From Bakersfield to Sacramento and Oakland, the mighty Amtrak San Joaquin chugs through all of the Central Valley's most memorable sights.
JAMESTOWN - Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in the heart of the Sierra foothills invites visitors to experience the thrill of traveling back in time to the era of steam railroading.
OAKDALE - With its unspoiled scenery, the Sierra Railroad is singled out by movie producers from around the world as a preferred location for filming.
OAKDALE - The Sierra is third the oldest railroad in North America and besides carrying freight and passengers, Sierra became famous as "The Movie Railroad" for making over 300 movies, commercials and television shows. In the 1970s the railroad launched an industry when it operated the nation's first dinner train. In 1995 the railroad was rejuvenated by new ownership and experienced a remarkable decade of growth and expansion.
GROVELAND - Along with Yellowstone and Grand Canyon, Yosemite is one of my favorite national parks. Unfortunately, more than 4 million annual visitors share my sentiments.
The Crossroads of California Street Faire - Manteca's first big outdoor gathering of spring - returns for its 16th run on Saturday, April 14, and Sunday, April 15, in downtown Manteca.
LIVINGSTON - The City of Livingston is inviting Valley residents to go fly a kite - or rather come to the town's first annual Kite Festival and fly one together.
JACKSON - As a five-time Grammy award-winning, singer/songwriting guitar legend, it would be hard to overstate Robert Cray's impact on rock, rhythm & blues. He is considered one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.
MODESTO - The Modesto Garden Club's Annual Spring Tour takes place Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
LATHROP – At more than 350 miles long, the San Joaquin River, from its source in the Ansel Adams Wilderness to its mouth in the Suisun Bay, covers a large portion of the Central Valley.
GROVELAND - Cherry Valley Reservoir is a gem of a lake that sits at 4,700 feet between Dodge Ridge and Yosemite in the Stanislaus National Forest.
SUTTER CREEK - Tea Eras located at 34 Main Street (Highway 49) in Sutter Creek is an enchanting tea house where lunch is a languorous delight including high tea. Dinners are also available for 10 or more.
GROVELAND - It was summertime and the peak of the tourist season for the Sierra foothills town of Groveland. Two men dressed in shorts and hiking boots, and carrying serious backpacks, entered Dori's Tea Cottage causing co-owner Greg Jones to be a little apprehensive.
It's all about bonnets and boas and strainers and spoons.
I carefully composed the picture I wanted take with my camera. I was not using a tripod. So, to help steady my grip, I leaned heavily against my car from my driver's seat with the window down, and secured a firm foothold for my arms.
RIPON – What do you think of when you picture a garden?
Gardening is a popular hobby in the Central Valley where the ideal California climate is conducive to growing. The Greenery Nursery and Garden Shop in Turlock is largely responsible for cultivating many locals' "green thumbs."
MODESTO – For more than 30 years Westurf Nursery has been a mainstay in the Modesto gardening landscape, and with 10 acres of trees, shrubs, roses and more, it's hard to miss.
When was the last time a nursery was called "Super Awesome?"
ISLETON – People get territorial when you talk about steak.
Locals looking to satisfy their cravings for a quality steak dinner won't need to look far as The Fruit Yard Restaurant & Country Market is well versed in providing not only quality beef but quality service.
DELHI – A porterhouse or a rib eye. Sautéed or broiled over an open fire. With French fries or a baked potato. The Elegant Bull in Delhi offers its customers the ultimate dining experience when it comes to steak.
OAKDALE – Nestled deep in the Cowboy Capital of the World, House of Beef ropes in its guests near and far with a tantalizing steak selection.
Nobody does steak better than the El Rancho Inn in Stockton.
Manteca marked the home stretch for Cesar Chavez.
In celebration of the upcoming Cesar Chavez holiday, California State University, Stanislaus students had the opportunity to witness and learn from one of Chavez's right hand men and a significant leader in Chicano culture: Luis Valdez.
The regular school year in Manteca Unified runs from August to May. That's the norm for the majority of the 23,000-plus elementary and high school students in the district. That holds true for other public schools in San Joaquin County as well.
Agriculture is the dominant industry in the Central Valley, where the legacy of Cesar Chavez still hangs in the air for families of migrant workers across the state.
Students at Cesar Chavez High in Stockton are learning more about their school namesake.
DELANO (AP) - In California's fertile Central Valley, immigrant workers pick produce sold worldwide. They're mostly Spanish speakers who work long hours in the dirt and sun - not your typical crowd for a Hollywood movie premiere.