Alfred Cove is named in memory of Alfred Waylen, a pioneer landowner in the Melville district from 1834-54.
Two heritage buildings in the area are Atwell House and The Cove. Atwell House was originally built as a farmhouse by Master of Hounds for the Western Australian Hunt Club, Walter David Atwell. Now an arts centre, Atwell House and Art Gallery is a vibrant arts hub which offers a wide variety of classes and exhibitions throughout the year. The Cove – once a rural homestead that formed part of a dairy property owned by Arthur and Muriel Groves – now has a new lease of life as an Indian restaurant.
The suburb is serviced by 11 community groups covering the arts, sporting bodies and craft groups. These include Alfred Cove Art Society, a cricket and bowling club (where the Melville Scrabble Club meets), and Tompkins Park Community and Recreational Association, as well as Nursing Services Australia.
Tompkins Park is a neighbourhood sports reserve with both winter and summer sports for juniors and seniors including rugby, football, softball, cricket, lacrosse, Gaelic football and soccer.
Alfred Cove shoreline has a pocket of estuarine marshland and mud flats which provide a breeding area for 31 species of bird life and is the termination point for the annual migration of some 48 avian species from Siberia and northern China. The water area is part of the Swan River Heritage Marine Park.