Crown Memorial State Beach

NOTICE
There is no entry into the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary to facilitate ongoing restoration work, until further notice.

Protecting Snowy Plovers

Watch for symbolic fencing along Shoreline Dr. and Kitty Hawk Rd. through March and April.
Fencing helps pedestrians avoid areas of nesting shorebirds. Learn more...

Park Info

Address
Eighth Street and Otis Drive, Alameda, CA

Fees
Parking Fee: $5 per vehicle when kiosk is attended; $4 per trailered vehicle. Buses: $25/per bus.
Dog Fee:  $2 per dog. Guide/service dogs free; no dogs allowed on beach.

Park Hours
Open between 5am and 10pm unless otherwise posted or permitted

Park Entrances
> Crab Cove North Beach
> Crown Memorial South Beach

Phone Numbers
(510) 544-3175
Toll Free: 888-EBPARKS (888-327-2757), option 3, extension 4522

Maps
> Trail Map
> PDF Map
> Google Map
> Transit & Trails

Boat Launch
See the Boating/Sailing page

Crown Beach, Robert W. Crown Memorial

About The Park

Crown Beach is operated by the Park District under a cooperative agreement with the State of California and City of Alameda. It is named in memory of State Assemblyman Robert W. Crown, who had campaigned for its preservation as public parkland. In 2013, a $5.7 million project that pumped 82,600 cubic yards of sand restored the beach and dune system to its 1987 footprint. 
> More Information: Crown Memorial State Beach Sand Project

Showpiece of the park is its 2.5-mile beach, with sand dunes bordering a bicycle trail. The beach is a great achievement of landscaping and engineering. After wind and water action had eroded the beach dangerously, it was restored in early 1982 with sand from San Francisco Bay, pumped ashore by pipeline from a barge. More sand has been added since then, and groins have been constructed to keep it in place.

History

From the 1880s until the outbreak of World War II, Alameda Beach was renowned as an amusement center, the largest beach on San Francisco Bay.

Known for its beautiful sands and warm waters, the beach was a popular day-trip destination for residents from throughout the region. It earned the name "Coney Island of the West," and bathing spas competed for patronage by staging concerts, balloon ascents, carnival rides, baseball games, prize fights, and other publicity stunts.

The carnival is over, but the beautiful beach is back, bordered by lawns and picnic grounds. Some of the area's colorful past is preserved in exhibits at the park's Crab Cove Visitor Center.

Our "Memory Lane" self-guided trail leads you from the time California Indians lived in the area through the Victorian era and military history.  The tour is available on your mobile device or pick up a brochure in the visitor center.

Park Features

The natural history of Crown is emphasized in two locations. Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary at the east end harbors aquatic birds and other salt marsh creatures. Crab Cove at the north end is a marine reserve where all plant and animal life is protected.
Note: There is currently no entry into the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary to facilitate ongoing restoration work.

Crab Cove Visitor Center, located on McKay Avenue within Crown Beach, contains exhibits and aquaria highlighting flora and fauna of San Francisco Bay and other marine areas. To read more about the visitor center, visit the Crab Cove Visitor Center page.

There are picnic areas nearby; alcoholic beverages are prohibited except with a permit at a reservable picnic area. There is seasonal parking fee.

Encinal Beach and Trail are about a half mile west of Crab Cove. The beach is a conditionally designated official San Francisco Bay Water Trail site.

Park Activities

Swimming

The water is warm and shallow at Crown Beach. At the west end of the beach is a bathhouse with changing rooms. Swimming is permitted during park hours year round. No lifeguards are on duty. 

> Current Water Test Results Adobe Acrobat PDF
> Swim Beach Information

Boating

There is no boat launch facility. Only sailboards, kayaks and car-top inflatables are permitted at Crown Beach. For more information, see our Boating and Sailing page. Crown Beach is an official San Francisco Bay Water Trail site. Kayaking, Paddle boarding, kite surfing are popular non-motorized activities at this location.

Boardsports

Crown Beach 2

Crown Beach is popular with windsurfers and kiteboarders. Rental equipment and lessons are available on spring weekends and during the summer. Call (415) 385-1224 for information. 

Picnicking

Next to the bathhouse are picnic tables, barbecue pits and lots of lawn area for ball games. Some picnic areas are reservable; call 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), press option 2 to make a reservation.

Fishing

Fishing is allowed from shore subject to State Fish and Game regulations. Persons 16 years and older must have a California State Fishing License. No Park District Fishing Access Permit is required. 

Dogs

Dogs are not permitted on the beach. Dogs are allowed only on lawn areas and along the paved pathways. Dogs must be on leash (six-foot maximum) and under control at all times. Please clean up after your dog. 

Naturalist-Guided Programs

Naturalist-guided programs for school groups and other organized groups are available in the Crab Cove Visitor Center Wednesday through Friday by advance reservation. Call 1-888-327-2757, x3187 for information. To browse programs online, visit EBParks.org/Register

Special Events

An annual crowd-pleasing tradition at Crown is the Sand Castle and Sand Sculpture Contest, held in front of the bathhouse on a low-tide Saturday morning in June. Open to all ages, the contest attracts hundreds of participants and spectators. High tide destroys the sand creations, but winners receive trophies and ribbons as mementos of their artistry.

Concerts at the Cove offer incredible free music and fun! Extended hours at the Visitor Center plus family activities on the deck and beautiful views of San Francisco Bay make our concerts extra special. Bring your blanket or lawn chair; food and beverages available for purchase. For information, see the Special Events page.

