10 Things To See And Do In Alameda

Photo of Summer Migliori
9 February 2017

The island of Alameda is a hidden gem in the Bay Area, with beautiful beaches and shop-lined streets. On any given afternoon, you can find families, neighbors, and tourists making their way through the town to experience all it has to offer. From naval ships and hiking trails to arcades and museums, Alameda has a little something for everyone.

High Scores Arcade | © ali sinan köksal/Flickr

High Scores Arcade

Take a trip back to the ’80s and ’90s at High Scores Arcade. Stepping through the doors, gamers are greeted with the beep and buzz of machinery and players. This arcade has over 400 games to play for all levels of gamers, and it features some famous titles, like Pac-Man, Street Fighter and Tron. Going to the arcade is a great weekend activity, whether you have an hour to spare or an entire day. The arcade offers unlimited plays for an hour for $5 and $10 for a day, so there’s no hassle with juggling tokens or quarters. Plus, there’s a jukebox playing classic hits from the ’70s through ’90s, adding to the nostalgic experience.

High Scores Arcade, 1414 Park St., Alameda, CA, USA +1 609 468 3083

Crown Memorial State Beach

Trying to get to San Francisco’s famous beaches can be daunting, especially with the traffic and crowds. However, this is not something you will have to deal with at Alameda’s own Crown Memorial State Beach. The beach runs two-and-a-half miles across the bay, with scenic views of San Francisco’s buildings towering in the distance. The beach also features a crab cove and bird sanctuary, where visitors can learn about the Bay Area’s marine life. It’s the perfect place for swimming, boating, fishing, and picnicking at any time of the year.

Alameda Theater | © BWChicago/Flickr

Alameda Theater and Cineplex

This historic, two-story theater dates back to the 1930s, as seen in its art deco architecture, lush red velvet chairs, and gold trim along the lobby and screening rooms. Alameda Theater and Cineplex was recently refurbished into its former glory, with some additions. The theater features discount Wednesdays, where moviegoers can see any movie at any time for less than 10 dollars. The theater also hosts ‘Alameda’s Got Talent’ at the weekend, during which talented individuals exhibit their performance skills. Parents love their Mommy and Me Mondays, when they can enjoy a film in an environment suitable for children.

Grey Ghost | | ©PHCM Cox/WikiCommons

USS Hornet Museum

For those who have wanderlust, love a good war movie, or enjoy ghost hunting, the ‘Grey Ghost’ does not disappoint. The USS Hornet Museum is housed in a World War II aircraft carrier and contains exhibits on the ship’s role carrying planes and on its participation in the Apollo 11 mission. The museum offers overnight trips, where guests can feel like they’re a part of the ship’s crew by sleeping in the bunks, dining in the Crew’s mess, and partaking in flight simulations. Stay up-to-date with the latest sleepovers, tours, and events (like the Monsters Bash for Halloween) by visiting the website.

Pacific Pinball Museum | ©Alex Eylar/ Flickr

Pacific Pinball Museum

This easy-to-miss museum is nestled along Webster Street and houses over 100 pinball machines set to free-play. The ‘pins’ span almost a century of pinball, with some of the original wooden pinball machines available to play. Every decade has its own room with correlating pinball machines and their histories. At the interactive Pacific Pinball Museum, patrons can learn, play and explore the science and artistry behind pinball.

Off The Grid | © Karlis Dambrans/Flickr

Off the Grid at South Shore Center

Off the Grid is a food truck mini-fest that happens every Saturday. Food trucks from around the Bay take their best shots at wooing the East Bay with a multitude of options. Only at this gathering can hungry people get frozen custard, chicken curry burritos, fried chicken, and mouthwatering Korean BBQ in one trip. Bring a full wallet and empty stomach to get a taste of everything.

Rock Wall Wine Company dome | © Steve Boland/Flickr

Rock Wall Wines

Find the perfect wine for that dinner party or night in at Rock Wall Wines. The wine is made from grapes found all over California, resulting in delectable dinner and dessert pairings in white, red and sparkling varieties. Go to the winery for the drinks and be enthralled by the view. As they sit on the terrace, wine-lovers drink in the wine and the San Francisco cityscape, which is especially beautiful at sunset. The company offers wine tastings every day of the week with food selections from Scolari’s, a local favorite.

Rock Wall Wines, 2301 Monarch Street, Suite 300, Alameda, CA, USA +1 510 522 5700

Alameda Point Antiques Faire

On the first Sunday of every month, Alameda hosts the largest antiques fair in Northern California. The Alameda Point Antiques Faire is your one-stop shop for vintage clothing, records, books, furniture, art, and more. Over 800 vendors come together for this event, displaying their wares and sharing their love of collecting and swapping with curious shoppers. The Faire welcomes casual shoppers, browsers, and collectibles experts alike. Parking is free, and there’s a convenient (and free) shuttle. So feel the Bay breeze, relax, and shop ‘til you drop.

Altarena Playhouse | ©Goldstar/Google

Altarena Playhouse

The Altarena Playhouse is an intimate theater that was once a grocery store. The theater is in theater-in-the-round and black box layout, depending on the performance. It provides quality entertainment from every angle. Not only does Altarena put on plays but it also hosts concerts, comedians and private events. For those who like to be in the spotlight, Altarena can provide a taste of fame through auditions for performers of all ages and experience levels.

Subpar Miniature Golf | © Todd Anderson/Flickr

Subpar Miniature Golf

There’s no other mini golf course in the Bay Area that has the types of holes that Subpar Miniature Golf has. Each hole is a handmade replica of a landmark or a notable quality of either San Francisco or the East Bay. Fan favorites include a hole made out of a wine barrel, a replica of the tangle of Oakland’s freeways, and San Francisco’s infamous painted ladies. Not only is Subpar an indoor golf course; it also has arcade games and raceable slot cars that zoom around massive lengths of tracks. It’s an excellent party spot and provides enough spontaneous entertainment to fill an afternoon.

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