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GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt

650 Bellevue Ave, near the Lakeside Garden Center, Oakland, CA 94610-5000
+1 510-763-8409
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Review Highlights
Outstanding FREE experience

We were touring the general garden center and the lake and found this. What a lovely job these... read more

Reviewed 9 January 2018
Michael W
,
Hercules, California
Unique, fascinating garden

We know very little about bonsai, but have seen a couple of bonsai exhibits. This bonsai garden... read more

Reviewed 8 November 2017
p23brown
,
Chicago, Illinois
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Overview
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The Bonsai Garden and Museum at Lake Merritt is one of the largest and finest collections of bonsai in the US. Approximately 90 bonsai and viewing stones (Suiseki) are on display at any given time. Displays are rotated on a seasonal, peak performance of the bonsai. Bonsai lovers come from all over the world to the garden to view our world-class collection. Free admission. Public parking available. Open six days per week. Closed Mondays. 11-3 Tuesday -Friday. 10-4 Saturday. Noon - 4 Sunday.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good19%
  • Average14%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“lake merritt” (14 reviews)
“plants” (4 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
650 Bellevue Ave, near the Lakeside Garden Center, Oakland, CA 94610-5000
CONTACT
Website
+1 510-763-8409
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"lake merritt"
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1 - 10 of 39 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2018

We were touring the general garden center and the lake and found this. What a lovely job these volunteers have done to make a showplace! Kudos to all involved.

1  Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
George H, Marketing Manager at GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, responded to this reviewResponded January 11, 2018

Thank you for the wonderful review. All our volunteers love the hear feedback and positive comments about the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. Visit us again!

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Reviewed November 8, 2017

We know very little about bonsai, but have seen a couple of bonsai exhibits. This bonsai garden really blew us away, especially with the commentary of the docent. Some striking specimens, and a range of bonsai presentation. Well worth the drive. We also enjoyed the...More

1  Thank p23brown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
George H, Marketing Manager at GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, responded to this reviewResponded November 13, 2017

Thank you for your truly wonderful review. The Bonsai Garden is cared for and maintained by all volunteers, and they love hearing such positive feedback from its visitors. Bonsai is a living art form in constant change. We rotate our displayed trees based on peak...More

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Reviewed October 13, 2017 via mobile

Should you be in downtown Oakland or looking for some tranquility, the Bonsai Garden should be on your list of things to do. It's a rather small garden enclosure, but it's fascinating to be around the bonsai trees and they are simply magnificent to watch.More

Thank mschr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
George H, Marketing Manager at GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, responded to this reviewResponded October 15, 2017

Thank you for your wonderful review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, Oakland, California. The Bonsai Garden is cared for and maintained by all volunteers. They love hearing feedback from visitors and TripAdvisor reviews such as yours. Good luck on your future travels and...More

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Reviewed September 3, 2017

Nice garden at the beautiful Lake, Oakland's gem of a park. Always a lot to see and do at the Lake, but this garden is not all that great.More

Thank Thomas V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
George H, Marketing Manager at GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, responded to this reviewResponded November 11, 2017

Thank you for taking time to review your visit to the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. I wonder what it was that you experienced during your September 2017 visit that led to comment "this garden is not all that great." The Bonsai Garden is cared...More

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Reviewed July 23, 2017

I'd never really seen bonsai before, so this was very pretty and educational. The trees really are living art. It's part of the larger botanical garden at Lake Merritt, and the whole place is beautiful. Only downside is it closes at 4.More

Thank Elizabeth S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
George H, Marketing Manager at GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2017

Thank you for your wonderful review of Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. The all volunteer staff love to hear such positive feedback. We are open six days a week, closed on Monday, open 11am to 3pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, open 10am to...More

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Reviewed July 17, 2017

After visiting cousins in the area, we found ourselves with a few hours before heading back to the airport. I believe we had to pay $5 to park, but realized there were several garden areas to visit and enjoy. The Bonsai area was unique and...More

Thank gerbera222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
George H, Marketing Manager at GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, responded to this reviewResponded July 19, 2017

Thank you for your wonderful review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, Oakland, California. I hope you made your flight okay. The bonsai garden is rich with historic and legacy bonsai. All cared for and maintained by volunteers. Our volunteers love to hear positive...More

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Reviewed July 3, 2017

We just happened upon this little place. Nicely presented. Many extraordinary plants. Worth a little time.More

Thank merh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
George H, Marketing Manager at GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, responded to this reviewResponded July 5, 2017

Thank you for your review. Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt is cared for and maintained by all volunteers. Our volunteers love to hear positive feedback from visitors to the Garden like yourself. The Garden is a fine collection and museum of historic and legacy bonsai...More

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Reviewed June 29, 2017

I never even knew this was here! Went today with a friend and can't wait to recommend it to every single person I know. It is a beautifully curated (and changing) collection. There was a docent just hanging around talking about the different trees with...More

Thank GenuineImitation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
George H, Marketing Manager at GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2017

Thank you so much for your wonderful and enthusiastic review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. All our volunteers love to hear such positive feedback from visitors to the Garden. Please do tell your family, friends and others about the Garden. The bonsai are...More

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A TripAdvisor Member
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Reviewed June 25, 2017 via mobile

How could I have lived so close for all these years and never knew about this gem! What a treat! A 500 year old bonsai. Another is the first to be cultivated in US What a lovely spot. Grateful to all the people who contributed...More

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
George H, Marketing Manager at GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, responded to this reviewResponded June 26, 2017

Thank you so much for your wonderful review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. Those who volunteer at the Bonsai Garden love to hear positive feedback such as your review. And, they feel the same about this gem at Lake Merritt almost in the...More

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Reviewed May 22, 2017

I love this place. Absolutely incredible bonsais. These trees are historical. Some are believed to be over 500 hundreds years old. One was originally gifted to the Abraham Lincoln administration by the Japanese ambassador in the 1860s or so. How much would you pay to...More

Thank Robyn P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
George H, Marketing Manager at GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, responded to this reviewResponded May 23, 2017

Thank you for your wonderful and informative review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. The Garden is maintained and cared for by all volunteers, and they love hearing positive feedback from visitors. There are three California Coast Redwoods on display, just one of my...More

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