GROVELAND - While Yosemite National Park is the tourist-attraction star player in the region, there are myriads of visitors' destinations that are just satisfying, visually and otherwise, just as outside of the ancient granites' gates.
A brand new shooting range has opened in Ripon at the Barnwood Arms gun shop centered in Ripon's old downtown.
The Stockton Trap and Skeet Club recently went with bio-degradable targets.
BIG OAK FLAT – There's no pot of gold at the end of the climb up winding Old Priest Grade in Tuolumne County.
The main entrance of Manteca's Bass Pro Shops stopped Ivan Soto like a deer caught in headlights.
MURPHYS - Tickets are now on sale for three more acts which have been added to the line-up of world-class performers for the 2012 Ironstone Vineyards Concert Series.
CERES - Ceres will host the 24th annual Ceres Street Faire, a free venue in Whitmore Park next to Highway 99, the weekend of May 5-6.
MODESTO - Scotland's highly acclaimed Puppet State Theatre company will bring Jean Giono's story The Man Who Planted Trees, to the Gallo Center stage on Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m.
STOCKTON - San Joaquin Delta College's Center for the Arts presents Arthur Miller's dramatization of the Salem Witch Trials in "The Crucible" at Delta's Tillie Lewis Theater, April 27 & 28, May 4 & 5 at 8 p.m., as well as April 29 and May 6 at 2 p.m.
MARIPOSA - The Mariposa County History Center is offering the first "Young John Muir" tour of the season on Saturday, May 12.
COLUTERVILLE - The 27th Annual Coyote Howl & Car Show, Saturday, May 19, at the Coulterville Park is an old-fashioned, family oriented event.
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.
RIPON – Dorothy "Dot" Veltkamp always has a couple of books on her night stand – a woman with a passion for reading since her childhood – has completed more than 25 years as a librarian mostly in Ripon.
TURLOCK – In an area filled with seemingly endless burger joints for hungry customers to choose from, it may be a difficult task for a mom-and-pop restaurant to stand out. However, AJ's Café and Grill has managed to do just that with their locally and freshly made burgers.
RIPON – It's a classic burger at the downtown Ripon Roadhouse sure to leave egg yolk running down your fingers and hands with the first bite.
MANTECA – Suzette Frese sums it up in one sentence as to why her favorite restaurant in Manteca is a dining destination.
MODESTO – It's hard to mess up a hamburger.
STOCKTON – So what makes for a good hamburger?
LODI - Want a real root beer float?