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Five Reasons to Rediscover Alameda

Take a mini-vacation to the island just off Oakland.


Colors in Nature by Fran Estrada

Colors in Nature by Fran Estrada on display at Alameda on Camera


The island just off of Oakland can be easy to overlook—or dismiss. Sure, Alameda might have a different pace of life than Soma—but that's not a bad thing. Here, five ways to take it easy this weekend on the Bay Area's best approximation of Hawaii.

See: Get a snapshot of Alameda through the work of ambitious photographers featured in the annual Alameda on Camera exhibit (through May 30th) displayed in the Frank Bette Center for the Arts. For 48 hours, local photographers artists scoured the island and shot their favorite places and people, including Alameda’s landmarks and local characters. One photo that sums up each of the spots will hangs in the gallery. 1601 Paru Street, 510-523-6957

Taste: Don't miss a treat from Teazzert, newly-opened purveyors of Barefoot seasonal premium coffee, Five Mountain organic tea, and cookies sandwiches filled with silky sweet ice cream. Try a salty caramel ice cream sandwich with a cup of chocolate ganache coffee or an iced green lychee milk tea paired with vanilla bean ice cream served between two chocolate macaroons. 1342 Park St, (510) 337-9810

Drink: St. George Spirits was there at the start of American craft liquor revolution, working with organic ingredients and natural flavors long before you knew that barrel-aged was an adjective. Learn the ins and outs of artisanal spirits during a $20 distillery tour that takes you through the 65,000-square-foot airplane hanger where the spirits are concocted. More importantly, end with a guided tasting that may include the green chile or California citrus vodkas. 2601 Monarch Street, 510-769-1601

Eat: You sailed, you sipped, you saw. Now it’s time to savor the simple satisfaction of soup and a sandwich, Vietnamese-style at Pho and Baguette. Start with an order of tightly-packed spring roll with chicken, shrimp or pork, or opt for Vietnamese fried egg rolls. Follow with one of five báhn mi sandwiches—chicken, pork meatball, grilled pork, pulled pork, or ground pork patties—or an equal number of pho option. At less than $10 for dinner, this meal alone will make your trip to Alameda worth the ride across the Bay. 660 Central Ave. Ste C (at Webster Street) (510) 263-8568

Go: So you get a little claustrophobic traveling underground (and under water), crammed in an airtight BART car with all of those crazy commuters. We hear you. Why go under the Bay when you can go over it in a ferry, wind in your hair and the sun on your skin (or your jacket)? At 45 minutes from the Ferry Building, it may not be the fastest route, but it is the most scenic. With ferries leaving less frequently on weekends, be sure to check the schedule. 


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