2016 central valley visitor guide
The Central Valley is perhaps the most diverse and surprising region in the entire state. The Central Valley comprises parts of 11 counties and stretches from Kern County in the south (just north of the Tehachapi Mountains) to Fairfield, Vacaville, and Yolo County just west of Sacramento. It is home to three of the largest counties in California, embracing two national parks and part of a third. It includes some 200 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, three California State Universities, two of the University of California’s 10 campuses, and one of the busiest rail corridors in the nation: Amtrak’s San Joaquin makes 10 runs a day between Oakland and Bakersfield. The Central Valley is the birthplace of visionary filmmaker George Lucas, the rowdy branch of country music known as “The Bakersfield Sound,” and the California oil industry, itself echoed in the West Kern Oil Museum in Taft. The Central Valley is also home to a number of landmark attractions, from the Bakersfield Speedway to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, the Minter Field Air Museum for aircraft buffs, and the remarkable Haggin Museum in Stockton, with works by Gauguin to Native American artifacts. Although it is hugely agricultural—the valley produces, by some estimates as much as 45 percent of the table food served in the United States—this remarkable region is much more than a collection of farms, orchards, vineyards, dairies, and stockyards. If you haven’t yet taken time to visit just a few of the dozens of cities, town, and natural wonders to discover here, you simply don’t know what you’ve been missing. Certainly you’ll find tens of thousands of acres of land under cultivation, scattered with dozens of tiny old farming towns that seem little changed in more than a century, offering you a welcome sense of small-town friendliness. Food is truly a focus here, from nationally renowned farmer’s markets and unbeatable roadside produce stands to Hilmar Cheese Company, where you sample the savory product at a factory producing 1 million pounds of cheese every day! You’ll also find one-of-a-kind cafe’s and diners, such as the authentic Basque restaurants in Kern County or Harris Ranch Steak House near Coalinga.
You’ll discover cities and counties immersed in pioneering civic environmental and technological projects, worldclass artistic and cultural facilities, symphonies, theater companies, and museums. You’ll find virtually unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation and spectacular scenery: rafting the world-class rapids of the Kern River, hiking the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park, scrambling through Red Rock Canyon State Park near Ridgecrest, gazing in wonder at the herds of majestic elk protected at the Tule Elk Natural Reserve. The Central Valley has its fair share of outstanding wineries, rivaling the better-known regions upstate. For example, Yolo County is known for its incredibly rich soil, warm days and mild Delta breezes, yielding unforgettable wines of great character and diversity. Virtually all of Yolo County’s two-dozen wineries are family-owned and operated, including major producer Bogle Vineyards in the Clarksburg AVA. Yolo County is also home to the U.C. Davis Viticulture and Enology department, and the Mondavi Institute for Food and Wine Science. Other prominent wine regions include Suisun Valley— rustic wine country, nestled in gorgeous, uncrowded Solano County farmland between San Francisco and Sacramento; Fresno—in the heart of the Central Valley, a surprisingly good destination for wine tasting in rambling Madera County; and Lodi—the self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital of California, offering a relaxed rural atmosphere, perfectly suited to enjoying exquisite wines that are full of flavor yet soft and supple on the palate. The region is bisected by two thoroughfares, Interstate 5 and, running parallel to it slightly further east, California Highway 99. In its heyday, Highway 99 was known as “California’s Main Street,” and the highway and the municipalities that flank it are exceptionally rich in California history. The Central Valley is as rich in adventures and experiences as it is in agriculture and history. It truly is the” Greatest Garden in the World.” So take your time and come visit soon—you will be glad you did!
table of contents 4 KERN COUNTY 6 TULARE COUNTY 9 SEQUOIA NATIONAL
11 KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK 12 FRESNO COUNTY 15 CALENDAR OF EVENTS 16 MADERA COUNTY 21 YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK 22 MERCED COUNTY
24 STANISLAUS COUNTY
28 SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY 31 THE CALIFORNIA DELTA 32 SOLANO COUNTY 34 YOLO COUNTY
Bakersfield Convention and Visitors Bureau 866-425-7353; VisitBakersfield.com
Oakdale Tourism & Visitors Bureau 209-345-9264; www.VisitOakdale.com
Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau 707-399-2445; VisitFairfieldCA.com
Sacramento River Train 800-866-1690; SacramentoRiverTrain.com
Fresno/Clovis Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-788-0836; PlayFresno.org
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy 916-375-2084; DeltaConservancy.ca.gov
Fresno County Office of Tourism 559-600-4271; GoFresnoCounty.com
Sierra Railroad Dinner Train 800-866-1690; SierraRailroad.com
Hilmar Cheese Company Visitor Center 209-667-6076; HilmarCheese.com
Visit Stockton 877-778-6258; VisitStockton.org
Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center 559-651-5000; HolidayInn.com/visaliaca
Turlock Convention & Visitors Bureau 209-632-2221; VisitTurlock.org
Kern County Board of Trade 661-852-7282; VisitKern.com
Visit Vacaville 707-450-0500; VisitVacaville.com
Visit Lodi! Conference & Visitors Bureau 209-365-1195; VisitLodi.com
Visalia Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-524-0303; VisitVisalia.org
Madera Vintners Assoc.-Madera Wine Trail 800-613-0709; MaderaWineTrail.com
Wonder Valley Ranch Resort & Conference Center 800-821-2801; WonderValley.com
Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau 209-823-7229; VisitManteca.org
Yolo County Visitors Bureau 530-297-1900; Yolocvb.org
Merced Visitor Services 209-724-8104; Yosemite-Gateway.org
Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau 209-742-4567; YosemiteExperience.com
Modesto Convention & Visitors Bureau 209-526-5588; VisitModesto.com
Visit Yosemite | Madera County 559-683-4636; YosemiteThisYear.com
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To Death Valley
Sequoia National Forest
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The wild and scenic Kern provides countless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Dubbed the top paddling destination in the US by Sports Afield Magazine, the Kern offers world-class white water, and fly fishing is among the best in the West.
REd Rock Canyon State Park
discover kern river
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14 Fort Tejon State Historic Park
about kern county
Sky diving, rock climbing, biking, off-roading, skiing, kayaking, windsurfing, river rafting, fishing, golfing, auto racing, bird-watching. All these, and more, are waiting for you in Kern County. Kern is within easy reach of Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Pacific Coast, Las Vegas, Yosemite, Sequoia, and Death Valley, making it the perfect location for travel in California and the West. The wild and scenic Kern River is a mecca for outdoor activities, where beginners and professionals alike flock to its world-class rapids. The Kern River Valley is home to some of the best fishing and camping in California, with easy access to the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The county’s five recreational lakes just add to the water-based fun. Kern’s desert is home to the awe-inspiring Red Rock Canyon State Park and the living ghost town of Randsburg. You can also view the history of flight or developments in military technology at Edwards Air Force Base, Vernon P. Saxon Flight Museum, or the U.S. Naval Museum of Armament and Technology at the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. In the southern valley is Wind Wolves Preserve, the west coast’s largest non-profit preserve, offering birding hikes, full moon and blackout hikes, movies in the canyon, some of the most noteworthy Native American rock art in North America, and a herd of tule elk. More elk can be found at Tule Elk State Natural Reserve where a small herd, once in danger of extinction, is now protected. The nearby Kern National Wildlife Refuge provides optimum wintering habitat for migratory birds with an emphasis on waterfowl and water birds. Kern’s largest city, Bakersfield, is a city of festivals where there always seems to be one going on: from mac and cheese to nut, bluegrass to jazz, Greek to Scottish, Celtic to Basque, and craft beer to wine. Experience the famous “Bakersfield Sound” at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, regularly nominated as Nightclub of the Year by the Academy of Country Music. Explore the Bakersfield Museum Trail, a driving route that connects four unique and family-friendly museums. Check out Bakersfield’s thriving arts scene and First Friday ArtWalk downtown. And with more Basque restaurants than any other city in the nation, indulge yourself with Bakersfield’s unique and memorable food experiences (Guy Fieri visited in 2015 for his “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” show on the Food Network). And don’t forget Kern’s local microbreweries when you want to cap your unbeatable visit in Kern County.
