Lake Merritt Park

Oakland, CA

Lake Merritt is a neighborhood with a large body of water just east of downtown. It is surrounded by parkland and city neighborhoods. It is historically monumental as being the first official wildlife refuge. This 155 acre lake and its surrounding community are considered the “jewel” of Oakland.

History of Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt was originally a tidal estuary of nearly 1,000 acres. As Oakland developed, the terrain was blended into the urban fabric. By 1853, the lake was used as an open sewer which sparked concerns among local architects. In attempts to deepen the lake and cleanse its contents, Dr. Samuel Merritt built a dam allowing residents to travel from one end of the lake to another without tolls or manually rowing a boat. Roads were built to surround its surface along with a “necklace of lights” aside walking paths. Finally in 1980, the lake and its neighboring communities became a designated Oakland landmark and remains the focal point for many visitors and residents.

Lake Merritt Points of Interest

Lake Merritt Boating Center offers rental services for kayaks and sailboats along with training for beginners. The fantasy-filled arena of the Children’s Fairlyland is a fun theme park for younger kids. It includes a handful of rides, puppet theaters, and magical keys. Legend has it that it served as an inspiration for the late Walt Disney. The Lake Merritt Gardens offers various themed commons such as: Bonsai gardens, Japanese Gardens and Mediterranean Gardens. This 7 acre plot of land has been part of Lake Merritt for over 50 years and is a peaceful rendezvous for all ages. Lastly, the famous Lake Chalet Restaurant serving seafood and grilled eats is conveniently by the water for guests to enjoy. Make sure to stop by for Taco Tuesdays and Prime Rib Mondays. You can drop off the car to the valet and listen to live music performed every Saturday afternoon.

Lake Merritt Schools

Oakland enjoys a reputation for great quality schools, including public, charter & private. For more educational options, school ratings and reviews visit

Education in Lake Merritt Area

Lincoln Elementary School has had promising API scores surpassing nearby locations in the city of Alameda. With its strong support team and a plethora of excellent programs, this elementary has been recognized as a continually strong academic achiever. Laney College is a community college located near Lake Merritt Bart Station. It has a larger campus compared to others in the Peralta Community College District. It offers both certifications and credits for scholars. It has five divisions split into mathematics, career and technical education, liberal arts, humanities and social sciences.

Transportation around Lake Merritt

The two closest Bart Stations are Lake Merritt and 12th Street in downtown. AC Transit can connect you to virtually anywhere around the lake’s perimeter. The 1 and 1r on 11th street travel from Berkeley to San Leandro till about 10-11 pm on the weekdays. A shuttle can also be boarded on 9th street at Madison Park. Despite the abundance of public transit, it is very common to see bicyclists and the occasional carpooling from residents.

Lake Merritt Park Market Trends

It’s very important to keep an eye on the market. Housing prices can ebb and flow due to economic, seasonal and local factors. For a true understanding of your property’s value or determining the “right” price to offer for a home, consult with a Realtor. Johanna provides free marketing appraisals in Lake Merritt Park.

Oakland Home Prices

Oakland Average Days on Market

All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage.

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