Most of Alameda is an Island situated underneath Oakland on the San Francisco Bay, the rest of Alameda is part of the mainland adjacent to the Oakland International Airport. Alameda is a charter city, allowing the city to provide for any form of government. It is also one of only twelve cities throughout the nation designated as a Coast Guard City. Coast Guard Island of Alameda is a very small island above the main Island of Alameda in the Oakland Estuary. Recently Alameda has boomed with new housing developments and shopping centers. Residents enjoy the many family locations and events that Alameda offers such as Crown Memorial Beach, the Naval Air Museum, Pin Ball Museum, mini-golf, Summer concerts at Crab Cove, outdoor movies in the park, a monthly Antique fair, six different Yacht Clubs, multiple street fairs throughout the year, and of course the 4 th of July parade. Alameda's 4 th of July parade is one of the largest and longest Independence Day parades in the nation. Alameda has easy access to the Bay Bridge and two ferry landings to San Francisco. Alameda Point Alameda Point is the place of the former Naval Air Station and is a neighborhood in transition. Creative reuse of military buildings and plans for major construction are in progress. Alameda Point consists of two neighborhoods- Alameda Landing and Bayport. Alameda Landing has a new shopping center with restaurants and brand new housing. Spacious townhomes, condos, flats, and single family detached homes at Alameda Landing are earth-friendly and energy-efficient. Bayport housing consists of sweet neo-traditional architectural style homes. Features of the growing community of Alameda Point are the Naval Air Museum, Bladium Sports and Fitness Club, Rock Wall Winery, and a community sailing center. Plans are being made for a VA clinic, ferry maintenance building, more housing, and preservation of over 700 acres of parks and open space. Bay Farm Island Bay Farm Island is actually a peninsula that is connected to the main island of Alameda by a drawbridge over the Oakland estuary. It was a farming and agricultural community before homes were built there in the 1950's. Some of the farms remained into the 1980's. Bay Farm also features a number of townhome developments dating back to the 1970's and 1980's. Its close proximity to Harbor Bay Isle, the business park, Oakland International Airport and a convenient parkway leading to the Airport, San Leandro, and freeways adds to its desirability. Central Alameda Central Alameda offers an impressive variety of housing styles, including Queen Anne Cottages, Colonial Revivals, Craftsman Bungalows, and Victorians. It also boasts some of Alameda's oldest homes, which are located next to the northern Waterfront where the shipping industry once thrived. The remainder of this large district is a patchwork of smaller, inviting neighborhoods ranging from older homes and flats, to apartment buildings and contemporary condominiums. Central Alameda is also home to many civic buildings, including City Hall, the state-of-the-art Alameda Main Library, Alameda High School and the historic Kofman Auditorium, which hosts many community events including performances by the Alameda Civic Light Opera. Park Street, Alameda's popular retail, dining, and entertainment destination also lies in Central Alameda where delightful turn-of-the-century store fronts, dozens of lovely retail shops, cafes, and restaurants are located. Alameda's historic Art Deco style Theater on Central Avenue is beautifully restored to its original 1932 condition, and updated to a modern seven screen Cineplex. East End The East End of Alameda is comprised of three neighborhoods and extends East to the San Leandro Bay. The Fernside District consists of elegant Mediterranean and Tudor homes dating back to the 1930s that nestle on winding tree-lined streets. The district of older, turn-of-the-century homes and apartments spreads out from a quaint commercial district at Versailles and Encinal. East of High Street is a charming section of homes built after World War II. Like the rest of Alameda, it's a wonderful area to explore on foot. East End residents enjoy shopping at the popular Encinal Market, strolling Thompson Avenue, which transforms into "Christmas Tree Lane" each December, and exploring Lincoln Park, a gracious expanse of lawn, oak trees, and a rose garden that offers a playground, baseball field, tennis courts, basketball courts, swimming pool, and recreation center. Gold Coast The term "Gold Coast" denotes the shoreline that once ran along this neighborhood's southern edge before South Shore was developed. The Gold Coast's first homes were built by wealthy out-of-t owners who sought second homes near the beach. These magnificent turn-of-the-century Victorian and Edwardian homes line enchanting tree-lined streets, including Grand Street, San Antonio Avenue, Dayton Avenue, Bay Street, St. Charles and Paru Street, to name a few. Nestled amongst these historic gems are spectacular Mediterranean and Arts and Crafts homes, often built to a generous scale. Located in the heart of the Gold Coast and set amongst an abundance of mature trees and lawn area is Franklin Park, which offers a playground, baseball field, basketball and tennis courts, swimming pool, and recreation center. Harbor Bay Isle Harbor Bay Isle is a beautifully landscaped, water-oriented community of single family homes and town homes, as well as a business park. Developed primarily in the 1980's and 1990's, it has impressive community amenities, including wonderful recreational paths surrounding shaded lagoons, an outstanding recreational trail with prime views of the San Francisco skyline, parks, a public library, a neighborhood shopping center, a premiere health club and spa, and direct ferry service to San Francisco. Some of the community's most dramatic homes are waterfront properties with breathtaking views set along the Shoreline Park trail. Marina Village On the estuary with its own network of lagoons, views of the Marina, Jack London Square, and the Oakland hills, Marina Village is a thoughtfully laid out business park and residential development spread across 205 acres. Nearly every property is water oriented and faces a lagoon or the estuary. Amenities include a swimming pool, spa and a popular shopping center which features everything from a major grocery store to fine dining. South Shore An ease of living marks the South Shore neighborhoods with sleek 1960's style homes that have risen in popularity with those seeking retro modernist designs, as well as condominiums, and apartments, some with gorgeous views of the San Francisco Bay. Many homes are located around a large tranquil lagoon that sits just north of Otis Drive. A popular destination is Crown Memorial State Beach, a two-and-one-half mile beach on the San Francisco Bay; one of the few sandy public beaches on the Bay. Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages frequent the beach to enjoy long walks or bike rides, volleyball, windsurfing, and kite boarding. South Shore also hosts South Shore Shopping Center, a tastefully renovated retail center with an impressive list of tenants, including Trader Joe's, Kohl's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, Safeway, Office Max, PaneraBread, as well as many other stores, restaurants, and services. West End Webster Street, a retail district that is undergoing a spectacular renaissance, anchors the West End of Alameda. A good portion of the West End neighborhood was developed during World War II, when Alameda expanded its military base. Today these small homes with their hardwood floors and wood-framed windows are ideal starter properties. Other options lie among Arts and Crafts Bungalow homes, 1960's contemporaries, and sets of Victorian flats. For those seeking a nautical lifestyle, Ballena Bay, developed in the 1980's boasts dramatic town homes set along deep water docks. More water oriented properties are available among Alameda's floating homes in the Barnhill Marina just east of Webster Street. The West End is a short distance from Crab Cove and Crown Memorial State Beach.