local favorites & must sees BUCK OWENS’ CRYSTAL PALACE Enjoy concerts by legends and today’s hottest artists at this restaurant, museum, and theatre that focuses on the legacy of Buck Owens and the Bakersfield Sound. Boardwalks are lined with memorabilia from the careers of great country music stars. 2800 Buck Owens Blvd., Bakersfield, CA 93308 (661) 328-7560 www.buckowens.com
TEHACHAPI LOOP An engineering marvel and a must-see for train lovers of all ages, this spiral allows long trains to pass over themselves to cross the steep grade of the Sierra. It is both a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and a California Historical Landmark. Exit Highway 58 at Keene (exit 139) between Bakersfield and Tehachapi and follow the signs on Woodford-Tehachapi Road for about three miles to the markers on your left.
MUSEUMS (Various Locations) Kern County’s “Old West” heritage and our importance in the development of aviation and the petroleum industry can be found in museums throughout the county. www.visitbakersfield.com/museumtrail & www.visitkern.com/museums
RED ROCK CANYON STATE PARK You will recognize these breathtaking landscapes of desert cliffs, buttes, and spectacular rock formations that have served as backdrops for more than 100 movies over the years. 25 miles northeast of Mojave on Highway 14 (661) 946-6092 www.parks.ca.gov
Kings Canyon National Parks
Photo by Frank Miramontes Hume Lake
Sequoia National Parks
Three Rivers Woodlake
Discover 33 groves of sequoias in Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest, take a dip in one of many mountain lakes, trek to the backcountry, or spend the day exploring Balch Park by horseback!
discover 33 groves
Tulare Lindsay Hwy Hwy 137
SEquoia National Forst and Giant Sequoia National Monument
Lake Kaw eah
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about tulare county
Come play in our backyard and you’ll marvel at the biggest trees, tallest mountains, and charming downtowns full of live entertainment, rich history and stunning art. Home
Photo by Frank Miramontes
to magnificent mountains, spectacular Giant Sequoia Trees and dozens of festivals and events, Tulare County welcomes visitors with open arms. The region boasts abundant choices for camping, hiking, fishing, climbing, boating and hundreds of other outdoor activities. From history to art, shopping and entertainment to some of the most thrilling adventures on your bucket list, you’ll have an experience that is distinctly yours, and distinctly California! In Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, visitors will stand in awe of ancient Giant Sequoia Trees, the largest of which are 300 feet tall and 2300 years old. Hike or ride throughout the stunning Mineral King Valley, tour Crystal Cave, gaze thousands of feet down to the mighty Kings River, or visit in the winter for snow-play and cross-country skiing. In early spring, watch the countryside come alive with vibrant blossoming fruit trees and wildflowers. With over 240 crops produced in Tulare County annually, the region boasts spectacular farmers markets, u-pick fruit farms, a cheese-making facility and hands-on learning center devoted to helping children learn to milk a cow, squeeze fresh orange juice, and more. Also a hotspot for ‘farm-to-fork’ style cuisine, Tulare County is the perfect stop on your foodie tour through California. From local favorites to sweet treats, creative recipes and concoctions that will literally make your head spin, you will never find a destination more ready to dish it up! Savor a glass of local wine, dig in at one of our authentic Mexican restaurants, taste perfection from a gourmet chocolatier, try a locally-brewed beer with your meal, or watch the kitchen blaze from your table as the chef prepares dinner fresh from the market. Visitors to Tulare County often enjoy the vibrant destination through the lens of one of the area’s many festivals and events. Trek to the Nation’s Christmas Tree in Kings Canyon National Park, Taste the Arts each October in Visalia, celebrate the blooming Iris in Porterville, or watch chef star power in front of your eyes at Visalia’s Taste of Downtown. Be inspired by the same grandeur that struck painters, writers, musicians, and photographers from centuries ago. As you stroll through the region’s communities you’ll be awestruck by more than one hundred murals that adorn the city streets. Whether your passion is history, art, food, or wild adventure, the Sequoia region offers unlimited opportunities to our guests, and invites travelers to experience the flavor and culture of our destination amongst unrivaled and dynamic natural beauty.
local favorites & must sees COLONEL ALLENSWORTH STATE PARK Visit this CA State Park that showcases the commitment, pride, ownership and equality of African Americans in the early 1900’s. See the old schoolhouse, baptist church, homes, and early hotel. www.parks.ca.gov/allensworth
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK AND SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST Trek to the world’s largest living tree, explore uderground caves, hike the stunning waterfalls, and discover some of the Sierra’s best vistas! NP (559) 565-3341 www.nps.gov/seki NF (559) 784-1500 www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia
SEQUOIA SHUTTLE Relax onboard a Shuttle from Visalia, Exeter or Three Rivers into Sequoia National Park and explore some of Sequoia’s most popular destinations. 425 E. Oak Ave. Visalia, CA 93291 (877) 287-4453 www.sequoiashuttle.com
TULARE COUNTY MURALS Various Locations Take a self-guided tour to discover over 100 ‘concrete canvases’ that adorn the Valley’s city streets. From Exeter to Porterville, Dinuba, Tulare and Visalia, this art is truly one-of-a-kind!
TULARE OUTLET CENTER Located right off of Highway 99, these outlets are your Central California shopping mecca! Stop into Banana Republic, Gap, Nike, Levi and more for excellent prices and unbeatable quality! 1407 Retherford St. Tulare, CA 93274 (559) 684-9091 www.tulareoutletcenter.com
VISALIA RAWHIDE BASEBALL Pack your peanuts and foam finger! Meet for dinner in Downtown Visalia and take the Towne Trolly to the game. (559) 732-4433 www.RawhideBaseball.com
SEQUOIA N AT I O N A L
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5 must sees >>> GENERAL SHERMAN TREE: The General Sherman Tree Loop 1/2 mile trail descends upon some of the most magnificent trees in the National Park and culminates at the base of the General Sherman Tree--the world’s largest living tree. Relax at convenient benches that line the trail along the way. If you only have time to do one thing in the Sequoias, choose this! MORO ROCK: Spectacular views of the Great Western Divide
Photo by Frank Miramontes
Towering and majestic, visitors are often awestruck by the sheer size and grandeur of Sequoia National Park’s Giant Sequoia trees. Travelers from all corners of the world enjoy biking, climbing, camping, swimming, kayaking, spelunking, and more in several stunning groves of Sequoias. A perfect playground for all seasons, nearly unlimited array outdoor adventures await. Hike through the Mineral King Valley, gaze thousands of feet down the mighty Kings River, or visit in the winter for Ranger-led snowshoe walks. Special Note for Winter Travelers: Call the National Park Service general information 24-hour recording for current road and weather conditions at (559) 565-3341.
and western half of the Park await you atop this giant granite dome. Trust us: the steep 1/4 mile staircase to the summit is well worth the photo op at the top. And it’s only 400 steps!
