14 Things You Didn’t Know About Pleasanton, CA

You already know that Pleasanton, CA is a fantastic place to live. You know that it’s a great place to shop and work (and to see your dentist). You know it’s a fantastic town in which to have a good time.

But we bet at least a few of these quirky facts are things you DIDN’T know about our amazing community.

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1) The town was meant to be named after Union army cavalry Major General Alfred Pleasonton, with two O’s, but a U.S. Postal Service employee made a typo and Pleasanton was born!

2) Pleasanton was preceded by a town called Alisal, known as "The Most Desperate Town in the West." In 1894, it became part of Pleasanton.

3) The town was once home to Phoebe Apperson Hearst, mother of William Randolph Hearst, the media magnate who was spoofed in Orson Welles’ film classic “Citizen Kane.”

4) The highest recorded temperature in Pleasanton history was an astounding 115 degrees, recorded in September of 1950.

5) The space occupied by Comerica Bank at 600 Main Street had previously been a hardware store for over 100 years. It closed its doors in 2004.

6) George Hearst, U.S. Senator and father of William Randolph Hearst, once planned to locate a race horse farm here.

7) In 2009, Newsmax named Pleasanton one of the Top 25 “Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns” in the United States.

8) The top employer in Pleasanton is Kaiser Permanente, a managed care consortium that employs nearly 4,000 people in the region.

9) The Pleasanton Fairgrounds Racetrack at Alameda County Fairgrounds is the oldest horse racing track in the United States.

10) Registered voters in town are almost evenly split, 32.1% registered as Republicans, 38.4% as Democrats. The remaining are Decline to State.

11) The crossroads of I-580 and I-680 actually mirror the crossroads of Native American trade routes in the region, but this was not discovered until the 20th Century.

12) Both of Pleasanton’s two high schools have been ranked among the top 400 high schools in the nation by Newsweek.

13) Pleasanton has three sister cities: Blairgowrie and Rattray, Scotland, UK; Canada Fergus, Canada; and Mexico Tulancingo, Mexico. And yes, “sister cities” is an actual political and diplomatic designation.

14) The Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department has the Centennial Light, the world’s longest lasting light bulb, at 4550 East Avenue in Livermore. It has been lit for an astonishing 113 years.

We’ve always enjoyed being located here, but knowing this facts makes us even happier to call Pleasanton home.

5 People You Didn’t Realize Were From Pleasanton

Pleasanton is home to many things. Great people. Beautiful parks. Friendly local businesses. Great restaurants. And much more.

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What you might not realize is that it is also home to some incredibly talented celebrities. Here are five you may not realize are (or were at one time) your neighbor:

John Madden, sports broadcaster

There are few names in sports bigger than John Madden’s. He is a living legend, the Babe Ruth of broadcasting, and a man so recognizable he could be carved onto Mt. Rushmore.

He retired from broadcasting in 2009, but his name is still known to new generations of sports fans thanks to the Madden series of video games, which are some of the most popular in the world.

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert

Though born in New York, the creator of the hit comic strip Dilbert made his way to California fairly early in his career.

It was here in California that he started working the office jobs that inspired his comic strip, which is about the frustrations of an affable office worker named (you guessed it) Dilbert.

Gabrielle Union, actress

Actress Gabrielle Union is known for roles in movies like Bad Boys II, Cadillac Records, and Top Five, among many others, but here in town we like to think of her as a local girl who made good and became a fantastic talent.

Union was born in Nebraska, but moved to Pleasanton with her family at a young age.

Paula Creamer, professional golfer

Born in Mountain View and moving to Pleasanton at an early age, Paula Creamer is just 29 but has already made her mark on the world of professional golf.

She was one of the best amateurs ever to play the sport, now she’s a decorated pro. Creamer has been ranked as high as #2 in the world, won the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, and has won a dozen other tournaments and counting.

David Garibaldi, drummer

David Garibaldi’s work with the highly influential Tower of Power has helped make him, and the group, legends in the world of music.

Their hits like “So Very Hard to Go” are still beloved today, and Garibaldi himself is a highly decorated musician. Not only are his instructional videos some of the most popular out there, he is also a 2012 Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame Inductee.

Even more impressive? This only scratches the surface. We just didn’t have room to include everybody!

6 Places in Pleasanton to Buy Unique Gifts

Pleasanton and the surrounding area is filled with fantastic locally-owned gift shops, which is pretty helpful this time of year.

