Open between 5am and 10pm unless otherwise posted or permitted.
Gate closure is now 4:30pm
Bathrooms close: 4:00pm
$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
Boating: Boating, kayaking & sailing fees
Eighth Street and Otis Drive, Alameda, CA
Toll Free: 888-EBPARKS (888-327-2757), option 3, extension 4522
Robert W. Crown Memorial State 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.
The 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. In 2013, a $5.7 million project pumped 82,600 cubic yards of sand to restore the beach area and the dune system back to its 1987 footprint. Crown Memorial State Beach Sand Project.
To Reach The Park
The following facilities are accessible to wheelchair users: reservable picnic areas: Neptune and Crolls Garden, Rocky Shoreline Tide Ramp, the bathhouse, and the Doug Siden Visitor Center at Crab Cove.
Wheelchair accessible 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 Visitor 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.
The natural history of Crown Beach 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.
Notice: There is currently no entry into the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary to facilitate ongoing restoration work.
The Doug Siden Visitor Center at Crab Cove located on McKay Avenue within Crown Beach, contains exhibits and aquaria highlighting flora and fauna of San Francisco Bay and other marine areas.
There are picnic areas nearby; alcoholic beverages are prohibited except with a permit at a reservable picnic area. There is a 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.
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.
For more Information, including current water quality information, visit the Crown Beach Swimming page.
There is no boat launch facility. Only sailboards, kayaks, and car-top inflatables are permitted at Crown Beach. For more information and a schedule of fees, see our Boating and Sailing page. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, kite surfing are popular non-motorized activities at this location.
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.
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. View more information on the picnic reservations page.
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 are not permitted on the beach. Dogs are allowed only on lawn areas and along the paved pathways. Dogs must be on a leash (six-foot maximum) and under control at all times. Please clean up after your dog.
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.
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 are available for purchase. For information, see the Special Events page.
Return of the Terns
Join us for a special day dedicated to the California Least Tern, an endangered species!
Saturday, June 24, 2023
Doug Siden Visitor Center at Crab Cove
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.