Lake Anza—The Escape

Have you ever wanted to just escape from it all?

Nostalgic serenity is what comes to mind when I think about Lake Anza, nestled in the Berkeley Hills. I spent many summers swimming in the lake, racing my sister, brother, and cousins to the raft in the middle, hanging out with friends on the sand, and hiking the beautifully scenic trails with my dog, Maxi.

Lake Anza, almost unknown to people outside of East Bay, is my escape.

Located within Tilden Park, Lake Anza is a spring-fed freshwater lake that is calming and refreshing. Connected to the lake is the perfect hiking spot to explore the peaceful atmosphere and lush greenery can feel magical.

A couple weeks ago I ran the Berkeley Trail Run. The 10K took me speed hiking up the hills scattered with wildflowers and huge oak trees, the ascend downhill felt like I was flying into a fairy tale.

Lake Anza was the first place to come to mind when deciding where in the Berkeley to shoot the Escape Collection. The five-piece collection includes this Enza Costa luxe, soft, stretch jersey, antique rose, almost nude lightweight bodysuit. I paired it with this beautiful light green and nude lush, crepe de chine Just Cavali blouse (it buttons up and pairs perfect with jeans and a blazer).

I also included this adorable blush Melissa Odabash wrap skirt. I love it with the bodysuit and this flirty, cropped, orange and cream, jacquard print, off the shoulder top by LemLem.

To amplify even a smidge of positive thinking, clear-headed decision making, ease you out of negative spaces, the escape collection accessory, these beautiful clear crystal and brass earrings by Kenneth Jay Lane.

When I was about 13, my friend Juani and I decided we were going to sneak to Lake Anza from South Berkeley. I told my mom I was going to her house, and she told her mom she was coming to mine. We strategically gathered enough money and took off to the AC Transit bus stop. We made the hour-long bus ride fine but forgot two important details, the entrance fee and snacks.

After paying to get in, since we were already short on bus fair, we decided to spend what we had left at the snack bar. As the day got later, “how are we going to get home,” we pondered. “Let’s go to Christina’s house,” our soccer teammate, “she lives close by,” I suggested. But from a car that three miles seemed so much quicker. By the time we arrived we were so tired, I don’t even remember the story we told to get our friends’ mom to take us back home, to South Berkeley. We prayed that she would just drop us off…when we pulled up to the house, she parked and told my parents just how we showed up on her porch, tired and hungry. We got in so much trouble but the escape to Lake Anza was worth it!

Every time I come back to Lake Anza, I feel at home – I also always find something new to enjoy. There are multiple trails around the lake for hikers of all levels, including the waterfront Lake Anza trail. The panoramic views of the lake and park’s landscape are breathtaking. This hidden escape treasure is only a 10-minute drive from UC Berkeley and 30 minutes from Oakland.