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“Excellent Bonsai Garden - Knowledgeable Volunteers”

GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt
Ranked #19 of 127 things to do in Oakland
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access
Reviewed 2 April 2015

We very much enjoyed visiting the superb bonsai garden at Lake Merritt. It is nestled in the lakeside park and garden center by Lake Merritt. Both are very nice to visit.

The bonsai trees are so amazing here. The volunteer staff does a very good job and are willing to answer any questions one may have.

If one wishes, one can make a donation towards the garden upkeep.

Thank mini
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 15 August 2016

Thank you for you wonderful positive review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. The all volunteer staff loves to hear from visitors like yourself. We have about 90 bonsai on display. The collection has 200 bonsai so that we can rotate them at their peak seasonal periods, so come again.

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36 - 40 of 40 reviews

Reviewed 28 January 2015

This is not a place for a day trip, it is a place for a quick visit. I liked coming here to see all the strange bonsai and sometimes laugh at the names (so immature, I know). It is small, but worth a trip. If you walk the lake often but have never stopped in, you should give it a try. Volunteers there are knowledgeable and fun to talk with.

Thank Andrea D
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 15 August 2016

Thank you for your positive and wonderful review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. We have about 90 bonsai on display at any one time. The collection has 200 bonsai, so that we can rotate them at their peak seasonal periods. Come again!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2014

Bonsai Gardens are a very unique garden specialty. It is not one of my favorites, but I can certainly appreciate the time, energy and patience required for this activity. If you are by the lake and also want to see some very old bonsais (prior to 1900) this is the place. Very friendly volunteers who also want to help you enjoy and appreciate what you are looking at it.

Thank chicago90Phoenix
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 15 August 2016

Thank you for your positive and wonderful review of the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. We have about 90 bonsai on display at any one time. The collection has 200 bonsai, and so we can rotate them at their seasonal peak periods. The all volunteer staff loves hearing from visitors like yourself. We would love to hear from you about your favorite bonsai collections, as well. Come again,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2017
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1  Thank tottoko
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 3 April 2017

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Reviewed 23 May 2016 via mobile
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Thank Sophia D
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 17 June 2016

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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