SEQUOIA SHUTTLE: Maximize your visit to Sequoia National Park and leave your car behind while you enjoy destinations throughout the Giant Forest including Giant Forest Museum, Sherman Tree, Moro Rock, Lodgepole Visitor Center and Campground, Crescent Meadow, and Wuksachi Lodge. MINERAL KING VALLEY: Take a scenic drive to Mineral King in Sequoia National Park for sweeping views and vistas of the East Fork of the Kaweah River and adjacent mountains. The road is not for the faint of heart, as it ascends in tight curves for 25 miles (1.5 hours one-way) along a steep, narrow road. The drive, while daunting, is well worth your time. At the end of the road you will be rewarded with the opportunity to hike or peer into some of the most stunning and accessible high country in the Sierra Nevada.
CRYSTAL CAVE: Sequoia National park’s majestic, towering forests will have visitors looking skyward at the big trees, but don’t forget to look down, too. One of 270 caves hidden throughout the park, Crystal Cave offers visitors a remarkable peek beneath the surface of the Sierras. Formed of marble, Crystal Cave in California’s Sequoia National Park is decorated with curtains of icicle-like stalactites and mounds of stalagmites. Photo by Frank Miramontes
sequoia national park
Explore the Sounds
. . . the Outdoors
. . . the Arts
. . . the Bounty
KINGS CANYON N AT I O N A L PA R K
Photo by Frank Miramontes
5 must sees >>> BIG STUMP TRAIL: Take this 2-mile hiking loop through Big Stump Basin just after the entrance to Kings Canyon National Park for a less-crowded look at the old growth sequoia, grassy meadows, wildflowers, and many huge stumps resulting from logging of the original forest.
GENERAL GRANT TREE: The General Grant Tree is located in Grant Grove along the .3 mile loop trail. Estimated to be 1,800-2,000 years old, it is called the Nation’s Christmas Tree and is dedicated to the Men and Women of the Armed Forces with a wreath-laying ceremony held each December.
Photo by Frank Miramontes
One of Central California’s most picturesque road trips, Kings Canyon National Parks offers both unparalleled sightseeing and extreme adventure! The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway winds travelers along the cliffs and drops into a beautiful valley below. Known for spectacular scenery, diverse terrain, and canyon walls that fade into clouds thousands of feet above, visitors to this National Park are often surprised by the solitude they find, even in the summer months. Special Note for Winter Travelers: Call the National Park Service general information 24-hour recording for current road and weather conditions at (559) 565-3341.
ROARING RIVER FALLS: Roaring River Falls is located just off Highway 180 inside the Kings Canyon Valley and welcomes visitors with a spectacular show. The falls take a 40-foot dive over a narrow ledge, frothing and churning to give visitors an up-close view of Mother Nature’s astonishing marvels.
ZUMWALT MEADOW: Visit this stunning meadow with high granite walls for one of the best day hikes in Kings Canyon National Park. The short, 1.5 mile trail offers visitors views of the canyon, meadows, wildflowers, rushing river, Giant Sequoia trees, and more! The trailhead begins at the Zumwalt Meadow parking area, just west of Road’s End past Cedar Grove Village in Kings Canyon National Park. THE ROAD’S END: It really is what it sounds like! Reach the end of this road in the beautiful Kings Canyon for a permit “jumping-off” point for many of the National Park’s most famous and beautiful backcountry trails: Bubbs Creek, Woods Creek, Copper Creek, and Lewis Creek.
Photo by Frank Miramontes
kings canyon national park
To Yosemite National Park
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Kingsburg Map not to scale and is intended for reference only.
The Fresno Chaffee Zooâ€™s newest attraction, the $56 million 13-acre African Adventure, offers guests a wildlife experience unparalleled in zoos today. The interactive exhibit features lions, elephants, cheetahs, rhinos and other African species in a state-of-the-art exhibit emulating African plains and savannas, including a giraffe feeding station and the Kopje Lodge Restaurant where guests can dine while watching the animals. Other new Zoo attractions include the national award-winning Sea Lion Cove, uniquely featuring sea lions, seals, and pelicans and an underwater viewing area; Stingray Bay, where guests touch or feed the rays; Valley Farm, where guests interact with Sequoia a variety ofPark animals native to the Central Valley; and Dino Dig, National where guests excavate a full-size T-Rex.
Ave. 400 198
about fresno county Fresno County, the nation’s largest agricultural county boasting more than 360 different crops, is the regional center for Agritourism. Visitors are encouraged to experience Fresno County’s bounty, available fresh from the farm at farm stores, authentic farmer’s markets and harvest festivals, and prepared fresh by creative chefs in the many unique, locally owned restaurants. Additionally, the County is home to many boutique wineries that continue the family farm tradition. Each spring, visitors flock to the world famous Fresno County Blossom Trail, which showcases blossoming stone fruit orchards and citrus groves. Every May through September, the Fresno County Fruit Trail offers a self-guided tour of fruit stands, country farm stores, agricultural-themed local businesses, and farmer’s markets for visitors to tour, taste and purchase fresh fruit and other agricultural items direct from the farmers, while also enjoying the many agriculture-themed small-town festivals. In the Fall, the Citrus and Fall Foliage Trail guides visitors through the colorful orchards and the many unique holiday festivals and events, including Fresno’s famous Christmas Tree Lane. The County is home to California State University, Fresno, which boasts the nation’s first enology program licensed to produce and sell wine on a university campus. Building on this success, local small wineries are flourishing, and visitors can taste wines poured directly by the winemaker. Local wineries and microbreweries host popular seasonal events. Visitors from around the world are fascinated by the National Historic Register’s Forestiere Underground Gardens, where Baldassare Forestiere spent 40 years carving out his unique subterranean garden home with architecture reflecting his Italian heritage. Other distinctive regional gardens included the Shinzen Japanese Friendship Garden, Clovis Botanical Garden, Garden of the Sun, and the Deutsch Cactus Garden. Recreational options abound throughout the County, including skiing, snowboarding, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, camping, horseback riding, hiking, golf, backpacking, birding, cycling, water sports, fishing, hunting, and OHV off-roading. Shaver Lake’s premier Camp Edison offers resort-type amenities. For those who prefer watching over participating, Fresno Grizzlies baseball (Houston Astros AAA team), and major college football, basketball and other sports at Fresno State offer exciting competition. For families, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s newest attraction is the African Adventure, a 13-acre exhibit with 360 degree views featuring lions, elephants, cheetahs, white rhinos, giraffes, and other African animal species in a spectacular naturalistic environment which also includes a dine-in restaurant. The Chaffee Zoo is located in Roeding Park, also home to Rotary Storyland and Playland featuring a number of rides and attractions.
