Shaped like a heart, with 3.4 miles of shoreline, Lake Merritt literally feels the love from the residents who live around it. Depending on the side of the lake you’re on, there’s a selection of single family homes, condominiums, and townhouses. The area draws everyone from young professionals to retirees, families to students - all attracted by the lake amenities and gorgeous views. It’s located in the heart of Oakland.
The lake itself is the largest urban saltwater lake in the United States. It was also the first official U.S. wildlife refuge, all the way back in 1870. Today, it’s a unique way to access water activities without technically leaving the city. There are ways to paddle and row on the lake, dine or picnic next to the water, and do laps around the whole thing.
There’s plenty to do without water - families enjoy the seriously charming Children’s Fairyland theme park, (Disneyland was an early copycat or their magic), the Rotary Nature Center, and the Lake Side Park. Or, you can just sunbathe or people-watch. Grand Lake Theater and the Grand Lake Farmers Market are big local destinations, and of course Uptown is nearby.
The housing variety around the Lake is diverse - and so are the residents. With Downtown Oakland bordering the West side, the availability skews more towards condominium living. North, in the Lakeshore/Grand area, the housing types extend to larger Craftsman and California bungalows. You’ll also see everything from Art Deco to Mid-Century, depending on the neighborhood. It’s an area that offers something for everyone, all with the gorgeous lake at the center. And, yes, that was a gondola that just floated by!
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