Alameda recently ranked 31st out of 100 best places to live so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a spot in this city to call home. Tree-lined streets, small town feel and the kind of lifestyle that is only available in the bay area are some of the many things you’ll find in Alameda (besides all that other stuff we listed). The city is broken into sections based on shore location (west end, south shore, etc.) so it should be easy to follow along and find what appeals to you. Here we go...
West End: A location with running/biking trails near the water, the West End is a neighborhood where stepping outside and taking in the views is an added perk. Living in the West End means proximity to parks, the USS Hornet Museum, and SF Ferry access. Better yet, it means you’ll be within walking distance to wineries, dining and shopping. Older, established homes (many Victorian) share the streets with gated apartment communities and townhomes. The apartment living in here often features resort style pools, concierge service, & newer appliances.
South Shore: A great area for commuters (minutes from Oakland, Berkeley and SF), this part of the city rests along the shoreline of the SF Bay. Older homes line the streets while apartment homes offering city loft options and cozy townhome appeal makeup the South Shore landscape. South Shore apartment living offers gated access, fitness centers, tennis clubs, beach access and breathtaking views within a reasonable distance to shopping and dining areas.
Central Alameda: This neighborhood is home to locally owned shops/restaurants, laid-back apartment communities and classic Alameda homes. Many complexes here feature green living options. Living down here puts you quite close to the business and historic districts where the streets are lined with old Victorian homes and the vibe is especially easy going. Festivals and fairs take place around here and while there is always something to do, the downtown area of Alameda is California chill.
Alameda is all about going green. Recycling programs and energy efficiency are huge here. Apartments often feature eco-friendly additions, on-site recycling centers and carpool clubs. There is even a community effort for lower electric bills. Living here gives you peace of mind about helping the environment.
Speed limits here are strictly enforced due to the town’s small size. As a result, most areas have an enforced speed limit of 25 mph. Attention speed demons: slow your roll.
Alameda may be small but it’s very diverse. Where else can you compete in a sand castle contest and attend a wine fair all in one town, in one day? Keeping with the variety is the spice of life theme, there’s a strong history of art and service around here. For every museum and art shop, there is a naval museum, aircraft memorials or a Coast Guard boat off the shoreline. It even has the nickname “Coast Guard City.”
But if being outside is also your thing, this place is pretty much a slam-dunk. Windsurfing, biking and cycling are just a few of the activities you can enjoy in this Bay Area community. Life is tranquil and breezy in this small town. Weather in Alameda is pretty close to perfect. Summers are generally mild, with temperatures reaching the 60s (maybe 70s in September). Winters are slightly chilly with lows in the 40s, highs in the 50s, and a decent chance for wetness. Mist and fog are not unheard of in colder months, and the wintertime is often filled with more rain than the summer here.
Note: You may find yourself dressing up in black and silver gear (with spiked shoulders) and becoming a diehard Raiders fan. You know those people you see on TV that look like KISS video extras? It’s par for the course here. Embrace it.
Public transit is one thing this city does best. Served by the BART shuttle service, the AC Transit line and two ferries (which can take you to Oakland and SF), Alameda makes transportation easy. There are also two FREE shuttles.
As for driving in the city, it’s important to know right off the bat that Alameda is served by three bridges (all connecting through Oakland). The Webster Street Tube (aka a two-lane tunnel that goes underwater!) can also be used to connect drivers to Oakland through the city’s Chinatown area. Residents also rely on U.S. 61 to get in and around the area and hop on the 880 for commuting and trips into other parts of the bay area. As noted before, the speed limit here is strictly enforced, so if you have a need for speed, save it for weekend road trips.
Alameda offers a sense of charm seldom found in other locations around the US. No matter who you are or where you’ll come from, you’ll find something to love about Alameda in no time. Alameda offers the perfect balance between hustle and bustle excitement of the nearby big cities and the complete serenity that living here evokes. It’s a beach town with a Pleasantville charm. It isn’t hectic. It isn’t overwhelming. It’s just simply Alameda. And it’s a great place to call home.