Hop in, buckle up, and join California Now Podcast host Soterios Johnson on this special road trip episode as he drives along Highway 99 through the heart of the Central Valley. We can pretty much guarantee that you'll learn a few things about this historic roadway.

His journey begins in Bakersfield, a revitalized town located on the Kern River two hours north of Los Angeles. Bakersfield is widely regarded as a true country music mecca—Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace—and it also has the highest concentration of Basque restaurants in the United States. Johnson samples both during his time there.

Johnson's next stop is Fresno, where he tours a one-of-a-kind garden where citrus trees grow 25 feet underground. After an award-winning Fresno taco or two, Johnson continues north to Stockton, where he enjoys just-picked cherries and peach pie from a family-owned farm stand. Johnson then drives to Lodi, a historic wine region and home of Jessie’s Grove Winery, founded in 1889. After sampling some Zinfandel and Cinsault, Johnson settles in for the evening at Wine & Roses, a scenic hotel located just down the road.

Want to learn more about this road trip and other Golden State excursions? Check out California Road Trips: 50 Life-Changing Adventures, a high-end publication that includes more about this itinerary (and 49 others). To order, just click here.