The Grand-Lakeshore district is the crossroads of Oakland. Seemingly everyone in town spends time here, whether they walk in from the surrounding neighborhoods, ride in on one of the major bus lines that pass through or drive in for a couple of hours of shopping and noshing. The well-known diversity of the city can be seen here from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. most days of the week. The district is also just a short walk from Lake Merritt, Oakland’s crown jewel, making it a great place to stop before or after a leisurely stroll along water.
Grand Avenue cuts through several Oakland neighborhoods, from its beginnings as the border between downtown to uptown to where it transects Piedmont and becomes Pleasant Valley Avenue. The length of Grand that creates one side of the Grand-Lakeshore district runs from the 580 Freeway north to about Weldon Avenue, give or take a block depending on the state of the economy in any given year.
This wide, four-lane boulevard has seen and survived many changes of time, fashion, and taste. Nowadays, the avenue is a relaxed and easygoing social center perfect for finding breakfast, a midday espresso or late night drinks.
The Lakeshore Avenue shopping and dining strip is a shorter stretch than Grand, but the street is narrower and more businesses are packed in, so it’s constantly alive with diners, shoppers and people watchers. The tree-lined street is a great place to stroll, eat, window shop, and catch up with friends.
Connecting the two is the brief but busy Lake Park Avenue. For all of the car traffic, foot traffic Lake Park keeps a park, a classic hamburger stand and a popular farmers’ market thriving. All of these and the diversions on Grand and Lakeshore make the district a place where finding something fun and interesting to do is an easy way to spend a few hours.