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.
Finding fresh produce isn't hard in the 209.
Last summer I wasn't able to attend Manteca's Farmers Market (revamped as Market & Music in Manteca) and I wasn't about to have a repeat of that great loss this year. So on Tuesday afternoon I hopped into my old car and putt-putted my way down to Library Park for some fresh produce adventure.
What makes a good farmer's market?
Stouffer's Park in Ripon provides a lush green carpet for the Thursday farmers market from 4 to 7:30 p.m.
Although Nutcher Milk Company only made its first appearance at the Turlock Certified Farmers Market last week, Rick Nutcher reported that his family's idea to build their own creamery and bottle their own milk was years in the making.
Usually when there is an aggregation of cars in one area, it means traffic.
The first of the Friday night 'Pre-Cruise' events has been staged in Escalon, adjacent to Hula's Restaurant on Jackson Avenue, and they will continue throughout the summer. They are a popular weekly 'lead in' to the annual downtown Autumn Cruise the Escalon Lions Club hosts each September.
COLUMBIA - Barbershop quartets, Fourth of July celebrations, ice cream socials and marching bands find a home at Columbia State Park's Fallon House Theatre when Sierra Repertory Theatre presents The Music Man, June 26 – August 16.
SONORA - Fast-moving comedy comes to the East Sonora stage through June 28 in Sierra Repertory Theatre's Unnecessary Farce.
LODI - Cruise Night is back at A&W Root Beer of Lodi.
The coolest spot in the Manteca-Ripon area without the aid of air conditioning can be found along the Stanislaus River in one of the few remaining stands of riparian woodland in the Central Valley.
Buckley Cove is one of those tucked away places in the 209.
ESCALON – I used to tell my parents when I was leaving to head out to the river with my friends.
Lodi Lake has something for practically everyone.
A delicate blanket of "cotton" from falling seed pods coated the narrow path amid oaks, cottonwoods, and undergrowth.