Downtown is truly the heartbeat of the community, where almost everything happens. Pleasanton is known for its festivals, street parties, parades and free summer concerts. Of course, shopping and dining is abundant in downtown. A walking tour of historic downtown will reveal a wealth of architectural styles, dating to the mid-19th century building styles include Pioneer, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Colonial Revival and Queen Anne. Wander a few blocks east to find gently inclined, tree lined streets with historic homes featuring wrap around porches. Imagine sitting with a glass of lemonade on your porch, listening to the music drifting upward from the free summer concert just down the block! Is it any wonder that Pleasanton was named as one of the top 100 places to live by CNNMoney.com!
The Alameda County Fairgrounds are located within the city limits. For two weeks every summer, the aroma of bbq, popcorn, funnel cakes and cinnamon rolls fill the air. Horse races, live music and entertainment, quilt judging, pie eating and carnival rides will recall childhood memories. And when the fair has finished and the last carnival ride has moved on, the fairgrounds continue to be a source of entertainment, whether it's a car show or a haunted house.
Pleasanton history runs deep in the community. A permanent settlement of the Ohlone people along the Pleasanton Ridge was part of the largest concentration of Native Americans in North America. Their remains and relics are often found when excavating for new buildings. Mission San Jose, founded in 797 brought huge changes for the Ohlone who were absorbed into mission life. Eventually, the area became part of a Mexican land grant. A rich history of agriculture followed and Pleasanton eventually became known for the hops grown there. Pleasanton hops were sought out by many large beer producers in Europe. The town also was chosen as the backdrop for the Mary Pickford movie "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm". Soon more producers followed and Pleasanton made a name for itself as the "Hollywood of the North".
Students are served by the Pleasanton Unified School District. Greatschools.org rates Pleasanton schools 9 out of 10 based on the schools test scores. Five of Pleasanton's elementary schools earned the California Distinguished School Award. Ranked by US News and World Report as one of the nation's best public high schools, Amador Valley and Foothill High Schools were awarded the 2014 Gold Medal designation.