The Ohlone and Yrgin Indians, Spanish rancheros, and apricot farmers all play an important role in Hayward’s rich history — along with the nation’s longest-running Battle of the Bands and one of the country’s first gay proms.
Our rundown below is just a glimpse into the City’s past. For a deep dive into Hayward’s history, art and culture.
FROM A TOWN TO A CITY
When the town was incorporated on March 11, 1876, it was officially named “Haywards” after the landmark hotel. The “s” was dropped several years later. Hayward’s climate, soil, and perfect location in the heart of the Bay Area have spurred tremendous growth for decades. Following World War II, housing developments began replacing farms and ranches. Between 1950 and 1960, the population increased fivefold from 14,000 to 72,000, and has continued to grow ever since. Today, Hayward is home to the second-most diverse population in California, one of the nation’s first annual gay proms, the state’s first Japanese garden, and the longest-running Battle of the Bands in America.
With 150,000 residents, today the City of Hayward is the sixth-largest city in the Bay Area and a thriving regional center of commerce, manufacturing activity and trade. Known as the “Heart of the Bay,” Hayward has capitalized on its unparalleled location to become one of the most desirable business locations for companies in advanced industries.
The City continues to plan for the future, maintaining a balance between the needs of our diverse residents and a growing business community. The City works hard to balance the needs of our growing population with the preservation of open space and an aggressive economic development strategy.
A perfect day in Hayward takes you from the hills to the shoreline with innumerable delights in between:
Start your day with a ridgeline hike at sunrise with 360 degree views of the entire Bay Area. Challenge yourself at one of three quality golf courses showcasing the region’s unique topography. Enjoy an early dinner at one of the United States’ first brewpubs, then walk a few steps for a different kind of Zen meditation in California’s oldest Japanese garden. Wend your way back through a historic downtown with buildings that trace their roots back to the 1860s, then spend the twilight strolling along the pristine shoreline, surrounded by native wildlife as the sun dips below the San Francisco skyline on the horizon.