Stick shift driving practice locations

Hi all, Where are good open and empty places to practice learning stick shift? When my older daughter was learning to drive 3 years ago, we started at the Golden Gate Fields racetrack parking lot and then graduated to the naval air base in Alameda (thanks to a past post on this list), Now my younger daughter is learning. But the racetrack is fenced off and the air base is much busier with new businesses. Other ideas?

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When my son was recently learning to drive, a friend recommended Mare Island, and it was great.  It's a mostly (?) abandoned naval base with lots of streets and very little traffic--perfect for those first few lessons.   BART parking lots are also good places to practice on weekends.  I often drive by the Lafayette BART and its second lot is usually empty on weekends.

My question for you:  have you found someplace to rent a car with a stick shift, or do you or a friend have one?  We'd like our son to learn to drive a stick but we sold our last stick shift car several years back.  I think our family and friends mostly have automatic transmissions, and I'd be a little hesitant to ask to borrow one anyway because I suspect the learning period might be a bit hard on the clutch. 

Good luck!

When my elderly mother got out of the hospital and then a respite stay at a living facility and wanted to start driving again, I gave her an informal "exam" at the Acalanes High School parking lot on a Sunday,  The speed humps made it less than ideal, but there was plenty of space, and it was not hard to get to (just of 24 at the Pleasant Hill Road exit).  Another place I thought of, but farther away, is the lower parking area at Hilltop Mall -- again on Sunday morning before the stores open. 

School, store  or church parking lot.  I taught my kids in parking lots with speed bumps so they had to practice letting out the clutch before the bump.

check out mountain view cemetery in oakland, at the top of piedmont avenue.

Consider an industrial park or office park on the weekend when there are not a lot of folks about.

I taught my husband in the parking lot at Oakland Coliseum.