Q: Where can you find a winery and a brewery with views of San Francisco, a pinball museum, and a cove with free summer concerts?
A: Alameda’s West End
Alameda’s West End is diverse in its home styles, business offerings, restaurants, and entertainment options. Craftsmen, bungalows, Victorians, and the occasional Mid-century Modern line the residential streets of the area.
Webster, the main street running North and South, connects Alameda to Oakland via the Webster Street and Posey Tubes. At the north end of Webster Street, you will find Alameda Landing - a shopping area with a Target, Safeway, and a myriad of restaurants - from BBQ and pizza to Indian street food and sushi. Newer-construction homes flank the side of the shopping center and offer a family-friendly community, complete with common-area gathering spots. Nearby you will find the College of Alameda on its 59-acre campus. In & Out Burger is a popular stop here as well, but prepare yourself for a long line at the drive-through.
At the southern end of Webster Street, you will find a mix of restaurants, including Wes Cafe, Cafe Jolie (popular for breakfast and brunch), and East Ocean, one of the East Bay’s most popular destinations for dim sum (arrive early on the weekends.) The area also offers several hair and nail salons, a couple of tattoo parlors, barber shops, and a gym. The Pacific Pinball Museum, a nonprofit founded in 2004, features over 90 games from the 1940’s to present day. Almost all of the games are playable.
Neptune’s is a hotspot for breakfast and brunch, and across the street, Cookiebar Creamery offers sweet treats. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, shop for flowers, fresh fruit, hummus, and more at the Urban Village Farmer’s Market at Webster and Haight Streets.
At the very Southern tip of Webster street, where it ends, a small shopping center features a Bonfare market and the popular, locally-owned hardware store, Pagano’s Hardware Mart.
Crab Cove, part of Crown Memorial State Beach, is a popular area for picnics, dog walks, and fun on the beach. The Crab Cove Visitor Center and Aquarium, an education center with interactive exhibits about marine life, celebrates 40 years in 2019. Each second Friday in June, July, and August, hundreds of visitors come to Crab Cove to enjoy a free family-friendly concert, beer and wine, and food. Up until the late 1930s, this area was actually a resort community named Neptune Beach, and featured bathing spas and an amusement park.
West of Crab Cove, Ballena Bay features apartments, condominiums, and townhomes, some with their own boat slips. Here you will find Ballena Isle Marina. The Ballena Bay Yacht Club was formed in 1969, and it is nestled in a small business park that also contains Pier 29 restaurant and Abigail’s Moroccan Cuisine.
Close by is Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School, easily spotted by the jet in front of the facility. Encinal Jr. & Sr. High is a diverse, inclusive school. Encinal High School was ranked a 10 out of 10 when compared to schools with similar demographics. Jet Pride!
The West End is also home to Alameda Point - a former naval air station. The Naval base closed on 25 April 1997, and the area is currently in transition, with innovative reuses of spaces and new construction in progress. The area is home to “Spirits Alley” as well, and in the area you will find Rockwall Winery, 43 Winery, Faction Brewing, Admiral Maltings and The Rake Pub, Almanac Beer Company, Hangar 1 Distillery, and St. George Spirits. Views of San Francisco add to the experience of drinking a locally-produced wine or beer.
At Alameda Point, you can’t help to spot a very large, docked naval ship; the USS Hornet was given to the former air station and is now used as a museum ship, the USS Hornet Museum. The ship is also home to special events, fundraisers, and some years, around Halloween, a haunted ship experience.
The Main Street Ferry terminal can be found on the far NE side of the island, and is a hub for commuters and city visitors. The trip to San Francisco is approximately 20 minutes. There are two parking lots and a dog park adjacent to the terminal.
West End locals love the laid back, diverse, close-knit feel of their neighborhoods. From Spirits Alley to the Pacific Pinball Museum to Crab Cove, there are plenty of indoors and outdoor activities for adults and families alike.
West End is diverse in its home styles, business offerings, restaurants, & entertainment options.
On Tuesdays & Saturdays, shop for flowers, fresh fruit, hummus, and more at Urban Village Farmer’s Market.
A shopping area with Target, Safeway, other big box stores and myriad of restaurants - from BBQ to sushi.
Part of Crown Memorial State Beach, it has an aquarium, picnics area and host summer concerts.
Enjoy a variety of tasting rooms featuring beer, wine and spirits with amazing views of San Francisco .
Pacific Pinball Museum, a nonprofit founded in 2004, features over 90 games from the 1940’s to present.
A former naval air station, it's in transition, with innovative reuses & large, naval ship; USS Hornet.
Convenient commuter options include the SF Ferry, the Webster/Posey Tube, I-880, tech shuttles, Casual Carpool, and the AC Transit transbay O bus.
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