Thinking about moving to Alameda? Have you heard that the Gold Coast or the Bronze Coast might be the best place for you? Well, Im here to break down these two iconic neighborhoods so you can answer that for yourself.
Check out part one of my one part series of Central Alameda series here.
1. The Bronze Coast
If you drive around here for five minutes, you will see a ton of beautiful well kept homes that will make you think you are in the Gold Coast. The only giveaway is that you aren’t is the presence of smaller craftsman bungalows and multi-family and apartment buildings.
When the Naval Air Base opened in 1940, a number of the larger homes in this neighborhood were either reconfigured into small multi units or torn down and replaced with small or medium sized apartment buildings. So, street parking can be at a premium depending on the block you are on.
This part of town is notorious for two things.
- Halloween – Thousands upon thousands of goblins, ghouls and ghosts descend on the Bronze and Gold coast from around the East Bay. The kids aren’t the only ones who get into the spirit however. There isn’t a block that haven’t set up a pirate ship, haunted house or some other wild display to make those trick-or-treaters earn their candy!
- Annual 4th of July Parade – I’ve heard some people say this is the longest parade in North America. I’m not sure if they are talking about it’s length, duration or age. Either way, some 60,000 spectators come out to see the 2500+ participants strut their stuff over the 3.3 mile route. And it’s all kicked off by a 5k where 1000’s of runner warm up the course.
2. The Gold Coast
This is where you will find the highest concentration large, restored and well maintained homes on the entire island. From victorian, craftsman and colonials, you can find them all here. This is largely due to the fact that this part of Alameda used to be water front. Until Shoreline was built, the San Francisco elite would come over here to escape the “SF Summer.” They built large estates for their families and often commuted by ferry or private boat back and forth for work.
As a result, many of these older homes are oriented towards the bay, not the street. Though, many have been retrofitted and modernized to accommodate a modern standard of living. Though, every so often, you will find design or orientation choices that might make you scratch your head.
No matter what part of this neighborhood you land in, you will experience a very quite pace of life. Freshly paved tree lined streets abound and traffic is kept to a minimum. That is because there are no through streets here. You really have to leave the Gold Coast to get anywhere.
Like the rest of Central Alameda, the school assignments do not line up with the typcial neighbood boundaties. Check the school finder here.
Some will go to Love Elementary, Wood Middle and Alameda High while others go to Franklin or Maya Lin Elementary and then onto Encinal High at the West End of the island.
There is also a private option in the heart of the Bronze Coast called St Joseph Noter Dame High.
There are fewer park options in these neighborhoods. Though, since the lots are on average larger, you may not mind.
That said, Franklin Park is smack in the middle of the Gold Coast and a great attraction for all. There is a baseball diamond, pool, jungle gym and places for summer BBQ’s.
Though not technically located in either of these neighborhoods, Washington Park and the Beach are very accessable by foot, bike or car.
Though not nearly as walkable to most of the main shopping areas in Alameda, there are a few hidden gems you should know about. At the corner of Encinal and Chestnut there is a small collection of businesses that you can easily access. The Golden Needle Tailor, Bludot Cafe and the Chestnut Market are just a few of what you will find there.
There is a gas station right in the middle of the island that often has the best prices in Alameda and is very accessable from the Gold and Bronze coast.
With all these large lots and beautiful homes, most people are inspired to test our how green their thumbs are. Encinal Nursery is a perfect place to grab everything you need for your gardening project.
6. Other Considerations
Other than being one of the highest priced areas in Alameda, if you are a commuter, you should keep the Tube Traffic in mind. As the Naval Air Base gets re-developed, the Webster Tube will continue to back up during rush hour.
I wrote about alternative commute options in my 5 Reasons To Love About Alameda post here.
I hope this list has helped you. If I can give you more context on the process of buying your first home, please do not hesitate to reach out. My information is below.
Heres to all your success!