In the heart of the town that labels itself as the Gateway to Yosemite, aka Groveland, is a quaint cottage where you can relish being pampered by almost everything that is traditional English before you head out to the wilds. That place is Dori's Tea Cottage & Café at 18744 Main Street, which is also Highway 120. The famous
MODESTO – You need your porcelain. You need your finest china. And you absolutely need your tea.
ANGELS CAMP -Three miles north of Arnold off Highway 4, the colossal trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park stand in quiet testimony to prehistoric times. These massive relics, which can reach a height of 325 feet and a diameter of 33 feet, are descended from trees that were standing when dinosaurs roamed Earth, and birds, mammals and flowering plants began to appear. Some of today's trees are thought to be as old as 2,000 years.
TURLOCK – With the spookiest holiday just around the corner, the city of Turlock has both children and canines covered with events including BARKtoberfest, a downtown trick-or-treating event, and Haunted Housing at California State University, Stanislaus.
LATHROP – Trick-or-treating is so passé.
STOCKTON – Halloween in Stockton has something for folks of all ages.
Most Halloween celebrations last for just a day. At Manteca Care and Rehabilitation Center in Manteca, it will be double the fun in two days full of costumes, cupcakes, and live entertainment.
MANTECA – There's Pixie Woods in Stockton and Micke Grove in Lodi – places that offer plenty of attractions and recreational facilities for the young.
PATTERSON – Whether kids like to skate, bike, or even rollerblade, the skate park in Patterson is the only place to go according to local skateboarders Abraham Garcia-Ramos and Joel Becerril.
STOCKTON – Pixie Woods Amusement Park was once described as Stockton's own fairyland for the "young in age and young at heart."
MODESTO – "Dad – what are we going to do today?"
Its been called California's Main Street. It splits from Interstate 5 some 90 miles south of Mt. Shasta – the state's most imposing volcano – and remerges with Interstate 5 at the base of the Grapevine that takes you over the Tehachapi Mountains and dumps you into the Southland.
Forget about the Norman Rockwell touchy feely approach to pumpkins.
Since 2007, RAM Farms in Turlock has provided the community with a perfect fall destination filled with pumpkins and a challenging corn maze. Now into their 7th year, the farm proves that it is better than ever by offering even more pumpkins and hours of family fun.
Patricia Jimenez often drove along Lincoln Street in Stockton, passing many of the less fortunate in the area near the St. Mary's Interfaith Dining Room located directly underneath the Highway 4 crosstown freeway.
A favorite destination in the winter for a day or weekend playing in the snow along Highway 108 above Sonora is the family-owned and -operated Leland High Sierra Snow Play. The family likes to call their tourist attraction with a cozy Alpine feeling "the biggest and best snow play facility in the Sierra."
The best time to visit Yosemite Valley? It's now. Although the approach of spring in April usually means incredible waterfalls with relative sparse crowds, nothing beats winter for solitude on the valley floor. And with the storm that just passed by dumping plenty of snow, Yosemite Valley is a feast for the eyes with snow blanketing meadows, accenting trees, and softening the surrounding granite outcroppings.
The first big winter storm of the season is just a few degrees too warm to pepper the ski resorts closest to home with enough snow to open for the season.
You want to take the kids for a snow play date. Let's see, depending upon where the snow line is on any given day and how much of the white stuff is on the ground that is easily a two-hour one-way drive. That means traffic, driving in dangerous conditions, and dealing with anywhere from one to five kids inside a two-ton rolling box of steel. That winter family outing is starting to look less and less appealing. But you don't have to head up the mountain in search of snow fun. All you have to do is head ...
With the holiday season in full swing, blue donation barrels are popping up all over Turlock with the start of Turlock Together's collection efforts for families in need.
On Steve Parsons' desk you'll find paperwork that has each applicant assigned a number before it's catalogued and computerized.
Santa has his eye on the Hope Ministries and the Raymus House while garnering the support of Manteca churches and service clubs to add Christmas cheer to the non-profit's mission launched by the late developer Antone Raymus and his wife Marie 21 years ago.
Many people equate charity to financial donations. But individuals can be charitable with their time as well.
Royce Farms BBQ once again provided a generous donation to the Mary Graham Children's Center.
Donating is a popular way to show appreciation during the holiday season, but not every household has the funds to donate this year. In lieu of making a financial donation, a gift of time and service is just as valuable.
Statistically speaking, Americans are extremely generous. Consider the fact that in 2008, charitable giving in the United States exceeded $300 billion for the second year in a row -- despite the fact that many people in every part of the country are feeling the strains of recession and job loss.