As for what it's like....people will always answer life is what/how you make it....
I once asked a friend who was always relocated what his favorite place was. And he said wherever he is living at the moment. There's always something good/great to do, see. So enjoy!
If you live in Hayward and want theater, very good restaurants and things like gondola rides â€¦ drive to Oakland. Choices range from live world-class music at Yoshiâ€™s to the Paramount Theater and it will take you a long time to work through all the great restaurants. For parks, go to Lake Merritt, the Oakland Zoo, Knowland State Arboretum and Park, go up to Berkeleyâ€™s Tilden Park with the steam trains, merry-go-round, pony rides and plenty of picnic areas and more. You can also visit Lake Chabot in Castro Valley for canoeing, picnics and so on.
Tree lined streets and quaint neighborhoods in Hayward? Not so much. Again, think Oakland for Montclair, Grand Avenue, Lakeshore Avenue, Piedmont Avenue, College Avenue and the Rockridge area â€¦ and so on.
However, if you want to live in an area very much like the Scottish Moors and have a world class golf course for your back yard â€¦ you canâ€™t beat Stonebrae in Hayward.
And, as Pacita mentioned, there is always Neumali and the Bijou ... both on B Street. And Buon Appetito Restaurant on A Street is also on its way to becoming a destination restaurant as well â€¦
For some people, Stonebrae is a bit far from the freeways (i.e. 15-20 mins away from 880). The downtown is beginning to look appealing and will take a few years before you can really enjoy the walks.
I have a friend that lives near the Garin Park and they have a nice community with wonderful views of the city. But she also finds Mission Blvd a frustrating drive. A good mix of people.
Hayward has an amazing parks & recreation district: http://haywardrec.org/
Diverse array of restaurants: http://www.hayward-ca.gov/haywardopenforbusiness/documents/H
Rich history kept alive through the historical society: http://haywardareahistory.org/
Nature center: http://haywardrec.org/sulphurcreek.html
Farmers market: http://www.agriculturalinstitute.org/hayward/
Municipal airport: http://www.hayward-ca.gov/CITY-GOVERNMENT/DEPARTMENTS/PUBLIC
My husband/partner Greg Jones is a City Council member and I'm a former Hayward council member -- we appreciate this City like no other. The downtown is undergoing construction right now and should be completed in the spring. LOTS of great restaurants are here and many more opening soon. We expect the downtown to come to life more as the construction does down.
Thanks for the opportunity to show off my hometown!