As California’s eighth largest city, Oakland is home to the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay Area and has quickly become a hip, bustling hub over the years for both nature and city lovers. Not to be overshadowed by San Francisco’s big city glitz and glam, Oakland has its own local flair with a melting pot of a foodie scene followed by a world-class art museum, historic music venues, vibrant summer festivals, and the oldest wildlife sanctuary in the country at Lake Merritt. It is also home to a loyal sports following, so do not miss the Oakland Raiders or the Golden State Warriors when they’re playing on home turf. With easy access to major interstates, getting in, out, and around Oakland is a breeze when having your own rental car.
Start your visit in the heart of Oakland and head to its original downtown known as the Old Oakland district. Peruse the artisan shops at PopUpHood, admire the historic buildings, or grab a bite at Ratto’s International Market and Deli. Then, make your way to the waterfront at the Jack London Square to soak in the laid-back maritime vibe. The area was home to the famous American author Jack London, who worked at docks nearby. Today, visitors can stroll along the boardwalk, dine at one of the many marina restaurants, or simply relax and watch the sailboats floating on the bay. Before leaving the area, consider checking out Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidential yacht, the historic USS Potomac.
After you have had a taste of Oakland’s history, take your car and head to Lake Merritt, or the “Jewel of Oakland”. It is a peaceful park located in the city center. Once surrounded by Victorian mansions, today only the elegant Camron-Stanford House graces the banks of Lake Merritt. Dating back to 1876, the house and estate is open for tours and serves a traditional afternoon tea and dessert. Making advance reservations is recommended.
Looking for something more on the arts and culture side? Drive over to the newly-renovated Oakland Museum, where you can learn about California’s heritage through extensive exhibitions on natural sciences, arts, and history. The museum features a vast permanent collection and a special focus on the community of Oakland itself. If museums are not your cup of tea, why not check out a music event or film instead? Oakland’s Paramount Theater dates back to 1931 and is an iconic art deco landmark showcasing both films and musical performances.
For a chance to see what else Oakland has to offer, take advantage of your car rental and drive a few miles away from the city to the Redwood Regional Park, a breathtaking forest with towering redwood trees. From picnic tables and a campsite, it offers a breath of fresh air to recharge your batteries.
At Orbitz, we offer the lowest rates to our customers on all of our available car rental classes. From SUVs to compact cars, we pride ourselves on providing comfortable and flexible car rental options so you and travel companions can experience everything Oakland has to offer as conveniently as possible. Right after your plane arrival, pick up your car at Oakland International Airport.