Alameda, which lends its name to a large county in the East Bay, is itself an elusive island, to which most non-residents don’t give much thought. But just across the Bay from San Francisco, this small, cozy enclave is a treasure trove of activities, from the cute and quaint to the outdoor adventure to the tad quirky. Here, our five favorite things to do in Alameda.
1. Take a stroll down memory lane on Park Street, a picturesque “Main Street, U.S.A.” lined with gorgeous historic buildings and a variety of shops and restaurants. (Park St., shopparkstreet.com)
2. Feel like a kid again at Crown Memorial State Beach, where you can play in the Bay, fly a kite, take a hike, or learn about San Francisco Bay marine life at the Crab Cove Visitor Center. (1252 McKay Ave., ebparks.org)
3. Get spirited away at St George’s Artisan Distillery. Located at the tip of the island, this is a great spot to start the day off right, with tastings of everything from vodka to absinthe, all artisan, all fantastic. And since you took the ferry there’s no need to pull straws to determine the designated driver. (2601 Monarch St., stgeorgespirits.com)
4. Catch a flick at the historic (and stunning) Art-Deco Alameda Theatre and Cineplex. (2317 Central Ave., alamedatheatres.com)
5. Shop away at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, which takes place the first Sunday of every month with over 800 booths and nothing under the age of 21. (2900 Navy Way, alamedapointantiquesfaire.com )
Take the ferry to Harbor Bay, or take BART to Fruitvale and transfer to one of many AC Transit buses that link to Alameda.
Photo: St. George’s Artisan Distillery