Author Archives: Tim Viall

Tim Viall

Viall is a local travel writer who retired in late 2012 after 10 years as executive director of Stockton, CA’s, Emergency Food Bank and six years with the Downtown Stockton Alliance. Previously, a 21-year career in daily newspapers helped shape his writing style. Tim’s interests include bicycling, skiing (34 years as a National Ski Patroller), traveling and three grandkids (all growing fast). Tim and spouse Susan travel extensively with a Scotty “teardrop” travel trailer; they specialize in frugal travel and “traveling light” in the United States and Canada! Tim also writes a personal travel blog: http://LittlePlacesIKnow.blogspot.com; check it out for travel inspiration!

Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Parks offer balmy temps just hours from Central Valley!

Desert wildflowers burst forth in Death Valley National Park in February.

Three evocative desert parks, just 2/3 day drive from San Joaquin county… Wanting to beat these cold, frosty holiday mornings? Get your dose of balmy days with three world-class desert parks, offering daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s, wonderful hiking and exploration opportunities, all flush with history and unique ecology. Best of all, they [...]

Posted in Central California, Sierra Nevada, Southern California | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Downtown Stockton shines for the holidays!

City of Stockton's 60' Christmas Tree is lighted nightly at the Weber Point Event Center (photo courtesy of Visit Stockton).

Plan a visit to downtown Stockton, aglow for the holidays and offering lots of family choices! The City’s huge Christmas tree, downtown and the waterfront bedecked with holiday lights, movies at the Cineplex, a classic movie at the Bob Hope Theatre, the Haggin Museum aglow  and a host of delectable and new restaurants bursting upon [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old Sacramento and Downtown Sacramento, family destination for the holidays!

The 60 foot Christmas Tree in Old Sacramento, corner of Front St. and K St. (several photos courtesy of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership)

Holiday destinations for the family in Old Sacramento and Downtown Sacramento… A winter wonderland with huge lighted Christmas trees, evening skits, ice-skating, Christmas train rides, museums decked out for the holidays, all in an historic downtown. Best of all, it’s less than an hour from San Joaquin County. It’s Old Sacramento and adjacent Downtown Sacramento [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Stockton/San Joaquin County, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What is your favorite family-friendly vacation destination?

National parks, like Lassen, just five hours north of San Joaquin County, make for fine family vacation destinations!

Family-friendly vacation destinations – what is your favorite? With the holidays, families have the opportunity to discuss and plan a family vacation for the coming year. My own family, with two daughters, their husbands, three grandkids and we, the grandparents, have already begun the discussion. So, we are seeking your recommendation for best family-friendly vacation [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dodge Ridge, Bear Valley prep for opening of 2017-18 ski/board season

Family admires the Sierra scenery from the Boulder Creek Canyon area of Dodge Ridge Ski Resort.

With snow blanketing Sierra, Dodge Ridge and Bear Valley prep for opening of 2017-18 ski/board season With winter storms beginning to blanket the central Sierra, the two closest resorts to San Joaquin County are gearing up for another snowy season. Dodge Ridge and Bear Valley Ski Resorts are closer than other options in the Lake Tahoe [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Family-friendly vacation destinations – what is your favorite?

  Family-friendly vacation destinations – what is your favorite?     With the approaching holidays, families have the opportunity to discuss and plan a family vacation for the coming year. My own family, with two daughters, the husbands, three grandkids and we, the grandparents, have already begun the discussion. So, we are seeking your recommendation [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sierra Nevada | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Family-friendly vacation destinations…planning that perfect get-away!

Pt. Arena Lighthouse on N. California coast can act as key attraction for a family get-together in this scenic area!

Family-friendly vacation destinations… use the holidays to plot and plan a family vacation for 2018! With the approaching holidays, families have the opportunity to discuss and plan a family vacation for the coming year. Over a recent birthday celebration our family discussed the idea of a family retreat sometime in spring or summer, 2018. Around [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southern California, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yosemite National Park offers quiet solitude after summer crowds depart!

Half Dome towers in distance as small crowd at Glacier Point gazes in awe.

With summer crowds long gone, Yosemite National Park offers quiet solitude in November… We are spending three days and nights in Yosemite Valley in our reconstructed ‘64 Scotty camping trailer. With forecasted sunny weather predicted for our three days, and no rain or snow descending on the afternoon until the day of our departure, the [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sierra Nevada, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So, you want to own a classic travel trailer?

Our rebuilt, newly painted Scotty after several years languishing in our garage.

So, you want to get a classic travel trailer? Challenges on the way to a successful rebuild… Owners of classic travel trailers, when asked “why?”, give these answers. “We wanted a small trailer easy to store, tow and that offers good gas mileage”. “We aged out of tent camping and wanted more comfort”. “We’ve seen [...]

Posted in Central California, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Northern California, Pacific Northwest USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southern California, Southwest USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), Stockton/San Joaquin County, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fall camping in northern California; also a good time for camper buying!

A new T@B trailer, owned by our Sacramento friends, is a lovely small to mid-size trailer with a popular retro look.

Fall camping in northern California; it’s also a great time for camper buying! Whether you’re a fan of tent camping, small trailer, larger trailer or motorhome camping, some of the nicest weeks of the camping season lie ahead. We’re blessed, living in Central/Northern California, to have wonderful options within a few hours in any of [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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    Tim Viall

    Viall is a local travel writer who retired in late 2012 after 10 years as executive director of Stockton, CA's, Emergency Food Bank and six years with the Downtown Stockton Alliance. Previously, a 21-year career in daily newspapers helped shape his ... Read Full
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