Here are six of our favorites:

Berry Patch

Since 1994, Berry Patch has been one of the area’s best places to get your hands on the work of local artisans. The wide array of gifts (which includes toys, crafts, and other hand-crafted works) changes constantly, making each visit a new adventure in gift buying.

The Pleasanton Weekly has rated them the best place to buy a gift five times since 2009, so you know they’re doing something right!

Clover Creek

With a wide array of gifts you won’t find anywhere else and a staff that is quick to help you find something, Clover Creek is a great stop for those shopping for a gift that will stand out from the crowd.

They specialize in home décor items, so if you have a family member who needs some wall or shelf space filled with something cute, Clover Creek should be a stop on your list.

Brookstone

Brookstone is a chain best known for its interesting gadgets and lifestyle items. If you want something quirky but useful, this is the place to get it.

Think of it like a grown-up toy store, but not the risqué sort ala Spencers. Fun technology, helpful gadgets, and a ton more make this a year-round place to pick up a gift you giftee will actually use.

Rick's Picks

Packed with closeout deals on a load of brand names, you can never quite predict what Rick’s Picks will have in stock. Furniture. Clothing. Home entertainment. Decorative items. Purses. Kitchen goods. Glassware.

It’s an impressive selection that is constantly changing, and the items here are appropriate for any time of the year. You might even do some shopping for yourself!

Main Street Designs

Located in Livermore, Main Street Designs specializes in home décor and antiques, along with clothing and apparel, jewelry, collectibles, and more.

If your giftee likes things with a vintage twist, Main Street Designs may have what you’re looking for. They’re locally owned and their walls are packed with items, so you should find no shortage of potential gifts here.

Alden Lane Nursery

This Livermore nursery is, as you’d expect, wall-to-wall flowers and plants of all types, but what you might not expect is its fabulous gift shop. Outdoor accessories, yard decorations, and hand-made treats are all great options that are sure to please almost anyone. Plus, all those flowers mean you’ll be set come Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Pleasanton is such a great place to eat, live, and work, it’s no surprise that it’s also a great place to shop!

5 Great Places to Volunteer In Pleasanton

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We’re honored to serve the community as Pleasanton dentists, but we’re even more honored to share a community with some truly amazing charitable organizations.

If you’d like to give back, we urge you to consider volunteering with some of the groups listed below.

Tri Valley Animal Rescue

Serving the Tri-Valley area since 1992, this rescue works with local shelters and rescue groups to help avoid the unnecessary euthanasia of homeless animals. They help animals socialize, find them foster homes, and give them a second chance at life.

They also provide medical care when needed and help educate the public about spaying and neutering. Most importantly, their adoption program matches homeless animals with new owners.

East Bay SPCA

The SPCA is one of the most well known and respected organizations in America devoted to helping animals in need, and the East Bay SPCA is one of the longest running. They began as the Oakland SPCA all the way back in 1874!

Their mission is to look out for the welfare of dogs and cats in our area, including eliminating animal abuse and helping educate people on ways to eliminate animal overpopulation. As dentists in Pleasanton, CA and as animal lovers, we wholeheartedly endorse their efforts.

Pleasanton Library

Did you know that your local library can use volunteers, too? You can help them provide their vital services – and in today’s day and age, the library’s services extend far beyond just books.

They are a valuable resource for those seeking jobs, they offer movies, music and other media, and provide a free conduit to the world’s information, including the World Wide Web.

They are looking for volunteers to help with being reading coaches, to read to children, to support their book sales, and more.

Open Heart Kitchen

Preparing meals for the hungry in the Tri-Valley area is no small task, but since 1995 that’s exactly what the Open Heart Kitchen has been doing. Every single weekday they are at multiple locations in Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin helping to serve those in need.

No judgment, just help to those who need a little boost. They serve nearly 300,000 meals annually, and they do much of it with the help of volunteers like you.

Tri Valley Haven

They’ve been around for four decades, and during that time the Tri Valley Haven has been an essential resource for those who have been victims of domestic violence, abuse, sexual abuse, and homelessness.

Their mission is to provide a safe place for those people, allowing them to rebuild their lives and get off to a fresh start. They began as a mere crisis line in 1977, and now offer a full range of help, from legal services to a food pantry and much more. Volunteers like you are an essential part of their mission, too.