Stockton has much to offer for the DC travel enthusiast

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Stockton, California is a vibrant city with a long history, and Washingtonians should put it on their to do list.

Stockton is the 13th largest city in the state of California, according to the San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum. It’s surrounded by miles and miles of water, which got its early beginnings

Most Washingtonians may be familiar with Stockton’s financial crisis, as the city filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008. But there’s more to the Central Valley than strife and burdens. Below are 10 things Washingtonians should consider if considering Stockton as a vacation destination.

History galore

There’s a lot of history in Stockton, and one place that has to be on your list is the Haggin Museum, located in beautiful Victory Park, is named after Louis Terah Haggin, an attorney. The three story museum has been open since 1931. One of the highlights of the museums is a collection of nearly 240 pieces of art from Haggin’s private collection, yet only 75 are open to the public at any one time. Amongst Haggin’s collection are several other collections of Japanese woodblock prints, illuminated manuscripts and paintings by America illustrators. And a special treat for some is to see a restored and authentic Holt tractor, as part of Stockton’s agricultural history.

The Children’s Museum of Stockton is another spot visitors should check out. The museum was founded by Janet Geng, a teacher who was wounded in the Cleveland School Shootings in 1989, where 5 children were killed and 30 were wounded. Geng was so moved by the incident that she was motivated to create a place where children can play in a safe environment. The facility is an interactive place for children to learn and engage with the exhibits, but the highlight is Kidsworld, a 22,000 square feet exhibit of a child’s version of a miniature city.

Going to the theatre

A definite stop should be at The Bob Hope Theatre. The 2,042 red velvet seat theatre is listed on the National Register of Historical Places, and in the last few years undergone a complete refurbishment. The 1,200 square feet of marble floor perfection fills the lobby space of the building that boasts a state-of -the-art sound system. The theatre now shows classic movies to dance shows.

Be sure to check out the San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton’s Fine Arts Division (within the Delta Center for the Arts). There’s always an event going on, or some kind of function taking place. Attendees can even check out performances from the Stockton Symphony Association. There is always a schedule of fantastic events including many performances of classical music by the Stockton Symphony Association. You can see art exhibitions, drama productions, dance productions and many more things. A lot of the shows feature students from the college and ticket prices are always reasonable.

Are you hungry yet?

If you’re ready for a bite to eat, Maria’s Cafe should be on your radar. Stockton locals say the family-owned establishment is some of the most authentic Mexican food in the entire city, thats been around for the last 20 plus years.
Tag, you’re it!

Something for the whole family could be at a 6,200 square foot arena designed for laser tag, at Zaps Zone. People can bring their own party, or join an existing game already in session. There’s always a tournament going on, and a variety of different games.


Hockey isn’t something you might think about when considering Stockton, but the city’s Stockton Heat takes the ice at Stockton Arena, as part of the American Hockey League. The 2015-16 season was the first for the club (formerly as the Adirondack Flames in New York). Pre and post game activities should be part of the game because it’s located on the waterfront, where there’s an abundant among of activities.

Drivers take your mark!

The Delta Speedway is an added attraction in Stockton since it’s creation in 1959, by Duke Yoshimura, a World War II veteran. Families come from all over the city to watch the cars circle the 1/7 mile length oval shaped dirt track every Saturday night from April to October. Families catch Micro Sprints, Junior Sprints and Super 600 classes and await all the spills and thrills. Many family families remark they love to come out and eat and with all the excitement.

Just enjoying your time

After you’ve tried all those exciting things, or if you’ve visited other sites and you’re looking to kick back for moment, the Japanese Garden should be your next destination. The park is located in Micke Grove Park; another created by Duke Yoshimura in 1959. The Japanese Garden is lined with 60 beautiful Kwanzan flowering cherry trees, and five Akibono cherry trees in the middle. There’s also a koi fish pool, lanterns, and a five story pagoda.

Another option would be the Stockton Cambodian Buddhist Temple known as Wat Dharmararam. The vibrant and colorful temple features more than 90 super colorful and very large statues encrusted with jewels. The statues tell the life story of the Cambodian Buddha. Stepping inside the temple, viewers can see a fifty foot long recumbent Buddha. Be sure to check out the Cambodian New Year Celebration. It’s a real treat. Attendees should remember it’s an active temple where people come to worship, so everyone is asked to wear suitabily clothing at all times.

Stockton has a Community Profile created by the city government. Readers can check out the Economic Development Department to learn more about city government, infrastructure and business opportunities.

To learn more about things going on, be sure to check out Events in Stockton. Also check out: Downtown Stockton Alliance,, KVIE ViewFinder – Stockton: All-America City, or the Stockton Visitor’s Bureau.

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