Alameda, CA

Once referred to as the “City of Homes and Beaches”, Alameda is just west of Oakland in the San Francisco Bay, lined with well-kept beaches and spectacular views. But there’s so much more. Also found within Alameda are historic business districts, unique retail shops, a wealth of preserved architectural styles, a stunningly restored Art Deco movie palace, beaches, bird refuges, bicycle and pedestrian paths, natural open space, and extensive picnic areas. Alameda includes more than eight miles of the San Francisco Bay Trail. The shoreline parks along the San Francisco Bay and the San Leandro Marina extend for more than six miles, offering spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline and the East Bay hills. Alameda also has more than 3,400 boat slips in private marinas.

History of Alameda

100 years ago, Alameda was known as the “City of Homes and Beaches.”

The island Alameda occupies was originally a peninsula connected to Oakland. Much of it was low-lying and marshy, but on higher ground the peninsula and adjacent parts of what is now downtown Oakland were home to one of the largest coastal oak forests in the world. The area was therefore called Encinal, Spanish for “oak grove”. Alameda is Spanish for “grove of poplar trees” or “tree-lined avenue”,and was chosen as the city’s name in 1853 by popular vote.

A local band of the Ohlone tribe inhabited this area when the Spanish arrived in the late 18th century. The peninsula became part of the vast Rancho San Antonio granted to Luis Peralta by the Spanish king who claimed California. The grant was later confirmed by the new Republic of Mexico upon its independence from Spain.

Over time, the place became known as Bolsa de Encinal or Encinal de San Antonio.

The city was founded on June 6, 1853, and the town originally contained three small settlements. “Alameda” referred to the village at Encinal and High Streets; “Hibbardsville” was at the North Shore ferry and shipping terminal; and “Woodstock” was on the west near the ferry piers of the South Pacific Coast Railroad and the Central Pacific. Eventually, the Central Pacific’s ferry pier became the Alameda Mole, offering transit connections between San Francisco ferries, local trolleys and Southern Pacific (formerly Central Pacific) commuter lines.

Then in the 1950s, landfill projects gradually expanded Alameda’s footprint to include the South Shore Mall and Lower Washington Park, whereas in 1909 the foot of Grand St. was the site of Encinal Yacht Club and the waterfront extended to Palmera Court, Burbank Street, and Portola Avenue.

Local Parks & Recreation: Alameda has over 20 Parks & Fields open to public, including 2 dog parks. Boat Ramps are located on West End and Central Alameda neighborhoods as well as Swim Centers.

Commuting from Alameda

One of Alameda’s original marketable features in the days of horse and buggy was its easy commute to San Francisco by train or ferry boat. That still rings true or commuters bound almost anywhere in the Bay Area.

BARTAC Transit BusCasual CarpoolHarbor Bay FerryAmtrak

Depending upon your location & destination, AC Transit offers Transbay express buses to San Francisco via the OX, O and W, and local bus service to 12th st, and Fruitvale BART stations.

Alameda has two Casual Carpool picks up locations, one on Santa Clara at Webster or on Encinal St. at Park Avenue.  Monday – Friday 6am-9am, Cars will pick up additional riders to access Bay Bridge HOV lane at a discounted toll. The riders are dropped off on Fremont st in downtown SF at no cost.

There are two ferry lines offering 20-minute trips to San Francisco.  The Harbor Bay Ferry is located on Bay Farm Island with service to SF Ferry Building. The Main Street Terminal at the mouth of the Oakland Estuary with service to SF Ferry building, Fisherman’ s Wharf, Angel Island & Giant’s Ballpark.

Also for commuting or general travel, the Amtrak train station is located on 2nd Street at Alice St. in Oakland off Jack London Square.

Alameda Schools

Alameda enjoys a reputation for great quality schools, including public, charter & private. For more educational options, school ratings and reviews, visit

Alameda Market Trends

It’s very important to keep an eye on the market. Housing prices can ebb and flow due to economic, seasonal and local factors. For a true understanding of your property’s value or determining the “right” price to offer for a home, consult with a Realtor. Johanna provides free marketing appraisals in Alameda.

Alameda Home Prices

Alameda Average Days on Market

All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage.

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