We're coming up on the most patriotic day of the year and it's not too late to make plans for a very special Fourth of July. Certain towns and places in California have better patriotic vibes than others and, if you're interested in a Mayberry USA Fourth of July – or some time paying homage to one of our nation's great military generals – we have some suggestions for you. First a couple of patriotic towns:
JAMESTOWN - The 4th of July extended holiday is a perfect time to visit and support Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (SHP)! Special rides behind Sierra No. 3 -- widely known as the "Movie Star Locomotive" -- and aboard the prized Caboose No. 7 are available on the weekend leading up to the holiday (June 30 & July 1) and on Wednesday, July 4, as well. Plus, entertaining and festive live old-time music performed by the local band "Sequoia" will be provided on Wednesday, July 4.
Boom. Crackle. Whistle. Sparkle. Poof.
Looking to a quick getaway for the Fourth of July?
STOCKTON - Banner Island may be the inspiration of Ernest Lawrence Thayer's famous poem "Casey at the Bat."
Saturday, June 30
The Tracy Chamber of Commerce calls the Fourth of July "A Hometown Celebration."
ESCALON – Dennis Borba is a busy man.
Hidden in a rural corner of Turlock, champion horses and riders are being groomed at the Maxfield Riding Center. Every year for the past 16 years Maxfield has boasted amateur and professional level state, national or reserve champions in dressage and three-day eventing.
HUGHSON - Local wildlife orphaned or injured have a second chance at survival thanks to the efforts of dedicated staff and volunteers at the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center.
LODI – Ever see a Chilean pudu?
The Micke Grove Zoo gives folks and opportunity to adopt their favorite animal.
Driving through California's Central Valley it's easy to speed right on by Bakersfield, the southernmost of the Valley's good-sized cities and the last one you'll pass before you head up the Grapevine toward Los Angeles. But next time, consider this: You're passing through Music History and it just might be worth your while to stop.
MERCED - The Merced National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 10,258 acres of wetlands, native grasslands, vernal pools, and riparian areas. It was established in 1951 under the Lea Act to attract wintering waterfowl away from adjacent farmland where foraging ducks and geese were causing extensive damage to crops.
One of the most magical rides in California can be taken on the 206-mile long Highway 120 that runs from Manteca in the west to Benton in the east.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A gay couple who have been together for almost four decades are separated - at least physically - by factors beyond their control in "Love Is Strange," the latest tender and meandering exploration of human relationships from indie darling Ira Sachs ("Keep the Lights On," ''Forty Shades of Blue").
After being clonked over the head in 1944's "Murder, My Sweet," Raymond Chandler's immortal private eye Philip Marlowe wryly narrated the experience of being knocked out: "A black pool opened up at my feet. I jumped in."
In its third incarnation, "The Expendables" has become, well, expendable.
'Tis clearly the season for exceedingly attractive young adults in mortal peril.
Manuel Laguna shared his ideal day in downtown Stockton.
Occasionally, folks of visitstockton.org will take the guise of tourists.
Stockton has warts and so does Modesto.
It sounds like a restaurant.
Recessions have come and gone, and still Oscar Sarkes is sewing away.
For over 25 years, Oakdale resident Bruce Johnson has been working with custom made leatherwork and tools. Even though he recently made the decision to no longer focus on custom leather goods, his business, Bruce Johnson Leather Tools, still offers a wide array of modern and antique leather tools for experienced leatherworkers and novices alike.
Chimneysweepers aren't like Bert from Mary Poppins.
The world's largest "rock" isn't the Hope Diamond.
Ernie's Food & Spirits has built a reputation as one of the finest dining experiences in all the Central Valley, but the best seat in the house may not be in the building at all.
MODESTO – You don't have to be Abe Froman to get a table at Concetta.