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.
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.
As a shy, introverted little girl, scared of her own shadow, Jolynda Lyon grew up feeling as if it wasn't safe to express her thoughts and feelings for fear of being judged or rejected but then she committed her heart to God and things began to change.
Although this year marks the first time that Backstage Academy of Dance students have competed in the Rainbow National Dance Competition in Sacramento, audience members probably could not have guessed as the dancers stole the spotlight and secured a number of awards.
Dance is alive and kicking in the 209.
SONORA – The Bureau of Reclamation is offering summer interpretive programs and activities at New Melones Lake, located in Calaveras County.
Redwoods in California's coastal mountains get more of the glory including being the official state tree but they are babes and petite in terms of age and girth compared to their giant sequoia cousins in the Sierra.
ARNOLD - Three miles north of Arnold off Highway 4, the colossal trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park stand in quiet testimony to prehistoric times.
People who think that being a stay-at-home mom is not considered a job obviously have never met Jennifer Gonzales.
One set of great grandparents stands tall in their family for giving their all to a pair of great grandsons.
Rachel Castillo and her husband were well on their way to an empty nest.
She's a mother but she also fills the role of the father.
Hob Nob's renowned Casper hot dog comes with mustard, relish and onions, "and anything else you want to put on it," quipped owner Rick Atwell.
About a year ago, I took my son to DAD's Hot Dogs to experience a real Stockton treat.
Just ask anyone in Turlock where they can find the best hotdog in the 209 and odds are they'll say Main Street Footers.
It's sacrilegious to even think that there is good news in the ongoing severe drought plaguing the Golden State. Yet, apparently, there's a bit of good in this bad situation of historic proportions. More appropriately perhaps, just a bit of silver lining.
The lawn in the front and back yards of Tom and Rita Canales home in Manteca was, at one time, their pride and joy. But in the face of the ongoing drought that has prompted Governor Jerry Brown to put California on a state of emergency, the couple decided to do their part in the statewide water-conservation. They ripped out their lawns and, in their place, they now have drought-resistant plants in addition to utilizing non-plant garden accessories.