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.
MEFRCE - The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 26,600 acres of wetlands, riparian forests, native grasslands and vernal pools. A thriving population of tule elk is showcased by one of three auto tour routes. The refuge is host to significant assemblages of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and plants; some of which, such as the tiger salamander and San Joaquin kit fox, are endangered species.
COLUMBIA - Glorious songs, a moving story of love and redemption and a robust, seaside setting have kept Carousel among the most beloved American musicals ever created.
JACKSON – Enjoy some of the greatest hits from the swinging sixties through today when Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort presents The Righteous Brothers' Bill Medley and Paul Revere & the Raiders on Friday, July 13.
MODESTO – The Modesto Junior College Foundation will offer "A Hair Raising Good Time" at this year's Summer Sonata which is slated for Thursday, July 19 at the Gallo Center for the Arts in downtown Modesto.
STOCKTON - Country superstar Alan Jackson takes his tour to the Stockton Arena in Stockton on Friday, July 27.
JACKSON – The all new Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort is celebrating the opening of new restaurants and new gaming areas with a summer series of great concerts including country star Sara Evans on Sunday, July 1.
OAKDALE – There are some museums that dig way back into the history of a given area.
Nurses are doing it. Administrative managers are doing it. Even a former chief of police is doing it. In fact, it's a modern-day phenomenon that's kicking up a storm.
MODESTO - One of the most unique museums in the 209 - the Hillier Air Museum - is located in Hangar 7 at the Modesto Airport.
The Manteca Historical Museum offers plenty of things for visitors to discover.
LODI – The past lives on at the old Calaveras School at Micke Grove Regional Park.
STOCKTON – Whether it's artwork or artifacts, the Haggin museum has a little bit of it all.
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?