It's a city with a small-town charm. And that's just scratching the surface when it comes to the mining of all the visual and historical – among many other things – attractions that draw visitors in droves to the city of Jackson nestled in the heart of the Mother Lode. The proof is in the numbers. While this quaint and quiet city in Amador County is home to just 4,300 residents, the number swells up to more than 15,000 on the weekends when the tourist traffic is at its busiest.
Columbia State Park just outside of Sonora is a gem of a tourist attraction with its stage plays in the Fallon House Theatre in addition to its Main Street "City Hotel" and restaurant, gold panning and an occasional stage coach ride.
The cruising excitement of past years continues to be an integral part of Manteca's history as three longtime members of the community recalled where they were in the 1940s to the 1960s and what they were doing.
MODESTO - The spirit of vintage cars and cruising is eternally captured in Modesto: the hometown of George Lucas and location where famous film American Graffitti was shot just over 40 years ago. While Lucas' famed film may not be in theaters anymore, locals keep the spirit of American Graffiti alive through the annual summertime American Graffiti Festival presented by the North Modesto Kiwanis Club.
If you squint your eyes you can see a little bit of Al Nunes in Paul Le Mat's character from American Graffiti.
RIPON – Commander Ernie Tyhurst of the Clinton McCausland Post 190 of the American Legion has a history of service to his community and to his country during his colorful lifetime. He joined the Legion four years ago and is in his second year in its leadership. He is now a life member.
RIPON – Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars' Post 1051 in Ripon, John Franscella, has served three tours aboard the U.S.S. Hancock assigned to the F-8 Fighter Squadron in the Gulf of Tonkin between 1968 and 1970.
While Memorial Day allows locals to take a moment to thank veterans for their service and sacrifice, several veteran organizations continue to contribute year-round to the community. From supporting sober graduate nights to hosting flag retirement ceremonies, veteran societies such as the American Legion support and further the goals of the community through their financial contributions.
LATHROP – Charles McGonegal is looking to boost membership at the Sharpe General Depot American Legion Post 632.
MANTECA – The briefcase sits on a ledge near the front window of the Village Sandwich Shoppe, open and overflowing with folders and paperwork.
The impact the American Legion has had on the lives of veterans – even those who don't know that the organization exists – is unquestioned.
When you visit the famous wine-growing region of Napa, perhaps there is no local attraction that captures the spirit of your journey better than a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Hop on board this historic train and you'll chug your way through scenic vineyards to wine-lover's heaven.
Zombies are on the horizon for the Sierra Dinner train chugging out of its Oakdale station this summer. Also new to the long established attraction that featured a Murder Mystery and a Christmas Train is a Beer Train that is coming in mid-August.
The last time I rode aboard the ACE train was five years ago.
Kick your seat back, look out of the window and witness the hills and mountains of the Central Valley unfolding around you - this is the experience of riding the San Joaquin Amtrak Train.
For over a year, Green Grub in Turlock has been satisfying the appetites of vegetarians by providing delicious and healthy options for their sandwiches, salads, and drinks.
"Eat your vegetables!" This is the message that greets diners at the door to the GK Mongolian Barbecue on South Main Street in Manteca.
MODESTO – Alright. We get it. You don't want a steak and you don't want chicken and fresh salmon – covered in lemon and butter and roasted over an open flame in foil – is out as well.
Greek cuisine is ideally suited to vegetarians and vegans.
The Canal Street Grille in Ripon is not without sumptuous non-meat, vegetarian selections in its lengthy menu of more than 60 items including steaks and prime rib.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Onetime 007 Pierce Brosnan embraces a darker take on spycraft in Roger Donaldson's "The November Man," playing a former CIA agent whose autumnal nickname acknowledges his tendency to leave few alive when he passes through a town. A familiar string of dark secrets, shifting allegiances and (wo)man-who-knew-too-much pursuit propels the storyline (adapted from one in a series of Bill Granger novels), giving Brosnan the opportunity to prove his cool remains intact, sans tux and gadgets. "November Man" won't do anything like Bond's box office, but will satisfy the actor's fans and moviegoers ...
LOS ANGELES (AP) - "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here," is the inscription uncovered by a gang of 20-something treasure hunters in the catacomb-hopping horror flick, "As Above, So Below." But the warning could easily apply to viewers checking out this rather hopeless mash-up of "The Descent" and "(Rec)," not to mention a dozen other found-footage movies that have clogged the screens over the last five years.
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.