If you mention “The Island” to most Bay Area locals, they might think you’re talking about Alcatraz and not the island just off Oakland. The City of Alameda (which is also in Alameda County) was once a sleepy town home to a Navy base and the Del Monte cannery. Today, it’s bustling with bars, restaurants, shopping, and, of course, the beach. Take a break from the grind and head over to Alameda -- there’s a lot to dig about The Island’s vibe.
You can lounge at a warmer beach
It's no secret that Northern California beaches can be cold (Ocean Beach, we're looking at you). Crown Memorial State Beach is the way to enjoy some more traditional beach weather, or cool off during a heat wave -- not to mention a much closer alternative to warmer beaches near Santa Cruz. Beyond lounging, you can grill, swim, windsurf, fish, and bike around this beach/park. Take your kids to the Crab Cove Visitor Center to learn about marine life, enjoy free concerts at the Cove during the summer, or check out the annual sand castle/sculpture contest.