California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 64

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP

30

California's Heartland
Experience the bountiful cornucopia of the Golden State
by following country roads through the fertile Central
Valley, where you'll enjoy just-picked produce
and savor some unforgettable meals

(excellent tapas), and Buckhorn Steakhouse (renowned beef cuts).
Continue east to the bike-loving university town of Davis, known
for its outstanding farmers market. Rent a bike and loop through the
lush U.C. Davis Arboretum, then pedal downtown along streets lined
with shops, galleries, and restaurants serving world cuisine.
Next up, it's a 15-minute drive east to the state capital, Sacramento.
Young adults looking for an urban vibe are moving into this low-key
city, with microbreweries, gastropubs, and boutiques popping up
to serve them. Known widely as "America's Farm-to-Fork Capital,"
the city boasts eclectic dining options, especially in the Midtown
district, where you'll find Mulvaney's B&L, with a daily-changing menu
served up in a historic firehouse, and The Press Bistro, which serves
Mediterranean fare and craft cocktails.
Your road trip heads south to the surprisingly undiscovered Lodi
wine country. Best known for big reds, particularly old-vine Zinfandels,
this American Viticultural Area is also a leader when it comes to going
green. (Upwards of 25,000 vineyard acres are certified sustainable.) A
great place to start is the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center, offering varietals
from nearly 80 local vintners.
Next, continue south to explore the Sacramento Delta, a 1,000mile network of inland waterways-and a dreamland for watersport
enthusiasts. Rent a powerboat at Paradise Point Marina in Stockton
and cruise the vibrant network of channels. Consider renting a
houseboat to anchor overnight-or longer.
After your overnighter, fuel up on coffee and house-made

DAV I S FA R M E R S M ARK E T

cinnamon rolls at The Kitchen at Stonebrier before you begin the
2.5-hour drive southeast through farmland and vineyards on Highway
YO U R T R I P S TA R T S 5 0 M I L E S S O U T H O F R E D D I N G

99 to Fresno. Agriculture is king in this centerpiece city of the San

with a tour of farms and specialty food purveyors along country

Joaquin Valley, California's most prolific growing region. In early

roads and the Sacramento River. Follow shady lanes as you drive

spring, drive or bike along the 62-mile Blossom Trail, lined with fruit

the Tehama Trail to discover vineyards, orchards, and farmstands. If

and nut trees. In summer, the route morphs into the Fresno County

you want the full tour, start in Corning, a town long linked with olive

Fruit Trail, and stands overflow with peaches and nectarines.
Heading south toward Bakersfield, Highway 99 cuts through wide

or more exotic types, such as herb-and-cheese stuffed Sicilian olives,

fields and you'll enjoy foothill views of Sequoia National Forest to

then continue south along the Trail, sampling juicy peaches and plums

the east. Your trip culminates with a fun look at Bakersfield's lively

along the way.

arts scene. Head to the gallery-filled Arts District, home to the 1930

Stay south on I-5 to Winters, a hip gem with a sophisticated food

Fox Theater. Another popular destination is the Buck Owens' Crystal

scene. Talented chefs show their stuff at the stylish Preserve Public

Palace, the place to hear the region's signature Bakersfield Sound-a

House (innovative dishes showcasing local ingredients), Ficelle

twangy type of country music-and dine on chicken-fried steak.

3-4
days

S TA R T Tehama Trail (Corning)
F I N I S H Bakersfield

491
miles

M O S T S E R E N E S TO P Quiet mornings and evenings can be particularly magical in the Delta.

64
VISITCALIFORNIA.COM

I N S I D E T I P Time your
visit to Davis to sync with the
twice-weekly farmers market
(Saturday mornings and
Wednesday afternoons; yearround, rain or shine).

PHOTOGRAPH: PACHAMAMA COFFEE COOPERATIVE

farming. Stop at the historic Olive Pit for samples of traditional olives


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California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover2
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Contents
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