"Take me to Pleasanton for ..... fun!"
Santa Rita Road from Interstate 580 leads you directly into downtown Pleasanton. Along the way are small restaurants (teriyaki/Japanese, etc.), grocery store-type small malls and a couple of major (and VERY pretty) city/regional parks. Santa Rita is a major thoroughfare in Pleasanton with lots of traffic - but you're in the suburbs, for Pete's sake! Everyone is nice here! On the other side of I-580 Santa Rita Road becomes Camino Tassajara - so stay on the Pleasanton side, you'll find plenty to enjoy.