Clovis, and Kingsburg’s Swedish Village. The Fresno/Clovis metropolitan area is home to three major regional indoor/outdoor shopping areas, and the surrounding small towns offer unique shops and eateries in individually unique settings. Fresno County is the cultural and entertainment hub of the San Joaquin Valley, offering regional museums, theatres, concert halls, sports facilities and performance arenas. Fresno is home to a philharmonic orchestra, ballet, opera, and many renowned local live theater groups.
local favorites & must sees FRESNO COUNTY BLOSSOM TRAIL In Springtime tradition, enjoy panoramas of orchards full of fruit trees alive with fragrance and bursting with blossoms. www.goblossomtrail.com
FRESNO COUNTY FRUIT TRAIL Celebrate the beauty, flavor, and culture of this region. Enjoy orchards full of fruit bursting with California Grown flavor, Nature’s best from the biggest agricultural county in the world. www.gofruittrail.com
FORESTIERE UNDERGROUND GARDENS Take a subterranean journey in this historic landmark patterned after the ancient Roman catacombs. See fruit-bearing trees and grapes growing beneath the surface. A rustic underground oasis of a by-gone era. 5021 W. Shaw Ave. Fresno, CA 93722 (559) 271-0734 www.undergroundgardens.com
HARRIS RANCH RESTAURANT AND COUNTRY STORE Designed as an oasis where travelers might stop, rest, and enjoy the bounty of our harvest, Harris Ranch is a showcase for homegrown Harris Ranch Restaurant Reserve Beef, fruits, and vegetables. 24505 W. Dorris Ave. Coalinga, CA 93210 (800) 942-2333 www.harrisranch.com
OLD TOWN CLOVIS Proud of its western heritage, Old Town Clovis boasts small town charm combining the area’s history with today’s amenities, including unique restaurants and café’s, popular pubs and microbrews, antiques and collectibles, spas and salons, museum and public art, boutiques, and specialty gift shops. Visitors can stop in at the Tarpey Depot Visitor’s Center for maps, brochures, and the current schedule of Old Town’s many seasonal festivals and events. www.oldtownclovis.org
For those looking to shop, Fresno County offers unique shopping locales, including Fresno’s eclectic Tower District, the upscale Fig Garden Village, the Old-West-themed Old Town
central valley calendar of events
KC- Kern County FC- Fresno County MCC- Merced County SJC- San Joaquin County TC- Tulare County MC- Madera County STC- Stanislaus County SC- Solano County YC- Yolo County
Fish Camp To YOsemite National Park
Whisky Snomobile Area
41 Eastman Lake Recreation Area
Hensley Lake Recreation Area
Ave 20 1/2 Madera Lake Park and Recreation Area
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Bass Lake was named one of the “West’s Best Lakes” by Sunset Magazine. Bass Lake combines beautiful views of the Sierra National Forest with emerald water. Bass Lake has excellent fishing, boating, watersports, and more on the water, as well as hiking, biking, shopping, and excellent dining off the water. Lodging options are tremendous, as Bass Lake has camping, cabins, luxurious vacation rentals, and a full service resort all moments from the water’s edge.
discover bass lake
about madera county Madera County is known as California’s Gateway to Yosemite. But more than providing the most popular route to the iconic national park, Madera County is a destination in its own right, with numerous attractions and activities that make for the perfect vacation retreat. The best way to see it all is to take the Fossil to Falls Trail, an epic road trip that encompasses some beautiful scenery, fun attractions, and plenty of excitement. The journey starts at the Fossil Discovery Center in Chowchilla. This museum showcases the fossilized remains of saber-toothed cats, Colombian Mammoths, and other massive animals that once roamed the San Joaquin Valley over 700,000 years ago. Enjoy locally-grown produce at a variety of stores and farms. Valley Pistachio showcases countless products all farmed right here in Madera County. Home Grown Cellars demonstrates why Madera is known as the Heart of Pomegranate Country and the diversity of this heart-healthy fruit. They also have a seasonal butterfly sanctuary. Madera is home to many of the award winning, family-owned wineries of the Madera Wine Trail. Many of the restaurants, such as The Vineyard, specialize in locally-grown, seasonal foods where the ingredients go from the field to your plate in the same day. Coarsegold is located along Highway 41, the same road that takes you right into Yosemite. The town has central California’s largest tribal casino and hosts some immensely popular events each year, such as the Coarsegold Tarantula Festival in October and the Peddler’s Fair each Memorial and Labor Day weekend. Oakhurst is the largest community in the foothills, boasting a wide array of lodging opportunities, the popular Golden Chain Theatre with a talented cast putting on live theatre productions, and central California’s only 5-star restaurant, Erna’s Elderberry House. Oakhurst also boasts a multitude of museums, with everything from the Children’s Museum of the Sierra to the Fresno Flats Historic Park. North Fork is a small logging town known for being in the exact geographic center of California and as a starting point for the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway. This 100-mile trek takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine and is known as a “Secret Yosemite”. Spots like Mile High Overlook and the Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoias make the byway a beloved spot to camp, hike, and explore for those who know of this hidden gem.
local favorites & must sees FOSSIL DISCOVERY CENTER Meet and learn about Columbian Mammoths, Saber-Toothed Cats, Short-Faced Bear, Ground Sloths, Camels, and more from over a half a million years ago. (559) 665-7107 www.maderamammoths.org
MADERA WINE TRAIL A must do for wine enthusiasts, California’s oldest wine region features award winning wines from family owned wineries. (800) 613-0709 www.maderawinetrail.com
SIERRA VISTA SCENIC BYWAY Known as a “Secret Yosemite”, this 100 mile journey offers beautiful vistas, Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoia’s, Globe Rock, and more. www.yosemitethisyear.com/itineraries
YOSEMITE MOUNTAIN SUGAR PINE RAILROAD As you head back up toward Yosemite, you’ll find the small town of Fish Camp. There is the wildly popular Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad which is an historic steam engine ride through the Sierra National Forest. You can also strike it rich with gold panning lessons, learn about the rich history of the region at the Thornberry Museum, and find some great gifts at the railroad’s gift shop. There’s much more available along the Fossils To Falls Trail, enough to make your vacation about more than just the destination, but about the journey.
Ride back in time aboard a Shay locomotive, pan for gold, visit the Thornberry Museum, and enjoy a delicious BBQ dinner during the Moonlight Specials. (seasonal) (559) 683-7273 www.yosemitesteamtrains.com
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK From the soaring cliffs and thundering waterfalls to the verdant meadows with towering Sequoias, Yosemite National Park is where Mother Nature shows off. (559) 683-4636 www.yosemitethisyear.com
Find out more at www.yosemitethisyear.com.
YOSEMITE N AT I O N A L PA R K
5 must sees >>> TUOLUMNE MEADOWS: On the east side of Yosemite, visitors can explore Tuolumne Meadows and the Tuolumne River which quietly meanders through its meadow channel and cascades over the granite river bottom against a backdrop of rugged mountain peaks and glacially carved domes. PIONEER YOSEMITE HISTORY CENTER- WAWONA: Photo by Frank Miramontes
Yosemite celebrated its 150th year as a state park in 2014, dating back to Abraham Lincoln and the Yosemite Grant of 1864. In 1890 it was formally declared a national park, and today is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United States. Of the innumerable highlights, some of the most recognizable include: Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls with a drop of more than 600 feet, Yosemite Falls, recognized as the tallest waterfall in North America, and Tuolumne Meadows that sits at 8,600 feet in altitude. Other must-see attractions are the many groves of majestic giant sequoia trees, the scenic Tioga Pass Road, panoramic Glacier Point, and the Wawona Hotel and Resort. For most visitors, the Central Valley is the ideal gateway to the Park, with roads leading in to the various entrances from Stockton, Modesto, Merced, and, of course Madera County (which actually contains the southeast corner of the Park). From the city of Madera, the south entrance is about an hour’s drive. Even closer, the County’s Summerdale Campground (20 minutes south of the Park) was just declared one of Sunset Magazine’s 50 favorite campsites in the West. The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016! The Centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship of America’s national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs. Join the celebration to explore, learn, discover, be inspired, or simply have fun in over 400 national parks. To learn more about the National Park anniversaries, visit www.nps.gov/yose/anniversary or to participate in the Find Your Park campaign, go to www.findyourpark.com.
Travel back to the 19th century at the Pioneer History Center, where you will be greeted by hosts and hostesses dressed in costumes from that era. Guided tours describing important periods of Yosemite’s development take place from the Fourth of July until Labor Day.
GLACIER POINT: Walk to the edge for one of the most spectacular overlooks on earth. This perch, 3,214 feet above the Valley floor, is an eagle’s view of many popular landmarks of Yosemite. The turn-off is at Chinquapin, between Mariposa Grove and the Wawona Tunnel.
TUNNEL VIEW: On Highway 41 is one of the most photographed vistas in the world. It provides a panoramic view of Yosemite Valley, including El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Rocks, and Bridalveil Falls. Be prepared to pull into the parking area to the right or left immediately past the tunnel. Open year round. YOSEMITE VALLEY: Park your car here in Day Parking or at the Yosemite Lodge and hop on the Yosemite Valley Shuttle. See Yosemite Falls, Ansel Adams Gallery, Indian Museum, the historic Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Lodge, gift stores & eateries, Curry Village, Happy Isles with access to Vernal and Nevada Falls, and Mirror Lake.
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Experience aviation adventures as you peek into the cockpits of 56 vintage airplanes from World War II to the present. Castle Air Museum represents history in a way the whole family can share. Visit the gift shop and take home a piece of history. 5050 Santa Fe Dr. Atwater, CA 95301 (209) 732-2178 www.castleairmuseum.org
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about merced county Merced County, almost 2,000 square miles in area, is, like all the counties in the Central Valley, highly agricultural. But
Photo by Frank Miramontes
it is best-known among visitors traveling from the north as the crossroads where you turn east to reach Yosemite National Park. But there’s more to Merced than a stop sign and an arrow onwards. The City’s historic downtown contains restaurants, shops, movie theaters, the glorious Mainzer Performing Arts Theater (considered a gem of historic architecture), and the equally beautiful Italianate Renaissance Merced Old County Courthouse, built in 1875. The Merced County Museum, which explores local history, is housed inside the Courthouse. At the other end of the chronological spectrum, in 2005 the city saw the opening of the tenth campus in the University of California system, just beyond the northeast edge of town and just south of Lake Yosemite. The lake, in fact, feeds two picturesque canals that run through the campus. Several attractions and activities in the city and the surrounding area draw visiting families and others. Applegate Park and Zoo is small but especially beloved by children, the skate park is always popular, and Bear and Black Rascal Creeks both feature beautiful riparian bike trails. Recreationally, though, the star of the show is Lake Yosemite, a reservoir about five miles northeast of town. This lake was the “secret location” used on Mythbusters to test a James Bond movie stunt. The lake is a matchless venue for boating, jet skis, water skiing, swimming (in designated areas only), and more. A full-service marina rents paddleboats, kayaks, and jet skis. Picnic areas and a small playground are on shore. Thursday evenings, the Lake Yosemite Sailing Association hosts sailboat races here. Minutes north of Merced, the Castle Air Museum features one of the largest displays of vintage aircraft in California, arrayed over 11 acres. Highlights include rarities such as the Lockheed SR71Blackbird (one of only 19 still intact) and an enormous Convair B-36, an aeronautical behemoth with no fewer than 10 engines (one of only four still in existence).
A few minutes northwest of the museum, the Hilmar Cheese Company produces more than a million pounds of cheese each day. This is the largest cheese producing facility on the planet and includes a gift shop, café, and tours.
Photo by Frank Miramontes
local favorites & must sees APPLEGATE PARK AND ZOO Go wild in Merced’s first city park. See native wild animals at the Applegate Zoo or head to Kiddyland amusement park and ride the train around the park’s 23 acres. In addition, the park features picnic areas, a rose garden, and is home to Laura’s Fountain. 1045 W. 25th St. Merced, CA 95340 (209) 385-6855 www.cityofmerced.org
BUCHANAN HOLLOW NUT COMPANY See how pistachios, almonds, and other local nuts are produced in the area with a tour of this processing and packaging company. Samples are available and gift packs can be shipped. 6510 Minturn Rd. Le Grand, CA 95333 (800) 532-1500 www.BHNC.com
HILMAR CHEESE COMPANY VISITOR CENTER See the “Big Cheese!” Hilmar Cheese Company produces more than a million pounds of cheese each day. Free tours and viewing windows with complimentary cheese samples are available. Check out the delicious food, cafe, espresso, ice cream and gift shop. 9001 N. Lander Avenue, Hilmar, California 95324 (209) 656-1196 www.hilmarcheese.com
MERCED COURTHOUSE MUSEUM On the National Register of Historic Places, the County Courthouse was designed in 1875 by state capital architect, Albert A. Bennett. In addition to the temporary exhibits, the museum’s permanent collection includes a blacksmith shop, turn-of-the century schoolhouse, and Indian artifacts. 21st & N Streets Merced, CA 95340 (209) 732-2401 www.mercedmuseum.org
MERCED FRUIT BARN Sample their locally grown dried fruit and gourmet nuts. Enjoy fresh-cut fruit, a salad, or one of their delicious deli sandwiches in their charming dining room or outdoors on one of their shaded picnic areas while visiting their barnyard animal. Your family or tour group will have a day to remember. 4526 California 140, Merced, CA 95340 (209) 385-2222 www.mercedfruitbarn.com
THE VISTA RANCH AND CELLARS The magnificent 20-acre destination property is located on Highway 140, minutes east of Merced on the road to Yosemite National Park. It is a perfect stop for locals and travelers alike. Visit their tasting room and enjoy delicious local wines. 7326 California 140, Merced, CA 95340
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As one of only a handful of arts centers in the Central Valley, the Carnegie Arts Center is a premiere visual arts center. 250 N. Broadway Ave, Turlock, CA 95380 (209) 632-5761 www.carnegieartsturlock.org
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about stanislaus county When you visit Stanislaus County, you will be delighted to discover a vibrant, diverse destination. From lively music festivals to delicious culinary events and everything in between, there’s something for everyone. Each of our nine cities has unique things to offer. They are richly historic yet very modern with iconic architecture and music that is second to none. In Stanislaus County, agriculture is a very important way of life. It is inspiring when you drive down the country roads and see the abundant crops, farms, and beautiful blooming orchards that truly feed the world. Taste honey and other honeybee items at Beekman and Beekman’s original 104-year-old farmhouse. Dutch Hollow Farms ia a Springtime sensation with over 100,000 colorful tulips. Fiscalini Cheese, established in 1914, makes a variety of farmstead cheeses and milks 3,000 Holstein cows. Lilly of the Valley Alpaca Farm features rare, gentle, and charming animals. Oakdale Cheese makes 12 varieties of Gouda, from the original family recipes from Holland. Rodin Ranch has a rich tradition of family farming nuts and fruit. Stewart & Jasper Orchards is a family run business for over 65 years that produces dried fruits, nuts, and so much more. With world class attractions and exceptional arts and entertainment, Modesto is known as the art and cultural hub of the Central Valley. Check out the historic State Theatre originally opened in 1934 or the state-of-the-art Gallo Center for the Arts which showcases internationally renowned performers and productions. The Gallo Center is also home to the symphony, opera, ballet, and the Modesto Community Concert Association. Modesto is the cruising car capital! Visitors can enjoy car shows, concerts, and a classic car parade with more than 1200 classic cars. Turlock is home to California State University, Stanislaus. The Carnegie Arts Center is a premiere visual arts center featuring world class exhibits. The Turlock Swap Meet is one of the premier events in the hobby of restoring, collecting antiques, and classic automobiles in the nation. Steeped in cowboy lore, Oakdale proudly holds on to its heritage as the Cowboy Capital of the World. Visit the Cowboy Museum, take a ride on the historic Sierra Railroad, the third oldest shortline railroad in North America. Patterson’s Del Puerto Canyon is known for bird watching! This canyon is Stanislaus County’s most diverse natural environment with habitats ranging from grasslands to chaparral and blue oak woodland to pines. Over 150 species of birds have been observed in Del Puerto Canyon. This is a must-see birding spot. Stanislaus County is host to a variety of events and festivals including the Modesto Marathon in March, Oakdale PRCA Rodeo in April, the Oakdale Chocolate Festival in May, Graffiti Summer in Modesto during June, the Patterson Apricot Festival in June, X-Fest in August, and the Riverbank Cheese and Wine Festival in October. Come and spend the night and experience the excitement, energy and tastes of our unique destination, Stanislaus County.
local favorites & must sees HISTORICAL GRAFFITI CRUISE ROUTE The infamous Graffiti Cruise Route in Modesto inspired George Lucas‘s 1973 movie ‘American Graffiti’. Read the 25 kiosks lining the Cruise Route and learn about the iconic hot rod history that lies in Modesto’s streets. www.modestocruiseroute.com
THE GREAT VALLEY MUSEUM Watch the universe unfold in the new, state-of-the-art 40’ diameter digital planetarium & view life-size dioramas of local wildlife in their unique habitats. A very unique experience. Modesto Junior College West Campus 2201 Blue Gum Ave. Modesto, CA 95358 (209) 575-6196 www.mjc.edu/instruction/sme/gvm
THE OAKDALE COWBOY MUSEUM Promotes and preserves the western heritage of the Central Valley by honoring the ranching and rodeo traditions. 355 East F St, Oakdale, CA 95361 (209) 847-7049 www.OakdaleCowboyMuseum.org
THE HOUSE OF BEEF 30 Years of experience, home of the seasoned tri-tip, family owned & operated. Also provides custom ranch butchering, smoking, curing and custom bbq catering. 201 N. 3rd Ave, Oakdale, CA 95361 (209) 847-5991 www.houseofbeef.com
TURLOCK FLEA MARKET The Turlock Sales Yard opened in 1938 and has cultivated one of the largest weekday flea markets over the last 80 years; averaging 300-500 vendors every Tuesday. 2000 East Ave, Turlock, CA 95380 (209) 667-4441 www.turlockfleamarket.com
SANC OJOAQUIN UNTY
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This stunning art and history museum has been referred to by Sunset Magazine as â€œone of the undersung gems of California. 1201 N. Pershing Ave, Stockton, CA 95203 (209) 940-6300 www.hagginmuseum.org
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about san joaquin county At just under 1,400 square miles in area, San Joaquin County lies well north in the Central Valley at a unique point where the two main northern and southern routes in California--the historic State Highway 99 and the more modern Interstate 5--come close to meeting before diverging again. San Joaquin County is overflowing with agricultural bounty and also packed with unique and memorable visitor attractions. There are three principal cities in San Joaquin County: Stockton is the largest, Manteca lies to the south, and Lodi is to the north. These cities and others offer a multitude of opportunities to get out and experience first-hand the fresh bounty of our land. Pick up a San Joaquin County Farm Guide and Map at a local visitors centers and learn about the many farm stands and markets countywide. The countless opportunities for sampling fresh products of the County’s farms, orchards, and vineyards include the Lodi Wine Trail with more than 80 wineries surrounding the city of Lodi (and many more dotted throughout the County), farm stands and bakeries, u-pick farms, farmer’s markets, and more. In Manteca, Bass Pro Shops is a truly unique visitor favorite for everyone, even visitors who aren’t fans of fishing. This is a true showplace, from the drive-through tree at the entrance, the 24,000-gallon freshwater aquarium, the 30-foot-tall replica of Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome, and to the full-scale waterfall (which visitors can even walk under). Other attractions include a vineyard, history museum, farmer’s market, 48-lane bowling alley, a highly developed citywide system of bikeways, the 260-acre Caswell Memorial State Park (for picnicking, hiking, fishing, swimming, and camping), a competitive BMX Race Track, and Big League Dreams Sports Park. Stockton is a unique city. As the state’s first inland seaport, Stockton is connected to San Francisco Bay by a 60mile channel and home to the first chartered university in California. University of the Pacific opened in 1852 and moved to Stockton in 1921. Young visitors to Stockton love the city’s Pixie Woods Amusement Park and the Children’s Museum of Stockton. Sunset magazine considers the city’s Haggin Museum “one of the undersung gems of California” with a collection that includes everything from works by Gauguin to Native American artifacts. And the Stockton Cambodian Buddhist Temple features 25 statues depicting the life of the Cambodian Buddha, including a 50-foot-long reclining statue that you have to see to believe! In addition to its Wine Trail, cycling is a popular attraction for Lodi visitors who can enjoy short, scenic vineyard rides or longer enthusiastic treks. Outdoor recreation abounds in this charming destination which features kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking, skydiving, and more. Lodi is also home to a variety of educational attractions including the World of Wonders Science Museum, San Joaquin County Historical Museum, Micke Grove Zoo, and Hill House Museum. Visitors interested in the arts can enjoy music and theatrical
performances at Hutchins Street Square Performing Arts Theatre or peruse local art galleries in Downtown Lodi. The historic downtown also features one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques, restaurants and tasting rooms. San Joaquin County is a diverse collection of agriculture, attractions, and adventures. Come on out and discover it for yourself!
