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The Gardens at Lake Merritt

Articles: The Gardens at Lake Merritt

A naturalistic vignette of water, stone, and plants in the tranquil Japanese Garden. Photo: Tora Rocha

[sidebar] The Gardens at Lake Merritt

666 Bellevue Ave.
Oakland, California 94610[/sidebar]

Wander the Gardens at Lake Merritt virtually any day of the week and you’ll find moms or nannies with children in strollers, people practicing tai chi, joggers, walkers, readers, or people just “being.” A little-known local treasure—a mere stone’s throw from the heart of downtown Oakland—the Gardens can be a little tough to find. A part of Lakeside Park along with other amenities such as Fairyland, the Oakland Bowling Green, the Bandstand, and the Boathouse, the Gardens at Lake Merritt is well worth searching out at the north end of the lake. The gardens are open from dawn to dusk and there is no admission charge.

In the late 1950s, a coalition of garden clubs and plant societies developed and built the Oakland-East Bay Garden Center. Upon completion, the building was donated to the City of Oakland with the understanding that the coalition would be able to use it in perpetuity for meetings and other activit...

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