Crown Memorial Beach is one of Alameda’s top attractions. Prior to World War II, Alameda Beach was known as the “Coney Island of California”. Although the amusement park and resort has long-since faded into the memory of history, the beach has weathered the test of time. Today, Robert Crown Memorial Beach features a two-and-a-half mile long stretch of soft white sand, perfect for all kinds of beach activities, from walking and jogging along the shore to splashing in the warm, shallow waters.
In 1982, the beach underwent an extensive renovation, with sand added and barriers built to contain the sand and prevent further erosion. Bordering the beach, families will find grassy lawns and picnic areas, a perfect place to brush off the sand and enjoy a delicious lunch before returning to the beach for more fun in the sun. Families should note that alcoholic beverages are prohibited within the park, and that pets must be controlled at all times and kept on a leash. Pet owners are asked to clean up after their dogs to keep Crown Memorial Beach beautiful and clean. Dogs are not allowed on the beach itself, only in the grassy areas.
At the east end of the beach, bird lovers may want to visit the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary and salt marshes. Visitors may find the bird sanctuary emanates a strong odor during the hot summer months, so it may be wise to choose a spot further along the beach. With two and a half miles of sand, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a pleasant spot.
To the north, families will find the Crab Cove Visitor Center, an exhibit and sanctuary center dedicated to educating visitors about the importance of the flora and fauna of the San Francisco Bay. Visitors to Crab Cove will find an over 800-gallon aquarium filled with examples of Bay wildlife. Outside the Visitor Center, the Crab Cove Marine Protected Area offers families opportunities to explore the mud flats, observing small marine life in the tidal pools. Ramps allow wheelchair access to the tidal pools as well.
Robert Crown Memorial Beach features a bath house with changing rooms and restroom facilities on the west end of the beach. Swimming is permitted during park hours all year long. There are no lifeguards on duty at Crown Beach, so never swim alone, and be sure to keep a close eye on young children and weak swimmers.
Although there are no boat launches, sailboards, kayaks and inflatables are permitted. Rentals of windsurfers and kiteboards and lessons are available during the spring and summer. Fishing is allowed, subject to State Fish and Game regulations.