This small island city in San Francisco Bay combines eclectic museums and excellent dining with coastal trails, winery tours and watersports.
Across the bay from San Francisco, Alameda is a city with a small-town ambiance. It spreads over the leafy Alameda Island and Bay Farm Island. Visit Alameda for its tidy beaches, bayside pathways, watersports and wondrous views. Discover museums dedicated to naval history and pinball, and delve into a busy drinking, dining and shopping scene.
Begin your visit with insights into the history of the city at Alameda Museum. The Alameda Naval Air Museum retells the story of the city’s decommissioned naval base. Tour the USS Hornet Museum, a World War II aircraft carrier that aided in the recovery of Apollo 11. Play some of more than 90 vintage machines at the Pacific Pinball Museum and browse interesting exhibits at the Frank Bette Center For the Arts.
Miles of bike paths and walking trails skirt the city’s shorelines and invite exploration of attractive natural spaces. Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach is a popular spot for picnics, swimming, kite flying and wind surfing. Learn about the plants and animals of the Bay Area at Crab Cove Visitor Center and Aquarium. Spot aquatic birds at the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary.
Stroll through the heart of Downtown Alameda via lively Park Street. Here, low-key and fine dining restaurants serve everything from Burmese to Ethiopian and Lithuanian cuisine. Boutiques and craft stores sit alongside restaurants inspired by Asian and European flavors on Webster Street. Attend a play or musical at the Altarena Playhouse.
At Alameda Point, head to Monarch Street, also known as Spirits Alley, to visit artisanal breweries, distilleries and wineries. Sample wines on a tour of the Rock Wall Wine Company. Sip vodka at Hangar 1 Vodka and brandies, gins, liqueurs and vodkas at St. George Spirits.
Travel to Alameda by catching a ferry to Alameda Main Street terminal from the Port of San Francisco or Fisherman’s Wharf. Public buses connect the city with Downtown Oakland. An almost citywide 25-mile-per-hour (40-kilometer-per-hour) speed limit helps maintain the neighborhood’s laid-back vibe.