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Must-See Museums in the Tri-Valley
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The Tri-Valley’s Must-See Museums

Positioned as an important gateway region to the entire San Francisco Bay Area, the Tri-Valley has been an integral crossroads of historical and cultural significance for centuries. Today, the Tri-Valley is home to several one-of-a-kind educational experiences that preserve the unique role of the Tri-Valley in California’s development in addition to other worldly exhibits. 

Blackhawk Museum

The Blackhawk Museum is widely known for it’s extensive classic car gallery, housing a rotating collection of ninety rare, unique, and historically significant automobiles, however, it’s also home to four additional galleries that highlight various cultures and wildlife from around the globe.

The Spirit of the Old West exhibit explores the most prolific period of American History, documenting American westward expansion from the mid-1700’s to the 1900’s through both the eyes of Native Americans and American Settlers.

The newest addition to the museum, The World of Nature exhibit features a truly immersive expedition into the natural world through stunning, life-like of floor to ceiling dioramas, three-dimensional sounds, interactive screens, and more than 600 species from around the world on display. 

Museum of the San Ramon Valley

The Museum of the San Ramon Valley features a variety of permanent and rotating exhibits that highlight the rich history and heritage of the San Ramon Valley and surrounding areas. Permanent exhibits include information about local geology, artifacts from California Native Americans, the Rancho period, the Gold Rush, and early settlers. The Museum also houses a life-size train car to commemorate Danville’s past as an integral train depot and the nearby Iron Horse Trail (previously known as the Southern Pacific Railroad). 

Museum on Main

Pleasanton’s Museum on Main collects documents, photographs, and artifacts with historical significance to the city of Pleasanton as well as the Amador and Livermore Valleys. Their collection consists of over 10,000 items, including 3,500 photographs and almost 2,500 other documents. The Museum on Main also acts as an information hub and a home base for Downtown Pleasanton community events, like the ever-popular Ghost Walk tours offered every Fall.

Dublin Heritage Park & Museums

Dublin Heritage Park & Museums is a 10-acre park featuring historic buildings, lawns, picnic areas, and a pioneer cemetery. The park sits at a major crossroads station used by stagecoaches traversing the Bay Area more than 200 years ago. Self-guided brochures are available for visitors to learn more about the city of Dublin’s deep-rooted history. 

Mount Diablo Visitor Center

Located nearly 4,000 feet above sea level, the Mount Diablo State Park Visitor Center features a variety of Native American artifacts, interactive exhibits, geological displays, dioramas of its unique plants and wildlife, and a 3D model of the mountain range. Visitors are also welcome to view a video explaining how the mountain range was formed over hundreds of thousands of years and to plant both feet on the actual summit itself. 

Before making the trek there, check out our Visiting Mount Diablo State Park blog.

Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site

The Danville home of Eugene O’Neill, the only American playwright to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature, is protected by National Parks Service as a historic site and serves as a way to preserve his life and work. The home itself, named the Tao House, contains several of the playwright’s personal possessions and provides visitors an intimate perspective of the world-renowned artist’s life who chose the Tri-Valley as his home several decades ago. Every year during the Eugene O’Neill Festival, his plays are brought back to life in the form of live performances housed in a small barn on the premises. 

topography exhibit at del valle regional park

Del Valle Visitor Center

The newly renovated Visitors Center at Del Valle Regional Park features state-of-the-art interactive exhibits offered in both English and Spanish including live animals, a build-your-own topography sand box, a water level control game, an Instagrammable wall painting that allows visitors to compare their wingspan to a bald eagle’s, and more. Open to visitors on Saturday and Sundays between 9:30am-3pm.

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