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.
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.