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Alameda is a city that is situated in California in the United States. It lies between the well-known cities of San Francisco and Oakland. The city can be divided into two main parts with one part being Bay Farm Island and the other being Alameda Island. The Bay Farm Island part is not actually an island. It is attached to the mainland that sits between Oakland and San Francisco. Alameda island actually is an island that is situated right off of San Francisco bay. The Oakland Estuary separates the island from the mainland. The city has a unique government system in that it is governed by a city charter document, rather than the state law of California. Being a charter city, Alameda is one of the few cities in the United States that can modify their laws legally without the approval of the state government. The city judicial system is managed by a 5 member city council. This form of government was adopted in 1916 and has remained unchanged till this day. The current mayor of the city is Trish Herrera Spencer and is represented in the state senate by democratic Nancy Skinner.

Population and Demographics

The city has an approximate population of 79,000 according to a 2016 census. This equates to roughly 3,500 residents per square mile of land. Of these 79,000 inhabitants, 50% are white, 31% Asian, 6% black, and the rest being of uncategorized race. Alameda has a surprisingly low number of people living in non-institutionalized group quarters at just above 1%. Noninstitutionalized group quarters refers to individuals not living in homes. Examples of this include nursing homes, college dorms, and military barracks. As for households, 98% of the residents of Alameda live in a standard household set-up. The other 1% are considered to be institutionalized or homeless. As for households, 45% consist of opposite-sex married couples, 12% by unwed females, and 4% by unwed males. Of these households, 30% have a child under the age of 18 living in the residence. As for age distribution, the city is made up of 20% of individuals being 18 or younger, 7% being in the 18-24 age bracket, 28% being in the 25-44 age bracket, 29% being in the 45-64 bracket, and 9% comprising the 65 and older age group.

As far as politics, the city of Alameda is highly democratic and liberal. The liberal aspect of the city is due in part to the culture and also in part to have a high diversity of ethnic groups, which is statistically characteristic of a city with such high diversity.

Climate and Geography

Alameda has an area of 23,000 square miles. Half of this is situated on land while the other half is water. The total land area is split between the two islands that make up the city, even though bay farm island is not technically an island. The terrain is predominately flat with very few low-rising mountains. Virtually all of the land is associated with a coastline making this one of the most beach populated cities in the entire United States. As with most beach towns, the climate in the region is characterized by high temperatures year round with hot dry summers. Summer months bring the most rainfall with around 20 inches per year of precipitation with little of that being from the winter months. Winter months do not have snow accumulation and temperatures rarely drop below 60% making it a great place to live for people who do not like cold weather.

History of Alameda

Alameda has one of the most unique histories of any island based city. The part not attached to the mainland, Alameda island, used to be attached to the mainland via a peninsula. This peninsula broke off thousands of years ago forming the two components of the city today. Alameda island broke off from Bay Farm Island dividing the peninsula into two parts.

The first people to settle this land were the Ohlone tribe which arrived here from Spain in the late 18th century. Due to the large abundance of oak forest, the city Alameda got its name from a Spanish word that means “tree-lined avenue”. In 1820 the king of spain officially declared the land to be a province of Spain.In 1853 it officially became part of the United States and province of California. The following year the city began to modernize to the western world with the development of the first post office that connected it to the rest of the US. From here it began to rapidly colonize and advance.

Points of Interest & Tourist Attractions

Alameda has a plethora of attractions for both locals and tourists. Due to its location and vast amount of coastline, it has become one of the biggest destinations for water sport enthusiast. Every year tens of thousands of people make the trip to Alameda to enjoy the great surfing and kiting conditions. It has other sports attractions as well since it is the home of the headquarters of the NFL team the Oakland Raiders.

In addition to sporting attractions, there are a lot of historical attractions as well. One historical attraction that is well-known around the world is the Aircraft carrier US Hornet. This ship was used in wars and was turned into a museum ship in 1998.

It is also famous for its 4th of July parades. Alameda has the second longest fourth of July parade in the United States and consists of some amazing spectacles. Some of those spectacles that draw people to come are a fire-breathing dragon, motorized furnitures, local built floats, bands, and huge crowds of people from all over the world.

Tourists also come to this town to see its unique architecture. Much of the architecture of Alameda has been preserved in time. It is characterized by an array of old style victorian houses not found anywhere else in such high concentrations.

Popular Shopping Destinations

Alameda also has a large amount of popular shopping destinations. It has one of the largest pools of antique stores that include Paulines Antiques, Vintiq, Silver Barons Rare Coins, Lynn’s of Alameda, and Lost Citu Antiques just to name a few. You can find many 5-star restaurants in the downton section of Alameda as well. Some notable restuarants include the Burma Superstar, Otaez, Scolari’s Good Eats, Cafe Jolie, and the Kamakura Japanese Restaurant. You can also find a variety of retail stores in all different niches. If you are wanting to go shopping then you find most of these places in the downtown portion of Bay Farm Island which is the part that is attached to the mainland. Due to its high number of annual tourist, Alameda also sports some of the finest hotels in California. Many hotels are situated near the coast line offering rooms that have a view of the ocean as well as the surrounding city. Some popular luxury hotels include the Marina Village Inn, the Rodeway Inn, Hawthorn Suites, Extended Stay America, Coral Reef Inn, Water Front Hotel, several branches of Hampton Inn Hotels, and branches of Wyndham Hotels.