We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great for a sunny day walk” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt
Lakeside Park, Oakland, CA 94612
510 238 7275
Improve this listing
Ranked #2 of 97 things to do in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Saltwater lake in the middle of the city.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
64 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Great for a sunny day walk”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Lots of walkers, joggers and office workers released for lunch fill up this busy trail around this manmade lake. It is 5km (3.1 miles) around the entire lake. If you have young children, a wonderful place to take them is to Fairyland, which is a fairy-book themed adventure park for the tiny set. They have small rides, a petting zoo, storytime and puppet shows. On Saturdays there is a Farmer's Market located at one side of the lake.

Visited February 2013
Thank sanfrantravelnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

416 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“beautiful urban lakeshore”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

I really liked Lake Merritt - it was a great lake escape within an urban setting. we took the B.A.R.T. over to the east bay, walked to the lake and had a picnic here - weather was fantastic too! SF seems to be a little cooler than over there (maybe 5-10 degrees).

Visited December 2012
Thank HaveRV W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
137 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

The lake is very pretty but there isn't much there. We were told there were a lot of gondolas bit didn't see any. A very picturesque spot for dinner though - well lit-up at night.

Visited November 2012
Thank RdeSilva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Oakland's gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Walking around Lake Merritt shows you the best of Oakland - all sorts of people using the lake for all sorts of reasons. Old folks, families, athletes, sweethearts... It's a great reflection of the diversity of Oakland.

Visited January 2013
Thank Ellen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Level Contributor
54 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“I like all things about this lake, but treat yourself to the gondola!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

I love walking around the lake. I love the cathedral at edge of the lake. I love the botanical garden, and Fairyland. But one of my best times was the gondola ride. You have to book ahead, and as my husband's luck would have it, they were full except they just had a cancellation. So we went out at 5 in the late December dusk. We saw some beautiful birds and then we saw Lake Merritt's and surrounding beautiful lights. We learned the history of lake, and we got to hear some beautiful Italian songs. So if you want to feel like you are in Europe, but you have only one night, this is the way to go. http://www.gondolaservizio.com/lakeMerritt.htm

Lake Merritt is also near some excellent restaurants, and it's near Grand Avenue and Piedmont with more excellent restaurants! The Lake Chalet is hit or miss, but it's a fun place to eat.

Oakland is my favorite city in the Bay Area right now, and Lake Merritt and its surroundings has a lot to to do with my love for the place. I could have titled this review, "this place has gone to the birds", because there are so many birds here.

I don't live in Oakland, nor do I have any affiliation to the Gondola Service.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank mskih
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Lake Merritt? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing