Destination Stockton… A Dynamic City with Historic Appeal, Modern Fun
By Wes Rhea and Monica Slingerman

Some miles east of San Francisco, the city of Stockton offers rich and diverse activities for families and visitors of all ages.  Whether you’re looking to spend a day on the San Joaquin Delta, tour museums and art galleries, go to the zoo or even take in a game - Stockton is here for your enjoyment.


Since June, Delta River Cruises have returned to e San Joaquin Delta.  Launch from downtown Stockton and Cruise the Delta on the “Princess of Whales” a 149-passenger power catamaran with two decks, a full galley with a tasty menu and a full bar.  Learn about the Port of Stockton, the tugs and ships of today that you’ll see, as well as the colorful captains and vessels of the past who plied these waters.  The Delta River Cruise is offering a wide variety of cruises from Stockton including one and a half hour sightseeing cruises, brunch cruises, dinner cruises and sunset cruises.   You may also cruise from San Francisco to Stockton on specially scheduled weekends.


While downtown, visit the Stockton Children’s Museum across from the Historic Waterfront Warehouse on the Stockton Deep Water Channel.  An educational experience from the moment young visitors step through the door, the museum features hands-on, play based exhibits that will enhance a child’s understanding of how the world works.  On the 22,000 sq. foot exhibit floor you will find a dozen different child-sized environments that recreate the ambience of a small city.  At each exhibit in the museum’s “tiny town”, there are tools and/or machines that can be manipulated by the children, who weigh postcards at the post office, count money at the bank and perform tasks of that particular occupation including a firefighter and helicopter pilot.

Looking for a place for the kid’s to burn off energy?  No visit to Stockton with kids is complete without a visit to Pixie Woods.  For the” young in age and the young at heart” Stockton’s own fairyland Pixie Woods Children’s Playland is a three-acre must-see for all travelers.Take a ride on the merry-go-round, or board the Pixie Express Train traveling through Indian territory. Be on the lookout for pirates!  Take a journey on the wate,r and see the volcano puffing away with smoke.  Be sure to stop by the Frontier Village and take a ride on the stagecoach or bouncing ponies, or follow the path to the castle and walk across the drawbridge.


Loved by generations of Stockton families, the Haggin Museum, a fine art and history museum which was been referred to by Sunset magazine as “one of the under sung gems of California.” Its fine art collection features works by such noted nineteenth century painters as Albert Bierstadt, Rosa Bonheur, and William-Adolphe Bouguereau, as well as many other American and European artists. 

History displays focus on this area’s past and the accomplishments of its residents, including Charles Weber, Stockton’s founder; Benjamin Holt, inventor of the Caterpillar track-type tractor; and Tillie Lewis, the “Tomato Queen.”  Kids will love the store replicas in the basement, the Native American exhibit and the big tractors.  And don’t miss the mummy!

While in the area , stop by Micke Grove Regional Park, north of Stockton in Lodi.  A gem with plenty of amenities, this 258-acre oak tree park features the Japanese Garden with an abundance of cherry blossom trees, a tea pavilion and koi pond.  Across the way is Fun Town offering fun-filled rides and delicious treats.  You can’t leave without stopping at the Micke Grove Zoo.  Accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, Micke Grove Zoo features native animals and exotic species from all over the world, including several endangered species, such as the Chinese Alligator, the Snow Leopard and the Cotton Top Tamarin. 


Sports enthusiasts will have no problem staying busy in Stockton. Four pro teams to root for, and numerous other professional, college, and regional sports opportunities abound. Stockton is home to the Stockton Ports Professional Baseball Team, which play at the waterfront Stockton Ballpark, the Stockton Thunder Professional Hockey Team, the California Cougars Professional Indoor Soccer Team, and the Stockton Lightning Professional Arena 2 Football Team which all play at the new 10,000 seat waterfront Stockton Arena. 
Consider planning your trip around one of our annual events.  Our most noteworthy is the Stockton Asparagus Festival held the last weekend in April.  The festival is three-day, multi-event, food, and entertainment extravaganza.  It features two performing stages, an Asparagus Alley with deep-fried asparagus entrees,  celebrity chef cooking demos, a fabulous Spear-Its of the Valley wine and beer pavilion, a craft show, exhibits by more than 70 food purveyors and 100 specialty merchandise vendors, and more!

For complete information on Stockton, events, hotels and more visit the Stockton Conference and Visitors Bureau website at   or call 209-547-2770.


NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES: (916) 399-9342 Children’s Museum, Pixie Woods Haggin Museum (209) 940-6300 Micke Grove Regional Park/Zoo (209) 369-7330 Asparagus Festival Bob Hope Theatre

The authors both work for the Stockton Conference & Visitors Bureau. 

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