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Cruise a city on the cutting edge in your Oakland rental car

Oakland has always been a city on the cutting edge. If this were 1891, you could take the world’s first electric streetcar from Oakland to Berkeley. In today’s world, you can just drive your Oakland rental car into third largest city in the San Francisco area. After you land at Oakland Airport, avoid the tourists who flock directly to San Francisco, and get more adventurous by spending a little extra time to take in the local Oakland sites.

Paramount Theater

This is an art deco landmark that opened in 1931 that’s an entertainment and cultural hub for all local Oaklanders. If you want to see one of the hottest concerts or comedy acts, chances are they’ll be performing here. However, if you want a real treat, rent a classic car at Thrifty Car Rental and drive over for a retro evening at the “Classic Movie Series,” featuring 35mm film prints, a newsreel, cartoon, previews and a live Mighty Wurlitzer organ serenade beginning at 7:30pm.

Lake Merritt

The locals refer to it as the “Jewel of Oakland.” Just a short drive from the Oakland Airport, it’s the best place to get a real feel of Oakland’s culture. The Grand Lake Farmers market is open on Sundays and attracts everybody from joggers, bikers, paddleboaters and more. If you get a chance, park your Thrifty car rental and head toward the docks. There you’ll find authentic gondola rides from Gondola Servicio. All gondolas are imported from Venice and come complete with an Italian Serenade. 

Children’s Fairyland

Said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Disneyworld, this quaint amusement park is located on the shores of Lake Merritt. You’ll enjoy elaborately beautiful storybook sets, gentle rides, friendly animals and exciting live entertainment. This is one place that’s truly for kids only — and the owners mean it. No adult can receive entry without a child and no child can receive entry without an adult.

Chabot Space and Science Center

You don’t need to have kids to feel like one. Just take your Thrifty rental car to Chabot Space and Science Center, an 86,000 square foot center that offers interactive space and science exhibitions, immersive digital-dome planetarium shows and giant screen MegaDome shows. The “don’t-miss” attraction is “Chabot LaserMania, A Rockin’ Music Odyssey.” This laser-light show features classic hits from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and more set to a stunning display of color and sound.

Oakland Raiders

Your Oakland rental car is perfect for pre-game tailgating at an Oakland Raiders football game, one of the highlights of visiting Oakland. Since 1959, the team has been providing the locals with a reason to dress in black and grey and scream like maniacs at rival teams. The Oakland Raiders fans are famously known to be overly passionate. Some say they are the best “unofficial” tourist attraction in the whole city. The regular season starts in mid-September and ends in January. Be sure to get your tickets in advance and, win or lose, prepare to have the experience of a lifetime.