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.
The world's largest "rock" isn't the Hope Diamond.
Ernie's Food & Spirits has built a reputation as one of the finest dining experiences in all the Central Valley, but the best seat in the house may not be in the building at all.
MODESTO – You don't have to be Abe Froman to get a table at Concetta.
Who says dining alfresco has to be pricey?
BIG OAK FLAT – There's no pot of gold at the end of the climb up winding Old Priest Grade in Tuolumne County.
RIPON – Every inch of the Canal Street Grille is spiced with its own charm and elegance, from the wine cellar to its formal dining room to the frosted glass.
Since 1980, El Jardin has been a favorite destination for patio dining and great Mexican cuisine in Turlock. Although diners can opt to eat inside, it is what is on the outside that attracts customers to El Jardin time and time again.
Finding fresh produce isn't hard in the 209.
Do you enjoy a challenge? What if that challenge also raises funds for an environmentally friendly cause? If you answered yes, then Tuolumne River Trust's Paddle to the Sea paddle-a-thon is for you.
STOCKTON – I've gotten to know the Calaveras River quite well over the years.
It's too bad the Mokelumne River is identified as an underutilized recreational resource with little public access.
Summer heat got you down?