Enrich your historical perspective with a visit to the Alameda Naval Air Museum, 2151 Ferry Point Road, Bldg. 77. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Free-$5. (510) 522-4262, www.alamedanavalairmuseum.org
Alameda Point, Alameda: Jets once roared down the runways of the Alameda Naval Air Station, located on the western side of this island city. Decommissioned in 1997 and renamed Alameda Point, its vast stretches of land contains an appealing mix of diversions. Remnants of its military past remain, especially aboard the imposing USS Hornet Museum and at the Alameda Naval Air Museum.
All photographs by Stephanie Wright Hession copyright 2013.
1. USS Hornet Museum
707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3: The Hornet, now an aircraft carrier museum, contains fascinating artifacts from the Apollo moon missions. It was the recovery ship for Apollo 11, and the exhibits include a mobile quarantine facility used by the Apollo 14 astronauts. You can also take a five minute ride in a Flight Avionics’ flight simulator. Flight simulator schedule: 11-11:30 a.m.; 1-1:30 p.m. and 3-3:30 p.m., daily. Schedule may change due to special events. $6-$9. USS Hornet Museum: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily (gate closes at 4 p.m.). Free-$16. (510) 521-8448, www.uss-hornet.org.
2. Ploughshares Nursery
2701 Main St.: A hummingbird darts about orange blossoms in this retail nursery, which specializes in organic, edible, drought-tolerant and native plants. A nonprofit business venture of the Alameda Point Collaborative, it also offers job training. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wed.-Sun. (510) 755-1102, www.ploughsharesnursery.com.
3. Cityview Skatepark
1177 W. Redline Ave.: Against a backdrop of shipping cranes, a teenage boy and his skateboard fly off a ramp at this popular skate park. Operated by the Alameda Recreation and Park Department, it's open from dawn to dusk daily. Helmet, elbow pads and knee pads required. (510) 747-7529.
4. Hangar One
2601 Monarch St.: In this cavernous space, Hangar One Vodka is hand-distilled. This includes fresh fruit-infused versions such as citron Buddha's Hand, mandarin blossom and kaffir lime. Tastings noon to 7 p.m. Wed.-Sat., noon to 5 p.m. Sun. ($10 fee). Distillery tours: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 p.m., Wed.-Sat. and 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m., Sun. (510) 769-1601, www.hangarone.com.
5. Alameda Point Antiques Faire
2900 Navy Way: In the early hours of the first Sunday of every month, thousands of people arrive, eager to peruse more than 800 booths of vintage and antique items. It's an exhilarating and overwhelming experience. 6 a.m.-3 p.m. first Sun. (510) 522-7500, www.alamedapointantiquesfaire.com