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.
GROVELAND - It was summertime and the peak of the tourist season for the Sierra foothills town of Groveland. Two men dressed in shorts and hiking boots, and carrying serious backpacks, entered Dori's Tea Cottage causing co-owner Greg Jones to be a little apprehensive.
It's all about bonnets and boas and strainers and spoons.
I carefully composed the picture I wanted take with my camera. I was not using a tripod. So, to help steady my grip, I leaned heavily against my car from my driver's seat with the window down, and secured a firm foothold for my arms.
TURLOCK – For those walking down Main Street after dark, it is hard to ignore the sound of live music coming from downtown's Vintage Lounge and Piano Bar. What's even harder to miss is the long line of people that can be seen on weekend nights, hoping to get in to the popular venue.
MODESTO – The sharp screeches of an old jukebox.The clanking of glasses. The hum of conversation and the occasional outburst of laughter. There's really nothing like a good night out in a bad bar – well, dingy bar actually – where the beer is cheap and the friends are plentiful and the insults and the banter fly around like the smoke-filled air that used to consume the dive bars that dotted the landscape in and around Modesto.