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Magic of Shoreline Park

Father and young son on a park bench overlooking a pond
  • One of the best things about living in the Bay Area apartments for rent is the fact that every day, there seems to be some new hidden gem for you to discover among the many areas of San Francisco and the East Bay. Case in point? Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, located right on the water over on the westside of Oakland:

“Middle Harbor Shoreline Park (MHSP) is a 38-acre shoreline park built and operated by the Port of Oakland for the community, with more than two miles of pathways encircling Middle Harbor Basin. MHSP provides unprecedented access to the shoreline, with associated views of the bay, natural habitats and maritime activity.”

It’s a prime spot if you’re looking to take a quick break during the day, or lounge around for the weekend, and today, we’ll be exploring some of the things that make this lovely location such a treat for Oakland and Alameda locals. Read on, as we present you the magic of Shoreline Park.

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park Awaits

First things first — don’t confuse Middle Harbor Shoreline Park with plain old Shoreline Park down in Mountain View. This is a different area, perched along the Oakland waters and, if we might say so ourselves, offering a bit more in terms of sheer beauty. In fact, the views available here at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park are some that, for a time, remained restricted to the public, on account of MHSP being a Naval Facility since WWII to the late 1990s.

Those days are long past, however, and now, you can head to MHSP and see Alameda and San Francisco from an angle you never thought possible. Bring your camera, because you’re most definitely going to want to capture some memories to show your friends. You’ll also need it to snap some shots of all the wildlife. Like any good seaside park, MHSP is a haven for scoping out all sorts of birds, including:

  • Shorebirds
  • Diving Ducks
  • Sea Birds
  • Foster’s Tern
  • Western Gull
  • Double-Crested Cormorant
  • Brown Pelican
  • Caspian Tern
  • Least Tern
  • California Gull
  • Canada Goose
  • Snowy Egret
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Buifflehead
  • Scaup
  • Western Sandpiper
  • Dunlin
  • Surf Scoter
  • Western Grebe
  • Clark’s Grebe
  • Eared Grebe

You might say it’s something of a birdwatcher’s paradise. We’d go a step further, and argue it’s an environmentalists paradise. Stated clearly in the park’s mission is their dedication to both Environmental Restoration and Environmental Stewardship, and when it was redesigned, Middle Harbor Shoreline Park was done so with the effort to restore the natural feeding grounds of birds and marine life:

“In its natural state, Oakland's waterfront was covered by hundreds of acres of salt marshes and shallow tidelands. These tidal wetlands provided food, shelter, and other benefits to a wide variety of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, insects, and mammals. Dredging and fill for military, Port, and commercial uses have greatly reduced the habitat in size and quality...The 180-acre Middle Harbor Enhancement Area adjacent to Middle Harbor Shoreline Park restores shallow water habitat and provides habitat enhancement.”

And if the great views and dedication to protecting the environment weren’t enough, how about the fact that MHSP is also home to many a fine event over the calendar year? The amphitheater on the grounds makes for a great performance venue, and you’ll often be able to catch a great show there, like the upcoming Second Sky Music Festival. Taking place Saturday, June 15th and Sunday, June 16th, this concert will feature Porter Robinson, Madeon and Anamanaguchi live, along with these other incredible acts helping to open up the shows:

  • Cashmere Cat
  • Chrome Sparks
  • Kero Kero Bonito
  • Nina Las Vegas
  • Wednesday Campanella

If you’re interested, you can even schedule your own special event to take place in MHSP, anything from a walkathon to a festival. You just need to submit the right paperwork to obtain a permit to the Port of Oakland authorities, and be sure to request use of the park for your event at least one year in advance. So, while it’s a bit late for you to reserve the park space for anything this summer, you can get a head start for your event next year, and start getting all your ducks in a row so that it can be a blast for everyone from Oakland to San Francisco.

And while you may not be able to get that special event ready for this summer, you can, at the least, reserve a spot for a picnic or BBQ. You see, MHSP has 27 different picnic tables, one of which you can stake out for yourself and your crew to have a midday meal under the beautiful summer sun. Again, though, you’ll have to get your paperwork in order. After downloading and completing the appropriate forms, fax or email them to the Park Manager, who will let you know about your request (and hopefully, approve it so you can have that picnic).

And for you super-serious photographers and filmmakers, you can even get a permit to do your movie or special shoot in the park, as long as you’re willing to fork over the appropriate fees (which can range from $500 to $8,000). Just shoot an email over to or leave a message at 510-627-1434 to find out more, and have fun while you’re at the park!

It’s Not Far From These Bay Area Apartments for Rent

One final thing about Shoreline that’s so awesome is that you can get there easily from communities like Admiral’s Cove. Alameda is well-known for hitting that sweet spot between Oakland and San Francisco, so no matter what there might be in either city that you’re interested in checking out, you can get there easily and make it a great time. What’s more, when you’re at Admiral’s Cove, you know you’re living the sweet life, with all the trappings that a modern and luxurious apartment should afford you. Learn more about what this stellar community can offer today, then prepare for a move to what might be the finest spot to live in all of Alameda.