Lake Merritt: Truly the Jewel of Oakland, CA!

by arlene on May 8, 2013

In working to transform a home for sale,  I’ve had the pleasure of spending more time near Lake Merritt. This property is a mere two blocks from the Lake, and the buyer can enjoy a wonderful lifestyle, complete with the great walking/jogging path around the Lake, as well as vibrant restaurants, shops and the Grand Lake Theater nearby. Oakland is fighting some tough times as we all know, but the Lake is truly a treasure that Oakland residents enjoy.  At night the Necklace of Lights is a visual treat, featuring 126 original light poles and 3400 “pearly bulbs.”  Less well known are three of my favorites:

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  • The Bird Sanctuary. Dr. Merritt, then Mayor of Oa
    kland, had the Lake declared a National Wildlife Refuge in 1869, the first in North America. The five bird islands within the Lake shelter hundreds of nesting and roosting water fowl, including pelicans, cormorants, grebes, egrets, herons and many varieties of ducks. And then there are the Canada geese, and the gulls. . .
  • The Gardens of the Lake, including a Bonsai Garden. There’s a surprising  ollection of 150 rare bonsais, including a potted pine that’s been growing in a pot for 400 years. There’s also the largest collection of cool weather palms in the entire western United States. There are 65 varieties in all.
  • Gondola Rides provided by Gondola Servicio. David once surprised me with a gondola ride on my birthday, and it was a delightfully romantic way to see the lake, especially at dusk. You can bring a bottle of wine or dessert to enjoy while being serenaded by true Venetian gondoliers.

On a warm spring day the Lake is THE place to be: joggers, sunbathers, dog walkers all have a great time along the Lake. I sat on one of many benches along the shore watching noble  pelicans gliding on the surface. It was easy to feel I’d taken a respite from the busy world, and yet I was in the middle of the city, and just two blocks from my new listing–579 Wesley Avenue.

This now updated two-bedroom one-bath has a new kitchen, the floors have been relieved of their green shag carpeting and now the pegged random plank oak floors in the living and dining rooms shine! It’s been painted inside, all new light fixtures installed and the whole effect is really quite lovely! Can’t wait to see what buyers think this weekend. Stop by and say hello on either Saturday or Sunday, 2-4 pm. If you’re in the mood, there’s a seriously local spot for coffee right down the block: The Haddon Hill Café, a very sweet stop on your way to the Lake.

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