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This shallow, 195-acre (7,89,137 meter) lake is considered by many to be the heart of Oakland. Once an arm of the San Francisco Bay, it actually served as a sewer for a time before Samuel Merritt proposed a dam in order to clean up the lake and have it become the focal point for civic pride and recreation that it is today. As the lake was also a common place to see many migratory birds and ducks, the lake was turned into the first wildlife refuge in North America in 1870. In 1925, the lake's "necklace of lights" was installed, and still stands today making the lake beautiful during day or night. The lake provides many recreational opportunities, including boating, playgrounds, picnic areas and the legendary Children's Fairyland storybook park.
The USS Potomac is a world famous yacht used by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Built in 1934, this historic sea beast now draws a huge number of visitors and takes them on historic cruises. The Potomac can also be leased for events, and has been host to several big events in the past. Just walking around the ship one can almost sense its historical importance. Definitely a great place to visit in the city.
This little East Bay lake in the Oakland Hills is still recovering from a fire that occurred in 1991, but is nonetheless in splendid condition for recreational purposes. The swimming area, open spring through fall, offers a lifeguard on duty in the summer, plus a snack bar and changing facility. Fishing is permitted year-round and the lake is stocked with catfish, rainbow trout, largemouth bass and more. Picnicking tables are found throughout the grassy areas of the park and a playground structure helps to keep children occupied.