Heading up either Highway 120 or 88 into the foothills always offers an interesting respite in the towns of Sonora and Columbia to Murphys and Angels Camp and even into Groveland's Pine Mountain Lake – especially for newcomers to the Central Valley.
Once upon a time, Morada was home to Pollardville ghost town and chicken kitchen family restaurant.
Whether you are an avid cyclist bent on adventure, or a calm, slow biker wanting to cruise down the street, Canal Drive in Turlock offers one of the more bike-friendly paths for an autumn jaunt.
National parks in California are some of the most beautiful in the country but anyone who has tried to visit Yosemite National Park in summer will almost certainly agree: things are starting to get a little crowded. One wonders if the pioneers who had the foresight to set aside these scenic lands would be appalled at the sight of hundreds of tour buses plying the park's narrow roadways.
Some people like to watch Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" every Christmas.
The Associated Students of Modesto Junior College continue to demonstrate their lively (or perhaps, deadly) holiday spirit by sponsoring their eighth annual Halloween Carnival and Haunted House extravaganza today, held at Modesto Junior College's West Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Ave. The event begins at 2 p.m. and thoroughly finishes off their black magic at 9 p.m.
There are plenty of things to do in the bewitching season especially in Manteca-Lathrop - the undisputed Pumpkin Capital of California.
Don't count on spirits being low this Halloween. Despite the trademark holiday landing on a Wednesday, Ceres Community Center is hosting a Halloween Festival from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. that is free to monster mashers of any age (although, children must be accompanied by an adult). The event, which will be held at 2701 4th St. in Ceres, offers a multitude of mysteries and mysticism that are designed to keep everyone entertained, and primarily safe for this invigorating weeknight.
MODESTO - In anticipation of All Hallow's Eve, The State Theatre is conducting what is billed as the First Annual Fete & Film for Kids, a spellbinding and memory-making event for youngsters that includes sweet treats, kindly ghouls and goblin boys, a costume parade and an enchanting cast of young, local actors portraying scarecrows, benevolent witches and characters from favorite fairy tales.
Here's a listing of Halloween happenings this year in Stanislaus County
SAN JOSE - The Winchester Mystery House at 525 S. Winchester Blvd. in San Jose is bringing back their attraction 'Fright Nights' for a second year.
RIO VISTA - Today and Sunday the Western Railway Museum will run special Pumpkin Festival Trains. Now in its 15th year, this old time harvest festival is a highlight of autumn and for many, a family tradition.
The first time that Stacie Collin let a ghost investigator take her picture with a special night vision-style camera she saw a startling image.
TRACY - It's Fright Night at The Grand Theatre Centre for the Arts in Tracy. What's even more scary – at least for pre-teens who enjoy everything frightful about Halloween – is that this artful dread-full walk-thru event is only open to teens and adults.
STOCKTON – Among the highlights for children who grew up in the Port City in recent years is trick or treating on the Miracle Mile.
MANTECA – There's Pixie Woods in Stockton and Micke Grove in Lodi – places that offer plenty of attractions and recreational facilities for the young.
PATTERSON – Whether kids like to skate, bike, or even rollerblade, the skate park in Patterson is the only place to go according to local skateboarders Abraham Garcia-Ramos and Joel Becerril.
STOCKTON – Pixie Woods Amusement Park was once described as Stockton's own fairyland for the "young in age and young at heart."
MODESTO – "Dad – what are we going to do today?"
Its been called California's Main Street. It splits from Interstate 5 some 90 miles south of Mt. Shasta – the state's most imposing volcano – and remerges with Interstate 5 at the base of the Grapevine that takes you over the Tehachapi Mountains and dumps you into the Southland.
Forget about the Norman Rockwell touchy feely approach to pumpkins.
Since 2007, RAM Farms in Turlock has provided the community with a perfect fall destination filled with pumpkins and a challenging corn maze. Now into their 7th year, the farm proves that it is better than ever by offering even more pumpkins and hours of family fun.
Fantozzi Farms 12th Annual Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch in Patterson provides plenty of family fun for the community and visitors with colossal corn mazes, a variety of pumpkins, and fun-filled activities.
For those in search of the Great Pumpkin look no further than Countryside Farms.
STOCKTON – Willie Chan entered through the back door of Mr. D's Pizza and Sports Pub.
The Banta Inn in Tracy is famous for the spirits it serves to its bar guests, and infamous for the spirit that is supposed to haunt this popular watering hole.
TURLOCK – For those walking down Main Street after dark, it is hard to ignore the sound of live music coming from downtown's Vintage Lounge and Piano Bar. What's even harder to miss is the long line of people that can be seen on weekend nights, hoping to get in to the popular venue.
MODESTO – The sharp screeches of an old jukebox.The clanking of glasses. The hum of conversation and the occasional outburst of laughter. There's really nothing like a good night out in a bad bar – well, dingy bar actually – where the beer is cheap and the friends are plentiful and the insults and the banter fly around like the smoke-filled air that used to consume the dive bars that dotted the landscape in and around Modesto.
MODESTO – How much for those Superman comics?