Livermore's most popular form of liquid may be wine, but its waterfront also earns excellent ratings. Pack a picnic and head out on a day of boating and beaching at Livermore’s Lake Del Valle, a 5-mile long, multi-use reservoir surrounded by golden hills. The beauty begins even before arriving at the park; a scenic drive along the valley ridge offers excellent views of the burnt yellow and oak-speckled landscape. The valley walls block Bay Area breezes, so expect the bump in heat to linger (and bring sunscreen). As the centerpiece of the blue oak peppered, 5,000-acre Del Valle Regional Park
, the namesake lake offers two swimming beaches, 16 miles of shoreline, and boat rentals galore. Hop on a 10-person pontoon with pals, or pedal a two-person paddleboat. The water keeps things cool. Dunk away, but keep a toe out for the trout, bass, and catfish beneath the surface. If you're lucky, you might even spot a bald eagle swooping for a snack in the lake. Post up at a picnic table or spread a blanket at one of the two large, rock-sand beaches equipped with Baywatch-conjuring lifeguard stands (the lifeguards themselves are only on duty at certain hours). The west beach, located near the park’s marina, is more bustling than the east beach, which is a calmer place to recline and take a dip. Nice way to Livermore it up!TIP:
Del Valle Regional Park runs 90-minute boat tours
around the lake four times daily. Join them for a Naturalist Tour to the Del Valle Dam, which breaks down the plant and animal life of the area. Or, hop on the history-filled Scenic Tour.Del Valle Regional Park is located at 7000 Del Valle Rd. in Livermore, CA. Parking is available for $6. Boat tours run May through September on weekends only. Scenic tours are offered at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. Naturalist tours run at 1:00 p.m. For more information on boat tours, swing by Lake Del Valle’s Rocky Ridge Visitor Center or call (925) 272-0432. Tours cost $5 for adults and $3 for seniors over 65 and children under 12. Naturalist tours run on weekends. Dogs are welcome for $2/each.