selection of fine dining and casual restaurants for visitors enjoying the day here. you’ll find a wide variety of ethnic cuisines that are some of the best in the San Francisco Bay area. There’s also a nice farmer’s market in downtown Santa Clara every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Franklin Square, which is at Jackson Street between Homestead and Benton.