Three Reasons to Visit Lake Merritt

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Photo of Lake Merritt, by Krista Miller

Posted by the cool peeps at Berkeley Hills Realty

So you’re thinking to yourself, “What should I do today where I can get great exercise and do some people watching while I am at it?”  Or you think to yourself, “My kids need to get out today and I want to go somewhere that is fun for them and not too draining on me.” Or you may think, “I want to take some beautiful photos and my teen wants to get some great Instagram shots. Where should I go?”

The answer to all of them is..Lake Merritt in Oakland!


Lake Merritt is exactly a 5k all the way around, 3.2 miles and a 45 minute walk. If you are jogging at a normal pace, you can do it in 30 minutes, which is a perfect work out. Best part? You get to see natural beauty, as well as other people enjoying their time along the way. If you park at 7th and Oak street, parking is free and you can add a few blocks of warm up time to your routine. You can also park at 22nd Street near Kaiser Plaza for $12, which puts you two blocks from the lake and running path and you can run to the lake and check out the Cathedral Christ of the Light church for its beautiful architecture.

Children’s Fairyland

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Fairyland Entrance

If you are a parent of a child under the age of 10, you may have heard of Children’s FairyLand. This is Oakland’s answer to where you can take your kids and have fun in a “throwback” park that caters to young children. Arguably the centerpiece of Fairyland is the children’s theater on the southern end and the 61-year-old puppet theater to the north – which still uses marionettes that were costumed by Frank Oz‘s mother, and hosts the oldest continuously run puppet show in the nation.

Insta-Good Photos

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Insta-goodness of Krista’s daughter

So your teenager won’t go out with you in public, but if you tell them there is a great place for them to take selfies, Tumblr photos, and “Instagood” photos, they just may go with you to Lake Merritt. And if YOU enjoy taking photos of local wildlife, including a myriad of birds, as well as reflection photos, this will be a great day for you both. Check out Instagram using the hashtag #LakeMerrittOakland for ideas for photos or take your camera and let life unfold in front of you for photos that capture life. For you garden/flower/landscape nuts, there are no less than five different gardens at Lake Merritt. Check out the Bonsai Garden, the Rhododendron Garden, Torii Gate Garden, Vireya Garden, and the Sensory Garden for fantastic photo opportunities.

The Future

Slated for construction is the Lake Merritt to Bay Trail (LM2BT) Connection which will close a key gap between the San Francisco Bay Trail and Lake Merritt trail systems. It will provide a safe ADA-accessible Class I multi-use pathway that connects BART, AC Transit, and Chinatown to the Oakland Estuary, Amtrak Capitol Corridor, Jack London Square, and the Brooklyn Basin Development for commuters and recreational users.  This will be another place to run, discover with your children and photograph!

Learn more about Lake Merritt’s history and an interesting story about its “Necklace of Lights” featuring 126 lamp posts first lit in 1925.
Krista and Rosie love this community and would love to share more about it with you if you are considering a move. Contact us at (510) 612-5546 or (510) 610-0702 for your home buying or selling desires!