Category Archives: Central California

Free admission, national parks, national monuments across the US!

Visitors to Yosemite gaze at Half Dome from Glacier Point.

Free admission, national parks, national monuments across the US for MLK holiday and three more dates… National parks, monuments and other federal lands which charge entrance fees will be free on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Additional no-fee days in national parks include April 21 (first day of National Parks Week), September [...]

Also posted in 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 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

12 must-visits in California; freshen your travel bucket list!

Wildflowere bloom after winter rains in Death Valley National Park; photo taken in February, 2016.

Freshen your California travel bucket list with 12 months of suggestions! As we enter the new year, take time to tune-up your travel bucket list. Let’s start with 12 ultimate destinations in California, with suggested month by month schedule (next week we’ll bring you suggestions for the western US). Here are California’s best, as well [...]

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

Family-friendly vacation or reunion destinations for the new year!

Purple lupine frames Mt. Tallac high above Lake Tahoe's Camp Richardson and Fallen Lead Lake.

  Family vacation or reunion: family-friendly vacation or reunion destinations for the new year! Thinking of family in 2018, I put out a call to Record readers and friends for their suggestions as to family-focused vacation and/or reunion destinations. Suggested criteria included a destination offering both kid’s and adult activities, nearby cabin rentals or motels, [...]

Also posted in Northern California, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anza Borrego Desert State Park: sunshine, stunning vistas and ghost resorts on eerie Salton Sea

The California Palm oasis, awaiting hikers on the Palm Canyon hike above the Anza Borrego Desert.

Winter sun, stunning vistas make Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the ghost resorts on eerie Salton Sea a place to reflect upon. Last week’s column featured California’s two desert national parks, Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Both feature a mild winter climate and evocative topography; this week we’ll cover nearby Anza Borrego Desert State [...]

Also posted in Sierra Nevada, Southern California | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What is your favorite family-friendly vacation destination?

Ashland, OR, was named by one reader as a favorite family vacation destination; it's home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a wealth of outdoor activities!

Family-friendly vacation destinations – what is your favorite? We are seeking your own family-favorite vacation destination – for a newspaper article to appear during the holidays! 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 [...]

Also posted in 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 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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 [...]

Also posted in 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 [...]

Also posted in 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 [...]

Also posted in 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 [...]

Also posted in 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 [...]

Also posted in 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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