PINNACLES NATIONAL MONUMENT - A puzzle to California's vast and awe-inspiring geology smorgasbord is just a few hours away.
MODESTO - In 1912, the city of Modesto held a contest to pick the slogan that would adorn an arch spanning the entrance to the Valley town. "Nobody's Got Modesto's Goat" was the winner. I'm sure residents of today's seat of Stanislaus County are extremely grateful that prior city leaders decided to go with the second place winner - "Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health."
Stanislaus County is the third richest agricultural land in the nation, with farmers growing over 250 different kinds of crops from almonds to zucchini and melons. This fertile Valley was settled long ago by farmers, but has since grown not only in agriculture but also in culture and community.
STOCKTON - The Port City gets a bad rap, no doubt.
Canada geese in such great numbers they practically blacken the sky when they fly by, or get ready to make a stop-over at the open fields.
LODI - Sunlight peeks through the lush landscape at Wine and Roses Resort and Spa as hummingbirds dart between Deodar pine trees and macaws squawk in the distance.
Delicato Vineyards in Manteca has the only tasting room in the South County area, while there is an abundance to choose from in the Lodi, Collegeville and Acampo areas to the north.
Whoever said that you had to go to Napa to get the true wine experience?
RIPON – Strings of custom built homes. Country Club neighborhoods. Scenic rural drives.
TRACY - The streets of Tracy will be transformed into Bean Town USA for an expected weekend crowd of 50,000 people on Saturday, Sept. 8, and Sunday Sept. 9, for the 26th annual Dry Bean Festival, hosted by the Tracy Chamber of Commerce.
STOCKTON – Gary Coit knows bows.
Adult club for competitive and rec swimmers
You don't have to be a member of a cycling club to enjoy this outdoor activity.
It's what dreams are made of - landing the winning kick as time expires to win a medal on the world's biggest stage, the Olympic Games. For first-time Olympian Terrence Jennings it wasn't a dream because he did just that in London, winning a bronze medal in taekwondo in the men's -68kg division.
Funtastic Gymnastics has been a part of the Manteca community for a number of years, "developing healthy, happy and responsible adults – and making it fun."
LATHROP – It can be brown and it can be murky, but it's also one of the most critical waterways in California and it has a long and storied history and has provided recreational opportunities for local residents for decades.
As a member of the Stockton Rowing Club, Kathy Brown has been in and around the San Joaquin Delta and its many tributaries.
The roads wind.
Sit in the stands at Guss Schmiedt Field on a Friday night and you're bound to experience a plethora of smells.
Those driving down Geer Road in Turlock this summer may see the unusual sight of a snowball fight. No, there's not a freak atmospheric condition that turns this part of the Central Valley into a frozen wonderland, but rather the doings of one business owner.
STOCKTON – The patio at Valley Brew during the summertime is fickle.
RIPON – Water parks do a great job of copying it.
When the weather sizzled up to 106 degree last week, Wendy Deulus took her workout to the swimming pool.
Locals looking to beat the heat without traveling to a nearby lake or pool can still cool down at the local parks in Turlock, two of which boast water facilities.
Lake Don Pedro is a favorite summer hotspot for locals looking to beat the heat and enjoy several activities lakeside but this year the ongoing drought has posed a small impact on the lake's recreational facilities.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story appeared in the April 4, 2014, edition of the Manteca Bulletin.
LATHROP – You'd notice that big, toothy grin anywhere.
Weber's BBQ & More may be still considered "out of sight, out of mind."
Mark Twain mined – pun intended – the foothills of Northern California for inspiration.
Venture to the Southern Golden Country in the Sierra foothills for a rewarding stay in one of the charming historic towns along scenic Highway 49.