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

Lake Chalet

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. A cousin of the renowned Beach and Park Chalets, this popular waterfront restaurant serves up classy food and drinks in a breathtaking setting. (1520 Lakeside Drive,

3. Catch an afternoon movie at the historic Grand Lake Theatre. 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. (3200 Grand Avenue,

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

Take BART to Lake Merritt station.