Active, Diverse, Intriguing
People from all over Oakland, and beyond, come to Lake Merritt to relax outside or to enjoy the food and drinks at Lake Chalet—a popular restaurant at the edge of the lake. Living near Lake Merritt means living at the epicenter of activity, yet still being close to an abundance of nature. Unlike the center of most cities, Lake Merritt is home to exotic wildlife. It is not uncommon to see snowy egrets, buffleheads, great blue herons, back-crowned night herons, or Canadian geese. In fact, the lake was America’s first wildlife sanctuary, in 1869. Most of the plants around the lake are unique and originate from various regions around the world.
Oakland’s crown jewel is surrounded by a necklace of lights, which provides a romantic backdrop when walking at dusk or for those looking down from their home. There are modern condos and high rise apartment buildings that flank Lake Merritt, as well as smaller multi unit residences. The public schools in the area include La Escuelita Elementary School, Westlake Middle School and Oakland High School.