Category Archives: Northern California

Dining like royalty without raiding the treasury!

Happy hour at Five Palms, Wailea; sushi, coconut shrimp, two drinks, about $27.

Fine but frugal dining – dining like royalty without breaking the treasury… Over the last four-plus years, Susan and I have traveled extensively across the US three times, the TransCan Highway across Canada to the Maritime Provinces and frequently throughout the US western states and Canadian provinces. Along with two two-week cruises on the rivers [...]

Also posted in Canada, Eastern, Canada, Western, Central California, East Coast US, Europe, Hawaii, Midwest US, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Pacific Northwest USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southeast US, Southern California, Southwest USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), Stockton/San Joaquin County, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lincoln Highway makes for historic travels in San Joaquin County!

The International Order of Odd Fellows Hall in Woodbridge, now home to Cactus Restaurant, anchored the Lincoln Highway's route through Woodbridge.

History comes alive on Lincoln Highway; exciting and gourmet travels in SJ County! I recently noticed red, white and blue Lincoln Highway signs popping up in Stockton, so I tracked down local Lincoln Highway historian Kevin Shawver to learn more about the historic highway and to plot a tour of its route through San Joaquin County. [...]

Also posted in Central California, Sacramento/Capitol region, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

San Joaquin Historic Museum, Haggin Museum are cool summertime destinations!

The Holt Side-hill Harvester M30 sold for $3000 in 1928!

Cool destinations to beat summer heat and learn about our past… San Joaquin Historic Museum, Haggin Museum With the balance of summer flying by, let’s go for a couple local “cool destinations”, which each offer cool temperature-controlled environments and places that most kids or grandkids rate as “cool”, once they get involved. Our family favorites [...]

Also posted in Central California, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Folsom, California, family fun and gold rush history beside the cooling waters of the American River!

Author's grandkids and daughter pull their kayak into the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma.

Family fun and gold rush history beside the cooling waters of the American River; it’s Folsom, CA! Recently, we sought a weekend destination to celebrate a daughter and a grandson’s overlapping birthdays. Our criteria took in the wish list of three grandkids, ages 6 to 17, two of their cousins, both our 40-something daughters and [...]

Also posted in Central California, Sacramento/Capitol region, Sierra Nevada | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Teardrop and larger classic travel trailers; class, comfort and a smart investment!

T@B trailers, available new for about $20K, used for less than half that.

Classy, comfortable and a smart investment; teardrop and larger classic travel trailers… Years ago, with kids in school, we would load them into a small car, pack our camping gear into a canoe, car-top the canoe and head off to Mount Rainier National Park or remote campgrounds on the Olympic Peninsula for a week or [...]

Also posted in Alaska, Canada, Eastern, Canada, Western, Central California, East Coast US, Hawaii, Midwest US, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Pacific Northwest USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southeast US, Southern California, Southwest USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), Stockton/San Joaquin County, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers, United States beyond! | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Humboldt Redwoods State Park; Avenue of the Giants!

Three visitors pose on a recently downed mid-sized redwood in Drury-Chaney Grove in the park.

Avenue of the Giants, with towering trees, are heart of Humboldt Redwoods State Park! In past trips through Northern California, we had several times driven the old highway, aptly named Avenue of the Giants, through towering redwoods just three hours north of the Golden Gate Bridge. But until last week we had only stopped briefly, [...]

Also posted in Central California, San Francisco Bay Area, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

6 more one-tank vacations close to Stockton and San Joaquin County

The General Sherman sequoia in Sequoia National Park always draws a crowd!

For six more one-tank vacations close to Stockton and San Joaquin County, you can’t go wrong with these! Following last week’s recommendations, here are six other alluring summer destinations, all within about three hours or less from San Joaquin County, ranging from south to north. Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks: These majestic parks share a common [...]

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

12 weekends of Summer; a dozen one-tank vacations nearby (Part 1 of 2)!

May Lake, a short hike off Hwy. 120 on way up to the Tuolumne Meadows area in Yosemite.

Get ready, get set:  with 12 weekends of Summer, a dozen one-tank vacations nearby! Summer is a week old; have you planned your weekends and vacation(s)?  If not, here are a dozen suggestions for the remaining summer weeks/weekends (six this week, six more next, starting a few hours north of Stockton and moving clockwise to [...]

Also posted in Central California, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plotting that perfect (well, almost perfect) road trip!

Roy's Motel and Cafe (and our Scotty teardrop trailer), historic Rt. 66 in Amboy, CA.

How to plan that perfect (well, almost perfect) road trip We recently dined with old friends, including one couple where she had recently retired, and was looking forward to the retirement of her husband – and to them making those long-delayed road trips. Whether retired or planning that next vacation, here are suggestions for planning that [...]

Also posted in Canada, Eastern, Canada, Western, Central California, East Coast US, Hawaii, Midwest US, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Pacific Northwest USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southeast US, Southern California, Southwest USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), Stockton/San Joaquin County, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers, United States beyond! | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hwy. 4, Calaveras Big Trees, Bear Valley and Lake Alpine offer a world apart!

New Glamping tents, with a stunning view into Mokelumne River Canyon, are new at Bear Valley Resort this summer.

Murphys, Calaveras Big Trees, Bear Valley and Lake Alpine – all on Hwy. 4 – offer a world apart! Last week, I shared our favorite summer destinations on the Hwy. 108 corridor above Sonora; this week we offer recommendations for fun along Hwy. 4, from Murphys east to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Bear Valley [...]

Also posted in Central California, 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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