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People know Alameda for being a man-made island that offers well maintained residences, plenty of amenities and easy access to San Francisco. Before Alameda became an island, the city connected to Oakland's Peninsula. The island formed when shipping facilities dredged a canal through the marshland.
You can access Alameda on wheels by driving or taking the bus over the bridge, but many people enjoy taking the ferry from San Francisco. You'll find the area directly to the west of Oakland.
Explore the City
As of December 2017, the average apartment rent in Alameda, CA is $1,516 for a studio, $1,983 for one bedroom, $2,359 for two bedrooms, and $2,820 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Alameda has increased by 4.4% in the past year.
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Living in Alameda
Rather than globe-trot, simply make your way around Alameda's restaurants for a taste of world flavors. Alameda's restaurants are sprinkled throughout the city rather than in one centralized location. In the mood for Creole? There's a restaurant for that. Have a hankering for Burmese? There's that too. Want some Afghan grub? There's a restaurant for that as well.
Yume Sushi on Park Street is a local favorite for a taste of Japan. People travel to Alameda for this restaurant alone. Unique to Yume is that dishes are ordered omakase style, where the chef makes the selection rather than you.
A few streets over, on Ballena Boulevard, you can take your taste buds westward to Morocco at Abigail's Moroccan Cuisine. At Abigail's, you can enjoy not only a flavor-packed meal, such as a succulent lamb shank with perfectly cooked couscous and to-die-for mint tea, but a live belly dance performance as well. The food, entertainment and stunning view of the San Francisco Bay keep customers coming back.
Trabocco Kitchen and Cocktails on South Shore Center serves up amazing Italian cuisine in an equally amazing atmosphere. Restaurant regulars remark about the attentiveness of the staff and restaurant owner, who makes an effort to shake your hand and greet you upon entering. As for the food, it speaks for itself. The ravioli consistently earns the title of customer favorite, as does the calamari appetizer.
To experience Alameda's nightlife, you might hit up one of its many bars. Favorites include Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge on Lincoln Street, known for its killer cocktails, and Speisekammer, also located on Lincoln Street, for its extensive selection of beer and fantastic German fare. If you're a sports fan, stop into Clubhouse Sports Bar on Park Street to grab a pint and catch the current game on one of several monitors located in the bar.
Alameda used to be a peninsula that jutted out of the northwest tip of Oakland. The city was founded in 1853 and witnessed several cultural shifts in the years since. During World War II, the city transformed into a naval base, and now the city has a very large shipping industry, with shipments entering and exiting its ports daily. Locals can easily explore the area's rich naval history by taking a trip to the USS Hornet Museum: an aircraft carrier from WWII. The USS Hornet is a registered State and National Landmark.
Every year, Alameda puts on its Park Street Art and Wine Faire, which celebrates local artists while offering libations and tasty eats. Kids enjoy the fair's petting zoo.
Most people in Alameda bus or drive. AC Transit's buses service the area, and if you're coming in from another East Bay city or from San Francisco, you can ride BART to Fruitvale, which is the nearest station to Alameda.
You will have a difficult time hailing a cab in Alameda, so call to reserve one by phone. Uber and Lyft service Alameda, and they are options if you find yourself without a car.
Like other East Bay cities, parking in Alameda can be tricky but it's not nearly as difficult as it is in San Francisco. You can find free street parking in many places and metered parking in others. Outdoor shopping centers and large stores have parking lots with ample parking as well.
No highways run through Alameda, but you can drive down I-880, along the edge of Oakland, and cross the Park Street Bridge into Alameda.
Many people regard Alameda as a fairly safe place to walk around. The newer part of the city, in particular, boasts nicely manicured homes and well-kept public spaces. Many streets are tree-lined with paved sidewalks.
Shoreline Drive in Alameda offers cyclists a place to ride with its recently granted bike lanes. Other areas in Alameda do not prohibit bicycling in the street, but they do not have designated lanes, so if you find yourself cycling in the road, proceed with the utmost caution.
The cost of living in Alameda runs slightly lower than the overall city average. For a one-bedroom residence, monthly rent averages out to $1,757.
A bus ticket costs approximately $2, with discounts available for youth and seniors, and expect to pay about the same on BART if coming from Oakland City Center.
Compared to the national average, gas in Alameda costs approximately 16 percent more, and for a glass of beer at a local pub, expect to spend about $4.
Alameda South Shore Center, located on a street by the same name, is Alameda's main shopping hub. This outdoor mall, of sorts, contains many standard, large-chain stores as well as restaurants and coffee shops. For something a little more high-end or off the beaten path, head over to Park Street.
There, you will find To Herb With Love. This jewelry store sells vintage-inspired pieces that look like they arrived from Paris yesterday. Marti, the store owner, makes customers feel at home too.
If it's a little one you're needing to buy for, continue down Park Street to Tot Tank. This mom and pop shop sells an overwhelming supply of baby clothes, toys, furniture and other miscellaneous gear. The owners are incredibly knowledgeable and can answer any questions you might have about products or about parenthood, in general.
Alameda's main, highest rated grocery stores are Dan's Fresh Produce and Trader Joe's. For a taste of something more local, though, stop by the Alameda Farmers' Market any time between 9 am and 1 pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays. You can find the market at the intersection of Haight and Webster Street.
In just its few 23 square miles, Alameda contains nearly 20 parks. The parks vary in size and amenities, but you can find everything from dog parks to skate parks to parks equipped with sports fields and swimming pools. Park entry is free but there is a charge if you want to rent any of the facilities out. Most of the outdoor parks welcome dogs. Additionally, you can take your pup to Alameda's designated dog park.
Most parks are generally kid-friendly, with on-site play structures and sandboxes, but locals vote Franklin Park as the most kid-friendly park in Alameda. Maintenance crews care for the park daily in order to ensure a manicured, clean area.
Washington Park, located at 8th Street and Central Avenue in Alameda, has exercise equipment and circuit training options for all those athletes out there.
Park Street in Alameda hosts three annual events: a Fourth of July Parade, a Spring Festival and a Classic Car Show, which has been attracting people from near and far for over 20 years. None of the three events are located directly within Alameda's parks but, rather, occupy the nearby streets. The Fourth of July Parade route passes several of Alameda's parks.
Apartments for Rent Under $1,000 in Alameda, CA
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