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Getting to Know Pinole, California

Pinole is often overshadowed by its big-name neighbors of San Francisco and Oakland and such small-town siblings as nearby Orinda, Pacifica and Palo Alto. Located along the Interstate 80 Corridor, Pinole is a quiet town that, at first glance, seems to be nothing more than your typical American suburb. However, upon closer inspection, Pinole reveals itself as a city of abundant recreation. Within its borders are numerous parks, green spaces and other community-orientated leisure activities.

Pinole is a city one needs to get to know, and there is no better way to get to know Pinole than by diving straight into its quaint yet intriguing dining, shopping and recreational scene. Whether it be enjoying live theater, spending the day in the park, or exploring its ecliptic collection of shops and cafes, Pinole is a town that becomes all the more pleasing as one continues to explore. What’s even better is that Pinole is in the thick of the Bay Metro Area, with San Francisco and Oakland only 30 minutes either way.

Points of Interest


Staying true to its small town attitude, Pinole’s dining scene focuses on cafes, pizzerias, delis and other local specialties. For example, A’s New York Pizza takes a bit of the Big Apple’s east coast taste and tosses them in a west coast style. Local chef-duo Tom and Jennifer Cote serve up classic soups, sandwiches, and homemade desserts at quintessentially Americana New Deli. For breakfast, The Waffle Shop is the place to be for towering stacks of pancakes and whipped cream covered waffles.


For being so close to some of the nation’s best shopping centers, it’s surprising that Pinole’s retail scene remains viable. But with its collection of unique boutiques and standard name brands, Pinole has established a vibrant shopping lineup. For the artful soul, Gotta’ Have It Artworks specializes in custom framing and sells a diverse collection of ethnic art including originals and limited editions. Lil’ Man Jack is the place for children’s clothing and baby supplies. Within this store one can find designer crib sets that can be personally tailored. The Old Town Pinole shopping center is home to a diverse array of local specialty shops while Pinole Vista Crossing hosts such retail giants as Target, Mervyn’s and Staples. Other shopping areas of interest include Pinole Vista, Appian 80, and Pinole Valley.

A Cultural History

The city of Pinole is known for its architectural and historical heritage. Much of its fascinating history, which includes both prehistoric and native inhabitants, can be discovered in the City Hall Exhibit. In order to discover the city’s façade of architectural prowess, the city has organized a self-guided Walking Tour. Along the walk one can expect to see such original sites as the Old School House, Old Santa Fe Depot and Downer Mansion. Other notable stops include the Italiante Hip Roof Cottages, Boyd and Clark Homes, and Captain’s Cottage.

Did You Know?

  • Pinole is a Native American word referring to a type of flour derived from maize seeds.
  • The total population of the city is roughly 19,039.
  • When the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in 1878 the city of Pinole grew into a thriving Bay Area community.
  • Pinole was originally an industrial city, but with the creation of Interstate 80 most of the industry moved out and Pinole turned into the residential community it is today.
  • Both Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt from the punk-rock band Green Day are Pinole Valley High School attendees.

Visiting Palo Alto

Palo Alto’s attractions are subtle but enjoyable. Due to its predominantly natural setting, the city is blessed by a well-promoted park system. A portion of the 400-mile long San Francisco Bay Trail runs along the waterfront leading to Bayfront Park, a two-acre space of open fields, hiking trails, and panoramic vistas of San Francisco. Meadow Park is a quaint neighborhood park ideal for basketball and picnicking. For the best view in town, climb up to View Park, from whose plateau one can take in the unforgettable view of Pinole Valley and the Bay Shore stretching out down below.

Getting There and Around

The main thoroughfare in Pinole is the always busy, cross-country Interstate 80. The city is also served by the Oakland International and San Francisco International Airports, both only 30 miles away.

Due to its location at one of the busiest areas in America, traveling to, from, and around Pinole can often be a time-consuming and frustrating experience. To ensure you get to enjoy Pinole on your own schedule, your best option is to rent a limousine, classic car, sedan, van, shuttle, coach or tour bus from Nationwide Limousine Service. This option allows you to take control of your Bay Area transportation needs and gives you the flexibility to get to know Pinole on your terms. Call us today at 800-339-8936.

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