Park Video

ADA accessibility iconPark Accessibility

The following facilities are accessible to wheelchair users: Nepture reservable picnic area, Crolls Garden reservable picnic area, Rocky Shoreline Tide Ramp, Crab Cove Visitor Center and the bathhouse.

Wheelchair accessible restrooms, drinking fountains, parking and paved trails are also available.

Beach wheelchairs, intended to provide a means for wheelchair users to travel across the beach, are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. They require an assistant to push and are not intended to enter the water. To arrange for use of a chair, call the Crab Cove Visitors Center at (510) 544-3187, or the Crown Beach park office at (888) 327-2757, option 3, ext. 4522. Arrangements will be made to bring the chair out to the beach. It takes approximately 15 minutes to prepare the chair. Staff will give a brief orientation to the chair and arrange a time for the chair to be returned.

To Reach The Park

From San Francisco, take the Bay Bridge to I-580 east and I-980 (downtown Oakland). Exit I-980 at 11th/12th Streets, go through several traffic lights and make a left onto 5th Street. This will take you to Broadway and the Oakland/Alameda Tube. Once through the Tube, you'll be on Webster Street. Webster will dead end at Central Avenue. Turn left onto Central and right onto Eighth Street to reach the Crown Beach entrance. Turn right on Central then turn left on McKay Ave to reach the Crab Cove entrance.

> Click HERE for public transit information.

Transit & Trails: Crown Memorial State Beach (transit, biking, and walking directions)

Trail Map

Click the map image below to see an enlarged version.

Trail Map

Events:

Sunday, April 22, 2018 (Today)

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Reptiles

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Bay Critters

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Art of Reuse

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time -04/22/18

12:00 PM  -  2:00 PM
Minus Low Tide Walk

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
Sea Squirts: Whale of a Tale

Saturday, April 28, 2018

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Bay Critters

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Reptiles

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Stop and Smell the Flowers

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time -04/28/18

Sunday, April 29, 2018

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Stop and Smell the Flowers

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time -04/29/18

Saturday, May 5, 2018

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Reptiles

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Bay Critters

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Things that Fly

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 05/05/18

Sunday, May 6, 2018

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Things that Fly

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 05/06/18

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
Sea Squirts: Low Tide Exploration

Saturday, May 12, 2018

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Bay Critters

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Reptiles

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Marvelous Moms

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 05/12/18

7:00 PM  -  8:30 PM
Grunion Greeter Workshop

Sunday, May 13, 2018

11:00 AM  -  12:00 PM
Songs and Stories by the Shore

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Marvelous Moms

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 05/13/18

4:00 PM  -  5:30 PM
Moms on the Mudflat

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

12:30 PM  -  2:30 AM
Early-early Grunion Search

Thursday, May 17, 2018

10:00 AM  -  12:00 PM
Third Thursdays at the Beach

1:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Third Thursdays at the Beach

Saturday, May 19, 2018

10:00 AM  -  4:30 PM
Island City Waterways: 5/19/18

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Island City Waterways

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 05/19/18

Sunday, May 20, 2018

10:00 AM  -  4:30 PM
Island City Waterways: 5/20/18

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Island City Waterways

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 05/20/18

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
Sea Squirts: All Animals Poop

Saturday, May 26, 2018

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Memorial Day Memories

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 05/26/18

Sunday, May 27, 2018

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Memorial Day Memories

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 05/27/18

Monday, May 28, 2018

10:00 AM  -  4:00 PM
Memorial Day Open House

Saturday, June 2, 2018

9:00 AM  -  1:00 PM
Annual Sand Castle and Sculpture Contest

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Dashing Dragonflies

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 06/02/18

Sunday, June 3, 2018

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Bay Critters

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Reptiles

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Dashing Dragonflies

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 06/03/18

Friday, June 8, 2018

5:00 PM  -  7:30 PM
Concert at the Cove: 6/8/18

Saturday, June 9, 2018

11:00 AM  -  12:00 PM
Return of the Terns:11am

1:00 PM  -  2:30 PM
Return of the Terns:1:30pm

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Tern Time

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 06/09/18

12:00 PM  -  1:15 PM
Return of the Terns:12:15pm

Sunday, June 10, 2018

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Bay Critters

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Reptiles

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Tern Time

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 06/10/18

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
Sea Squirts: Terrific Trees

Thursday, June 14, 2018

12:00 PM  -  2:00 AM
Early-early Grunion Search

Saturday, June 16, 2018

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Fathers in Nature

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 06/16/18

Sunday, June 17, 2018

10:00 AM  -  11:30 AM
Fabulous Fathers

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Fathers in Nature

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 06/17/18

Thursday, June 21, 2018

10:00 AM  -  12:00 PM
Third Thursdays at the Beach

1:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Third Thursdays at the Beach

Saturday, June 23, 2018

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Bay Critters

10:30 AM  -  11:30 AM
Nature Party-Reptiles

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Seaweed Science

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 06/23/18

Sunday, June 24, 2018

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Seaweed Science

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 06/24/18

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

10:30 AM  -  11:45 AM
Sea Squirts: Seaweed Surprise

Saturday, June 30, 2018

10:00 AM  -  12:00 PM
Spiff Up For Summer Beach Clean-up

2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM
Family Nature Fun Hour: Fun with Food Chains

3:00 PM  -  3:30 PM
Fish Feeding Time - 06/30/18

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