Lake Merritt, Oakland

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August 22, 2014

Off the Bart: 4 Things to Do in Lake Merritt, Oakland

This story is brought to you by offMetro SF. offMetro SF is an online travel guide to getaways from San Francisco—car optional. When you need a city break, we know how best to get you off the beaten path, be it by train, bus, bike, boat, or car share. If you can't make the weekends longer, strive to make them better.

Flanked by the ritzier Rockridge and Temescal regions of Oakland, lovely Lake Merritt still has a slightly rough edge, and some major authenticity appeal.

Here are four things to do in Lake Merritt, Oakland:

1. Start with the obvious: Walk Lake Merritt. Clocking in at 3.4 miles, the perimeter is flat all the way around, making for a gorgeous stroll.

2. Lunch with a view at Lake Chalet (1520 Lakeside Drive). A cousin of the renowned Beach and Park Chalets, this popular waterfront restaurant serves up classy food and drinks in a breathtaking setting. 

3. Catch an afternoon movie at the historic Grand Lake Theatre (3200 Grand Avenue). With classic art deco interior, complete with fancy chandeliers, intricate molding, and a second floor organ. Matinees run until 7p.m. for $7, plus they have free popcorn on Tuesdays. 

4. Snag supper at Boot and Shoe Service (3308 Grand Avenue), a fantastic little restaurant with creative cocktails and a young, hip vibe. Warning: they don’t take reservations. 

Directions: Take BART to Lake Merritt station and head north towards the lake.

Photo by Justin Middleton / CC BY-NC-ND

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