The city of Alameda, California, takes its name from the Spanish word meaning "grove of poplar trees." Located on Alameda Island, directly west of San Francisco across the Bay, this quiet beachside community of about 70,000 enjoys easy access to big-city attractions in this area. Famous for its wealth of majestic, century-old Victorian homes, the city is devoted to historical conservation.
Waterfront: Although the quality of the beaches gets mixed reviews from the locals, their views of the San Francisco skyline and the Bay Bridge are fantastic. The most popular beach is Crown Memorial State Beach, which is frequented by windsurfers. The city has several large marinas for boaters and yachters.
Bay Farm Island: The most affluent neighborhood in Alameda is Bay Farm Island, a former island now attached to the mainland. Bridges to Bay Farm Island include the only bicycle/pedestrian drawbridge in the United States.
Access to San Francisco and the Bay Area: Although the routes leading off the island are limited-which contributes to congestion-Alameda offers easy access to San Francisco, as well as to nearby communities such as Oakland, Berkeley and San Jose. Public transit is easy to find and usually reliable, and many residents take advantage of the ferry service that runs to three different stops in San Francisco as well as Angel Island.
Diversity: Like the Bay Area in general, Alameda is among the most diverse communities in the nation, with significant populations of Chinese-, Hispanic-, Filipino- and African-Americans.
Of course, one problem with living in a beautiful place at the center of a metro area is the cost of living, especially in California. The cost-of-living index in Alameda was a whopping 167.6 in 2008, with 100 being the national average. This figure is high, even by California standards. Not surprisingly, the average Alameda resident is fairly well-off.
Alameda is not a hot spot for jobs, and the majority of residents commute to San Francisco or to nearby cities such as Oakland for work. Fortunately, the average commute time for Alameda residents is only about 30 minutes.
Alameda's major employers include the U.S. Coast Guard and the Alameda Unified School District. The city is also home to Abbott Diabetes Care designs (formerly Medisense), a developer and manufacturer of glucose monitoring systems and test strips.
Alameda Theatre: This opulent art deco landmark was built in 1932. Restoration of the theater was completed in 2008, and it now features stadium seating and all the modern movie-goer amenities. In addition to contemporary flicks, the theater has an ongoing classic film series.
Museums: To learn more about the history of this island community, check out the Alameda Museum, which also includes a rotating gallery of local artwork. In addition, the Alameda Museum sponsors tours of the Myers House and Garden, a restored Colonial Revival home built in 1897. For those interested in military history, the Alameda Naval Air Museum exhibits historical artifacts from the island's recently closed Naval Air Station, which was essential to national defense during World War II. For a look at the area's marine life, visitors can check out the Crab Cove Visitor Center on Crown Memorial State Beach.
Fourth of July Parade: Alameda is renowned for its annual Fourth of July parade, which features everything from hula dancers and art cars to fire-breathing dragon floats and motorized living-room furniture, along with an endless procession of marching bands. The three-mile route makes it the second-longest Independence Day parade in the United States. The
The AlamedaSpite House: Among the grand Victorian homes of Alameda is a truly bizarre house that is 10 feet wide and 54 feet long. Why? Angry landowner Charles Froling built the house out of spite at the turn of the 20th century after the city took away most of his property to build a road. Despite its dysfunctional proportions, the home is still occupied.
Higher education options include the College of Alameda, a community college, as well as Argosy University. The greater metropolitan area features an array of post-secondary schools, such as the University of California-Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Laney College in Oakland.
Professional sports fans have plenty to enjoy in the Alameda area:
Don't have an account? Sign Up
Please check your email for an activation link from Dex Customer Service. If you do not receive the email within an hour, check your spam folder.
Please enter your email address so that we can send you an email with a link to change your password..
Please enter your email address so that we can send you an email with a link to change your password.