LAKEPORT - Sometimes overlooked because of the state's spectacular Pacific coastline, California's fresh-water lakes offer plenty of getaway and vacation opportunities for the state's residents. One longtime favorite is Clear Lake, just a couple hours drive of the San Francisco Bay area.
Of all the food trends to take off during the last decade, taco trucks are perhaps the most popular form of fast food dining in the 209. The taco truck invasion has taken over Valley streets, giving local restaurants some serious competition.
STOCKTON - When it comes to taco trucks, my friend Kevin has his favorite.
JAMESTOWN - Table Mountain is one of the best-kept secrets for a hike that isn't far from home, isn't difficult, isn't crowded and offers a spectacular view of both snow-covered peaks, New Melones lake and the rolling foothills below.
PATTERSON - Looking for an authentic Mexican meal that isn't going to break the bank? Whether you have an appetite for chorizos (Mexican sausage), asada (beef), or even tripa (intestines), Patterson's local taco trucks can supply your needs for just pennies on the dollar.
STOCKTON - Nina Simangan looks over each of her orchids.
MODESTO - Folks looking for a hiking trail in the Central Valley have plenty of rural areas to choose from, and now have a more urban option also. The City of Modesto embarked on a new project designed to transform a piece of history into a physical fitness trail.
The daffodils are in bloom and the trees are budding as spring approaches for the 14th time since the Tidewater Bike Path replaced the former barren and weed-infested abandoned right-of-way of its namesake railroad.
PATTERSON - Heart-pumping climbs, dog-friendly paths and walks for the kids are some of the activities that Frank Raines Park has to offer local hikers.
The Calaveras River Bike Path also accommodates hikers and joggers.
It attracts millions of visitors every year, has served as a muse to some of the world's greatest artists and is known to inspire as much awe in the lifelong companion as it does in the first-time visitor.
From afar, Mount Diablo stares you right in the face.
STOCKTON - When it comes to the Stockton Ports, there's history and then there's History.
MODESTO - Baseball fans rejoice, the Modesto Nuts are almost back in town.
Walk down Yosemite Avenue on Manteca on April 6-7 and you may find yourself in a 1960s flashback to tie-dye mania.
As manager of Krier's Cards and Comics, John Krier does not just view his store as a place to secure comics books and related merchandise, but as a social hub for friends to gather in a casual gaming environment.
The east wall in the parking lot of Athen's Burgers on West Yosemite Avenue in Manteca is a gigantic mural depicting a bucolic, rustic scene aptly titled "Cow-munity."
They call them the "Power 9."
By VINCE REMBULAT
STOCKTON – It's tough living life with a secret.
TURLOCK – Both Hanna Renning's and Dieter Renning's love for books sparked at a young age.
LATHROP – Books were everywhere for Lathrop librarian Suzanne Sutterfield.
MANTECA – The story of Ruthanne Bassett's career journey is a simile of sorts. It turned out to be like a shopping trip to the mall. You go there with a specific item in mind to purchase. But other things grab your attention while you are browsing, and end up settling down on something totally different from what you initially had in mind to buy and go home with that.
RIPON – Dorothy "Dot" Veltkamp always has a couple of books on her night stand – a woman with a passion for reading since her childhood – has completed more than 25 years as a librarian mostly in Ripon.
TURLOCK – In an area filled with seemingly endless burger joints for hungry customers to choose from, it may be a difficult task for a mom-and-pop restaurant to stand out. However, AJ's Café and Grill has managed to do just that with their locally and freshly made burgers.
RIPON – It's a classic burger at the downtown Ripon Roadhouse sure to leave egg yolk running down your fingers and hands with the first bite.
MANTECA – Suzette Frese sums it up in one sentence as to why her favorite restaurant in Manteca is a dining destination.
MODESTO – It's hard to mess up a hamburger.
STOCKTON – So what makes for a good hamburger?
LODI - Want a real root beer float?