local favorites & must sees BASS PRO SHOP 120,000 square-foot store: recently named the #1 outdoor retailer in America by Sporting Goods Business Magazine. Located in the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley. 1356 Bass Pro Dr, Manteca, CA 95337 (209) 825-8400 www.basspro.com
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF STOCKTON The educational experience starts when you step through the door. Museum features hands-on exhibits that will enhance a child’s understanding of how the world works. 402 W. Weber Ave, Stockton, CA 95203 (209) 465.4396 www.childrensmuseumofstockton.org
DELICATO VINEYARDS Take a tour of the fifth largest family-owned winery in the world. After your tour, stop by the tasting room and sample some of their award-winning wines. 12001 99 Frontage Road, Manteca, CA 95336 (209) 824-3500 www.delicato.com
MICKE GROVE REGIONAL PARK AND ZOO This 258-acre oak tree park features a zoo, the Japanese Garden, Tea Pavillion, Koi Pond, Fun Town and is home to the San Joaquin Historical Museum. 11793 N. Micke Grove Rd, Lodi, CA 95240 (209) 953-8840 www.mgzoo.com
WORLD OF WONDERS SCIENCE MUSEUM It is a fun, exciting place where children and adults can learn about the world around them. 2 N. Sacramento St, Lodi, CA 95240 (209) 368-0969 www.wowsciencemuseum.org
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Bold New Design. FREE WIFI • KIDS STAY FREE • TRUCK PARKING PET FRIENDLY • FREE MORNING COFFEE Manteca Convention and Visitors Bureau Phone: (209) 823-7229 www.visitmanteca.org Visitor Center: 1422 Grove Avenue, Manteca, CA 95336
Motel 6 Merced CA
1983 East Childs Avenue | Merced, CA 95341 (209) 384-1303 | motel6.com
Great wineries. Gorgeous countryside. Bicycling galore. Year-round recreation. Farmers markets and farm tours. Festivals and family fun. Yolo County has something for everyone. Come discover California’s most welcoming – and surprising – destination!
Yolo County ~ Always in Season!
COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU
www.VisitYolo.com • (530) 297-1900 132 E St. #200, downtown Davis
California’s Delta is a diverse and rich area in the heart of California. The Delta contains some 1,100 miles of levees and waterways, an irreplaceable ecosystem, and a robust economy and culture that revolve around agriculture. The Delta is home to more than 55 species of fish and 750 species of plants, and provides habitat for numerous species of migratory birds. This natural diversity lends itself to a variety of activities including birding in the Cosumnes River Preserve, floating down the river on a boat to fish, or relaxing at one of the many State and County parks or marinas. Many festivals and events offer a sampling of the Delta lifestyle including the Rio Vista Bass Derby, the Sandhill Crane Festival, and Courtland Pear Fair. The fishing and the boating community gets into the holiday spirit every December with lighted boat parades in Discovery Bay, the Delta Loop, and Stockton. The Delta’s waterways are not just for fishing and boating. Windsurfing and kayaking are also welcome activities and great ways to see the landscape. The levees and levee roads also provide opportunities for recreation, including bicycling, motorcycling, and car trips. Approximately 500,000 acres of highly productive agricultural lands supports specialty crops such as asparagus, pears, wine grapes, and various table vegetables and feed crops. This agricultural wealth provides opportunities for sampling the
fresh products of the Delta’s farms, especially wine. Clarskburg and Lodi boast numerous wineries and vineyards that provide wine tasting year-round. Many wineries also provide the perfect venue for weddings and other special events. The Delta Farmer’s Market in Isleton provides an opportunity to taste and take home many of the Delta’s fine products. Brentwood offers an extensive farm trail inviting visitors to a myriad of u-pick farms and wineries. Restaurants serving local vegetables, wines, and fish dot the landscape providing nourishment and respite from adventures in the Delta. The Delta’s rich cultural landscape is home to several historically significant legacy communities including Bethel Island, Clarksburg, Courtland, Freeport, Hood, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Rio Vista, Ryde, and Walnut Grove. Locke, the largest remaining town built by early Chinese immigrants is a National Historic Landmark District. The Ryde Hotel and the Grand Island Mansion also provide a step back in time with their stately presence, opulent brunches, and space for many a special occasion. Sprinkled around the Delta are approximately 70 bridges and drawbridges. Where bridges are not practical, but crossing necessary, car ferries still operate. The ferries and drawbridges are a great reminder to slow down and enjoy the magical place that is California’s Delta. For more information visit: www.DeltaConservancy.ca.gov
the california delta
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The Vacaville Museum offers interpretive exhibits, associated programs, events, and workshops on the history of Solano County. 213 Buck Ave, Vacaville, CA 95688 (707) 447-4513 www.vacavillemuseum.org
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about solano county Escape the mundane routine of everyday life and head to a most unexpected destination, Solano County! What you don’t know about this vacation hotspot may surprise you. And once you discover Solano County, you’ll find there is still plenty more to see and do. Centrally located between Sacramento and San Francisco, Solano County is a family and budget-friendly solution for weekend getaways or week long explorations beyond California’s urban gateways.
largest indoor shopping mall in Solano County or head over to the Vacaville Premium Outlets for the ultimate outlet shopping experience. Family fun…check. Wineries…check. World-class shopping…check. Outdoor adventures…check. Museums…check. So what are you waiting for? Come experience the fun in Solano County!
Budget-minded families will find familiar brand hotels ideal. Many include all-suite properties with “kids eat free” options and free breakfast, plus kitchenettes and barbecues for your convenience. Whether you’re seeking to pass time in comfort or in need of somewhere to collapse after a full-day of fun, there’s a pillow with your name on it. Featuring indoor and outdoor pools, jacuzzis, spa treatments, and fine dining – Solano County hotels deliver without breaking the bank. Don’t forget to leave yourself time to play. Diversions for the whole family are just minutes away and there’s none of that stuck in traffic nightmare here. In fact, a little GPS can take you anywhere you want to go without ever getting on the freeway. Themed attractions big or small are every kid’s fantasy. Scandia Family Fun Center and Driven Raceway in Fairfield, Vacaville’s Nut Tree Plaza featuring the original Nut Tree Railroad, and Vallejo’s Six Flags Discovery Kingdom offer every configuration of amusement imaginable. From miniature golf and arcade games to laser tag and Indy go-karts, to the latest thrill rides and exotic animal encounters, you’ll find it right here in Solano County. Historic and nature adventures are just as plentiful. Kids will love Rush Ranch Open Space, the Western Railway Museum, and Vacaville Museum. Of course, a FREE Jelly Belly factory tour is a Solano County must! So many beans, so little time! Everyone leaves happy. Take advantage of Solano County’s California sunshine. Strap on your helmets and a couple of mountain bikes and head out for Rockville Hills Regional Park. With more than 600 acres, it is Solano County’s largest regional park and is a favorite with mountain bikers and hikers. Golfing enthusiasts score twice! You can choose between two championship golf courses, Paradise Valley and Rancho Solano. These two Fairfield golf courses have been voted #1 and #2 in Solano County and are rated in the Zagat Survey. 99
So now you’ve worked up an appetite and a thirst. Two wine valleys – Suisun and Green – are here for your tasting pleasure. Our small cadre of regional wineries are both sophisticated and rustic and offer a wine-tasting experience akin to a coming home with old friends. Take time for a Valley picnic. You will eat like royalty with fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade jams, olive oils, dried fruits, and nuts from seasonal farm stands.
