15 Best Things to Do in Alameda (CA)

Alameda is a city of approximately 78,000 people in Alameda County. Its location is unique as the city straddles two islands and part of the mainland. This is why it is locally known as Island City.

Despite its seemingly remote island location, Alameda is located in a very central area. It’s close to the main cities of the San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland and San Francisco, so it’s easy to see what to see and do in these places.

Alameda also has its own attractions. These include many parks, art spaces, museums and restaurants. There are many shopping districts in the city, including Southbank Center, Alameda Landing, Bridgeside Mall and the downtown area.

Alameda hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Park Street Spring Festival, the Park Street Art & Wine Fair, the Park Street Vintage Car Show, and the Sandcastle and Sculpture Contest.

Here are 15 of the best things to do in and around Alameda, California.

1. Taste local culture at the Alameda Art Society Art Gallery

Posted by Alameda Art Gallery/Alameda Art Association, Inc. on Sunday, October 26, 2014

For more than 60 years, the Alameda Art Society Gallery has encouraged residents and visitors to appreciate the art world and encourage them to engage with the creative side of themselves.

The gallery showcases many different styles of art created by several artists. The gallery hosts art exhibitions and other events from time to time.

2. Indulge in food and wine at Rock Wall Wine Company

Wine is even more enjoyable when spectacular views and delicious food surround you. Rockwall Wines, based in the former Alameda Naval Air Force Base, has all of this and more.

Available wines are made using carefully selected California grapes. Enjoy a delicious glass of wine in the intimate tasting room or on the patio overlooking the city of San Francisco. The hotel offers daily wine tastings and serves local cuisine.

3. Outdoors at Shoreline Park

Shoreline Park

Just a short distance from the hustle and bustle of Alameda, Shoreline Park is the perfect outdoor haven for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle for a few hours. It is located on the shore of Lake Merritt Channel.

There are several paved trails suitable for walking and cycling. You’ll be able to enjoy views of the city across the water as you make your way around this picturesque estuary.

4. Alameda Museum and Meyers House

Meyers House

Visitors can learn about Alameda’s history and culture at the Alameda Museum. The Local Historical Society was established in 1948 and has been collecting and preserving the city’s history ever since.

Exhibits showcase artifacts and information about many aspects of the city’s past, including its geography, architecture, and people. Many of the exhibits are permanent, but some are rotating.

After visiting the museum, you can visit the nearby Meyers House and Gardens, a historic building built in 1897.

5. Enjoy live entertainment at the Altarena Playhouse


For over 75 years, the Altarena Little Theatre Company has been hosting top-notch shows at the Altarena Playhouse. The Intimate Theatre hosts a range of performances throughout the year, including concerts, comedy shows, Shakespeare plays and contemporary plays.

6. Eat and Whiskey at American Oak


American Oak is a downtown Alameda restaurant specializing in American cuisine and American whiskey in a cozy atmosphere and sophisticated service.

On the menu, you’ll find a wide variety of delicious options, including appetizers, desserts, signature dishes and entrees such as grilled smoked pork chops, flat iron steaks, Kobe beef burgers and fries.

American Oak also offers over 120 different whiskies, with an emphasis on local selections. Visitors can dine al fresco on the beautiful terrace.

7. Spend the day near the shores of Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach

Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach

If you’re looking for a quick getaway to the coast, look no further than Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach.

This beautiful sandy beach stretches 2.5 miles along the San Francisco Bay. It is a popular destination for people who wish to engage in a variety of water sports such as swimming, kitesurfing, fishing, boating and windsurfing. Many people come here to simply walk in the waves and enjoy the view.

There are also several bike trails and picnic areas on-site, and visitors can learn about local marine life at the park’s Crab Cove and Bird Sanctuary.

8. Get a unique experience at the USS Hornet Museum

USS Hornet Museum

USS Hornet is best known for its role in the Apollo 11 recovery mission. Today, visitors can learn about the historic ship by visiting the World War II aircraft carrier, now the USS Hornet Museum.

You’ll find many exhibits and artifacts, including decommissioned aircraft and items related to the Apollo missions.

You can choose to explore the museum on your own or take a guided tour. If you want to experience the real experience of the crew on board, you can book an overnight stay where you can sleep in one of the berths on board, dine in the crew restaurant and take part in a flight simulation.

9. Explore Downtown Alameda

Downtown Alameda

Downtown Alameda is the perfect place to spend the day. While it’s bustling and full of interesting things to see and do, it’s not as crowded and noisy as the downtown areas of the big cities in the area.

As you make your way down the pretty streets, you’ll come across many restaurants, cafés and quaint boutiques. Various events are held in the city throughout the year.

Some historic buildings worth noting include the Masonic Temple, the Old Post Office, and the Alameda Theater.

10. Learn and play at the Pacific Pinball Museum

Pacific Pinball Museum

Who knew this simple game of pinball you played as a kid had a long and fascinating history spanning over a century? It’s true – the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda showcases this fascinating history.

Many exhibits are housed in rooms categorized by decade. They include machines from that decade and the history of each machine. In total, there are more than 1,500 pinball machines on site, some dating back to the 1940s. There are about 100 of them available to play.

11. Taste craft beer at Alameda Island Brewing Company

beer tasting

At the Alameda Island Brewing Company, visitors have the opportunity to sample local craft beers made on-site and learn how this beer is made from start to finish.

This full brewery welcomes families and pets. The spacious tasting room is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a beer with friends.

Led by your guide, your knowledgeable guide will take you through the inner workings of the brewery and give you a step-by-step breakdown of how beer is made.

12. Travel through history at the Alameda Naval Air Museum

Although the Alameda Naval Air Base ceased operations in 1997, visitors can visit the site, which is now home to the Alameda Naval Air Museum.

The base’s operations culminated in a unique historical period that this museum showcases through a variety of exhibits featuring photographs, original newspapers, documents and artifacts. Learn about all the ships sailing from the base, the people who work there, and life on the base.

13. Go back in time at the Alameda Theater and Cinema

Alameda Theater and Cinema

When you go to the Alameda Theater and Movie Theater, you’re going to see more than just a blockbuster.

Built in 1932, this historic hotel has recently been refurbished to restore its original splendor, including an interior Art Deco design. Step into a two-story foyer with red velvet seats, gold accents and an upper balcony. Even the outdoor signs and ticket booths are reminiscent of bygone years.

The theater features a grill serving snacks and beverages and hosts a variety of events throughout the year.

14. Eat delicious food at Off The Grid

Posted by Off the Grid on Mon, Mar 18, 2019

Once a week, there is a unique mini festival in Alameda. Food trucks from all over the Bay Area arrive to share their unique fare with the crowd, who gather to taste as much as possible.

Try a variety of cuisines, including delicious options like Korean BBQ food and chicken curry wraps.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Alameda, CA, CA
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