GROVELAND - While Yosemite National Park is the tourist-attraction star player in the region, there are myriads of visitors' destinations that are just satisfying, visually and otherwise, just as outside of the ancient granites' gates.
A brand new shooting range has opened in Ripon at the Barnwood Arms gun shop centered in Ripon's old downtown.
The Stockton Trap and Skeet Club recently went with bio-degradable targets.
BIG OAK FLAT – There's no pot of gold at the end of the climb up winding Old Priest Grade in Tuolumne County.
The main entrance of Manteca's Bass Pro Shops stopped Ivan Soto like a deer caught in headlights.
MURPHYS - Tickets are now on sale for three more acts which have been added to the line-up of world-class performers for the 2012 Ironstone Vineyards Concert Series.
CERES - Ceres will host the 24th annual Ceres Street Faire, a free venue in Whitmore Park next to Highway 99, the weekend of May 5-6.
MODESTO - Scotland's highly acclaimed Puppet State Theatre company will bring Jean Giono's story The Man Who Planted Trees, to the Gallo Center stage on Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m.
STOCKTON - San Joaquin Delta College's Center for the Arts presents Arthur Miller's dramatization of the Salem Witch Trials in "The Crucible" at Delta's Tillie Lewis Theater, April 27 & 28, May 4 & 5 at 8 p.m., as well as April 29 and May 6 at 2 p.m.
MARIPOSA - The Mariposa County History Center is offering the first "Young John Muir" tour of the season on Saturday, May 12.
COLUTERVILLE - The 27th Annual Coyote Howl & Car Show, Saturday, May 19, at the Coulterville Park is an old-fashioned, family oriented event.
If you're looking to "strike gold" in your next vacation experience, you might consider a houseboat getaway in California's Gold Country. New Melones Lake just happens to be situated in a scenic part of the state that is almost like a giant theme park focused on some of California's most interesting tourist attractions.
OAKDALE - Oakdale police officers from the "Cowboy Capital of the World" saddle up every year on their own time to assist Ripon with its Almond Festival at the Mistlin Sports Park.
OAKDALE - The appeal of dining on the Sierra Railroad hits you as you scan the wide open countryside absent of telephone poles and any signs of civilization save an occasional farm house as you rumble along east of Oakdale.
From Bakersfield to Sacramento and Oakland, the mighty Amtrak San Joaquin chugs through all of the Central Valley's most memorable sights.
For decades, Tom Canales has traveled the Central Valley and Mother Lode by vehicle, using Highway 108 as a portal to the mountains.
To get the most of out of an urbanized hike through Turlock, look no further than Califia.
MODESTO – The hulking glass windows of the Gallo Center for the Arts loom in the background.
This is the story of two friends, both mothers of two-year-old tots. One lives in Ripon. The other lives in Lathrop.
On the way back to family court which was once the JC Penney building I walked the downtown streets of Stockton, getting ready to pick up a dear friend who was there on a summons.
Taking a walk, a bike ride or a healthy jog around the Ripon community can be a pleasant experience.
When Vicente Sconza opened a candy kitchen in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1939 as an Italian immigrant he was living the sweetest life possible.
Owner Eddi Marie Julian chuckles every time the sign displayed outside of her Downtown Modesto candy shop causes a passerby to do a double take.
What's sweeter than Toot Sweets?
Nestled amidst the dairies and orchards that line W. Main Street between Turlock and Patterson is the Farmers' Den. Just as the name implies, the restaurant is a gathering place for the area's farmers and ranchers - and on weekends also for those traveling to Interstate 5 or State Route 156.
Sometimes it takes an out of towner to make you realize that some of the finest places to dine are in your own backyard.
Hangouts are those places where friends hang out with friends and Ripon has many from the old Odds Fellow Hall to the ice cream shop, a favorite for school children walking home from school.
TRACY – Mario Figueroa had the mushroom burger.
WALNUT GROVE - A touch of Italy served with a romantic Sunday brunch awaits those venturing into heart of the Delta at the Grand Island Mansion.
Love is in the air with the "Love You Baby Lunch" on Friday, Feb. 13, made possible by the Downtown Stockton Alliance.