There are more than thirty islands in San Francisco Bay, ranging from small mounds of dirt and trees, to the touristy, and famous land masses called ‘Alcatraz’ and ‘Angel’. Why not ake a day trip to another island,  the East Bay’s homey Alameda? It’s not just the only inhabited island on the Bay, it’s a classic small town in the shadow of two very big cities. Perfect for a family adventure, some residents even call it “Kansas by the Bay”!

Toy Safari On Park Street
1410 Park Street
(between Central Avenue & Post Office Court)
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 522-1723

Toy Safari is the antidote to the big-box toy stores that have become so common. No wandering the aisles here… someone will actually greet you and ask you, “can I help you?” Toy Safari definitely brings back memories.

Tucker’s Ice Cream
1349 Park Street
Alameda, CA 94501-4533
(510) 522-4960
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The motto at Tucker’s Ice Cream is “life is uncertain, eat dessert first.” They specialize in rich and full-flavored old-fashioned super creamed ice cream, but they’re also famous for their yogurt, sorbets and sherbets, fresh fudge, cookies & brownies, ice cream cakes and the finest baked cakes and cupcakes. It doesn’t stop there! There’s gourmet coffee, cappuccino, latte, espresso, Italian sodas and much more!

Ole’s Waffle Shop
1507 Park Street
(between Santa Clara Avenue & Times Way)
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 522-8108

A Bay Area institution since 1927, Ole’s Waffle Shop serves up old fashioned breakfast with all the trimmings. Vicki the owner says back in 1972 her dad bought the place for just a hundred dollars down. Great investment!

Alameda Marketplace
1650 Park Street
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 865-1500

The Marketplace is home to ten locally owned and independently operated businesses focusing on gourmet, all-natural, sustainable, handmade, artisan and organic foods. From gourmet pizza to an ‘on-the-spot massage,’ The Marketplace offers quality food and services.

Alameda Theatre
2317 Central Avenue
(between Oak Street & Park Street)
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 769-3456

The Alameda Theatre is like traveling back in time. This vintage, art deco cinema has been fully restored exactly the way it was back in 1932. The screen is said to be the biggest one in all of Northern California.

Grand Street Bait & Tackle
2030 Clement Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 521-2460
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This neighborhood shop sells bait, tackle, fishing supplies and garlic noodles. Yes, that’s right… garlic noodles. The Fireside Cafe used to serve them to servicemen from the naval base and they became known worldwide. When Fireside went out of business, Grand Street Bait learned and perfected the recipe. So now you can order up a bowl of garlic noodles, and a side of bait.

Zen Restaurant
2315 Santa Clara Avenue
(between Oak Street & Park Street)
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 521-7070
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Zen Asian Tapas opened its doors back in 2008. The red and black decor complements the Asian fusion cuisineand it’s a favorite upscale spot for locals. Liam’s Pick: Sushi Pizza

One great activity is to simply drive and drive and drive the island! It’s hard to put our finger on it, but Alameda is just one of those places in the Bay Area that are a blast to explore! If you’re looking for more formal daytrip activities, here are a few things we knocked off the to-do list:

Pacific Pinball Museum
1510 Webster Street
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 769-1349
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The best thing about this museum is that you can actually touch stuff. The price of admission gives you the right to learn everything you always wanted to know about pinball machines,and play them too. No quarters necessary!

Boardsports School
600 Westline Drive
Alameda, CA 94501
(415) 385-1224

No need to go all the way to big island of Hawaii to learn how to surf or kiteboard. At Boardsports School you can ride the waves right here on the island of Alameda. The water is warm. Jane, the owner calls it the Caribbean by the Bay.

Rosenblum Cellars
2900 Main Street, Suite 1100
Alameda, CA 94501-7553
(510) 865-7007 ‎
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Founded in 1978, Rosunblum cellars offers 20 different types of Zinfandel and has some of the highest rated Zins in California. Swing by and swirl a few glasses.

Rock Wall Winery
2301 Monarch Street, Suite 300
(between Red Line Avenue & Midway Avenue)
Alameda, CA 94501-7509
(510) 522-5700 ‎

Ideally situated in Alameda, California, the winery boasts spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline. Grapes are sourced from all over California — Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, Zinfandel from Sonoma County, Petite Sirah from Contra Costa County and Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands. The Rock Wall Wine Company represents a new chapter in the East Bay winemaking scene.

St. George Spirits
2601 Monarch Street
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 769-1601
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St. George Spirits was founded as an eau de vie distillery 30 years ago and the principles of Old World eau de vie distillation continue to inform every product they make today. St. George is open to the public for tours and tastings. Groups of 5 or more should call ahead for reservations.

Ploughshares Nursery
2701 Main Street
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 898-7811
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Ploughshares is an environmentally sustainable retail nursery specializing in California native, drought tolerant and edible plants. Part of the Alameda Point Collaborative (APC), Ploughshares offers the highest quality locally grown plants, and the knowledge and expertise to help you successfully grow them in your own garden.

Alameda Point Antiques Faire
2900 Navy Way
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 522-7500

The Alameda Point Antiques Faire is the largest antiques show in Northern California. Held on the 1st Sunday of every month, the Faire boasts over 800 Dealer booths. Attention vintage fans: nothing sold at the Faire is under 20 years old.

Ready for your next adventure? Head over to Eye on the Bay’s Travel & Outdoors and discover the best of the Bay.