Bring your Solano County memories home with “Solano Grown” local wines, oils, and honey. At Jelly Belly and Anhueser-Busch, gift offerings are plentiful for sweets and brew lovers. If you have energy for one more thing, Solano Town Center is the
local favorites & must sees ANHEUSER BUSCH BREWERY Free brewery tours of the world’s largest beer maker. Sample a variety of their beers and learn about the history of the company. 3101 Busch Dr, Fairfield, CA 94534 (707) 429-7595 www.budweisertours.com
JELLY BELLY CANDY COMPANY Free factory tours and tastings, daily, of the world famous gourmet jelly bean. 1 Jelly Belly Ln, Fairfield, CA 94534 (707) 428-2838 www.jellybelly.com
SUISUN VALLEY A rustic destination, Suisun Valley is a fun place for visitors who are searching for world-class wines and homegrown farm products without the crowds. www.suisunvalley.com
VACAVILLE PREMIUM OUTLETS Find impressive savings at one of the 120 stores such as Gucci, Michael Kors, and Restoration Hardware. 231 Nut Tree Rd, Vacaville, CA 95687 (707) 447-5755 www.premiumoutlets.com/vacaville
WESTERN RAILWAY MUSEUM The museum gives visitors the opportunity to ride historic streetcars and interurban electric trains from all over California and other Western states. 5848 Hwy 12, Suisun City, CA 94585 (707) 374-2978 www.wrm.org
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The Sacramento River Train is a local, family-owned business dedicated to preserving a piece of Northern California history and providing a wide variety of unique things to do in the community. The rail line spans 28 miles from West Sacramento to Woodland and at a leisurely 10 to 15 miles per hour, thereâ€™s plenty of time for a cozy dinner, social wine or beer tasting event, or even an entertaining show. We hope youâ€™ll find something new to try in an unexpected place. 400 N. Harbor Blvd., West Sacramento, CA 95605 (800) 866-1690 www.sacramentorivertrain.com
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about yolo county Occupying just over 1,000 square miles in the northern Central Valley, Yolo County includes the bustling university town of Davis, the historic city of Woodland, the eclectic art community of Winters, the agriculturally rich Capay Valley, and wine-growing lands around Clarksburg. Yolo County is delightfully rural, rich in orchards, vineyards, and lush green fields. Leading crops include tomatoes, nuts, wine grapes, and olives. In fact, nearly two-dozen olive oil producers reside in Yolo County, making it one of the leading sources in the country. Yolo vineyards are some of the richest and most productive in the world. You can tour and taste at most of the nearly three-dozen wineries, as well as visit the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science It’s no surprise that the farmer’s markets are truly outstanding. The Davis Farmer’s Market has been recognized repeatedly as one of the top 10 of its kind in the nation, and the Woodland Farmers Market is rapidly coming into its own. Reflecting the region’s great agricultural heritage, the California Ag Museum in Woodland offers the largest collection of antique farm equipment in North America. You’ll find countless recreational options in Yolo County, starting first and foremost with bicycling. As “America’s Best Bicycling City,” the city of Davis boasts more than 100 miles of bikeways to get around town. Davis is also the home of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame. Beyond bicycling, visitors can hike, fish, and swim, golf, and go on a variety of guided field trips. Yolo County has a variety of wildlife nature reserves, preserves, parks, and paths; the wetlands of Yolo Basin, part of the magnificent Pacific Flyway; and the University’s California Raptor Center, the Bohart Museum of Entomology, animal barns, and an equestrian center, among other spots. Yolo County is also a burgeoning artistic and cultural mecca. Davis galleries host an evening of openings and receptions, ArtAbout, on the second Friday of every month. Davis is also home of the firstever Transmedia Art Walk, with numerous sculptures around town offering a multimedia experience. A number of galleries and studios in Woodland open for their First Friday Art Walk every month, often with music and restaurant tie-ins. Winters hosts an annual Plein Air Painting Festival, culminating with a public show and sale after two weeks of artists’ labors . The UC Davis campus also has several outstanding galleries, exhibit spaces, and public sculptures. The University’s Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts draws a roster of internationally distinguished artists and also hosts performances by the University Symphony, Chorus, and the Departments of Music and Theatre & Dance. The charming Varsity Theater in downtown Davis showcases independent films. The historic Opera House in Woodland, and the Palms Playhouse in Winters, serve as intimate, welcoming venues. Yolo County has something for everyone, including excellent hotel, motel, and B&B accommodations, from the full-service Hallmark Inn in Davis and Hampton Inn & Suites in Woodland to the elegant, relaxing Inn at Park Winters in the quiet countryside. So why wait? Come to Yolo County – you’ll love it here!
local favorites & must sees U.S. BICYCLING HALL OF FAME Three-story museum of antique to modern bicycles, accessories, and memorabilia, plus lasting tributes to America’s greatest cycling athletes. 303 3rd St, Davis, CA 95616 (530) 341-3263 www.usbhof.org
DAVIS FARMER’S MARKET This long-time local institution has grown to be widely recognized as one of the top farmer’s markets in the nation, open year-round. C St & 4th, Davis, CA 95616 www.davisfarmersmarket.org
CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURE MUSEUM Located in Woodland, the Heidrick has an incredible collection of antique farm machinery and antique vehicles, the largest such assemblage in North America. 1962 Hays Ln, Woodland, CA 95776 (530) 666-9700 www.aghistory.org
BUCKHORN STEAKHOUSE The venerable landmark restaurant, dating to 1889, serves incredible meals in historic downtown Winters. 2 Main St, Winters, CA 95694 (530) 795-4503 www.buckhornsteakhouse.com
MANAS RANCH In Capay Valley, tour Manas Ranch, which grows the “best peaches in the West” (per Sunset Magazine) and markets outstanding grass-fed organic meats. 25838 Co Rd 21A , Esparto, CA 95627 (530) 787-3228 www.manasranch.com
OLD SUGAR MILL This inviting venue has 10 wineries in separate tasting rooms, plus special events and concerts throughout the year, in scenic Clarksburg. 35265 Willow Ave, Clarksburg, CA 95612 (916) 744-1615 www.oldsugarmill.com
Wine is just the start of our story With 85 wineries, Lodi knows a thing or two about wine. But our story only starts there. Lodi’s casual welcoming vibe makes for the ideal wine country getaway. Taste wine at a 5th generation Lodi family winery, then head downtown where you’ll discover one-of-a-kind restaurants, shops and art galleries. Enjoy a fresh farm-to-table meal followed by a sunset paddle down the Mokelumne River. When the day is done, we’ll have the pillows pumped and covers turned back at your favorite hotel, vacation home or B&B. Get away to Lodi Wine Country. Call or go online for a free Visitor Guide: (800) 798-1810 VisitLodi.com
2016 Official Guide. Find information for traveling to the many counties and cities with the Central Valley of California.
Published on Jan 22, 2016
2016 Official Guide. Find information for traveling to the many counties and cities with the Central Valley of California.