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Sacramento Delta Tour

Wind through miles of channels and sloughs to discover small towns that seem to belong to another era

Start:Stockton
End:Old Sugar Mill
1 - 2Days,9Stops,103Miles
Stockton
ZUMA Press/Alamy
Antioch
Todd Arbini/Getty Images
Brannan Island State Recreation Area
Sacramento Bee/Getty Images
Isleton
Eric Futran/Getty Images
The Point
Iain Bagwell/Getty Images
Locke
Jen Siska
Grand Island Mansion
Grand Island Mansion
Clarksburg
Shestock/Getty Images
Old Sugar Mill
AlessandraRC/Alamy
Stop 1

Stockton

125 Bridge Place, Stockton

Surrounded by bounteous farmland, Stockton is all about fresh, local foods. Its most famous crop is asparagus and in April you can watch cooking demonstrations and even taste asparagus ice cream (really!) at the San Joaquin Asparagus Festival. On Saturday mornings, browse the Downtown Farmers' Market where more than 80 vendors peddle an array of Chinese, Indian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Korean groceries—plus mountains of vegetables. Stop at The Fruit Bowl on Waterloo Road for a bucket of peaches, nectarines, or apricots. Then sit down for a slice of this farm stand’s fresh peach pie. And speaking of baked goods, the Genova Bakery, an Italian deli that has been filling the air with the aroma of traditional breads for a century, draws long lunch lines to its landmark yellow wood-framed building.

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Stop 2

Antioch

200 H St, Antioch

At the 471-acre Dow Wetlands Preserve in Antioch, a 4.5-mile loop leads by wetlands where you can spot beavers and frolicking river otters. Along the Pacific Flyway, it’s a prime spot to look for migrating birds (especially from the observation tower), as well as such threatened raptors as black-shouldered kites and northern harriers. For another outstanding natural area in Antioch, Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve features a 65-mile trail network that explores the preserve’s diverse habitats and also offers seasonal tours of the historic Hazel-Atlas Mine.

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Stop 3

Brannan Island State Recreation Area

17645 CA-160, Rio Vista

Savor the cooling breezes off the Sacramento River as you explore Brannan Island State Recreation Area, a gateway to the labyrinthine waterways of the Delta. It’s a haven for wildlife, from such water-loving mammals as beavers and river otters to 70 different species of birds. Keep an eye out for majestic sandhill cranes and herons, but if you’re more into fish than birds, the park has a pier along Seven Mile Slough, where you can try to hook bass and salmon.

Stop 4

Isleton

101 2nd St, Isleton

Along a bend of the Sacramento River, little Isleton is one of the Delta’s most appealing towns. Stop into the Delta Farmers Market to stock upon locally grown seasonal produce at this popular market—the steamy Delta summer is the best time for juicy peaches and nectarines, as well as organic heirloom tomatoes. Take a stroll along historic Main Street, where you can see the beautiful glass art at Summer Wind Stained Glass Studio & Art Gallery. And especially on a hot summer day in the Delta, nothing beats a cold brew at the Mei Wah Beer Room, where you’ll find 24 craft beers on tap—most of them from California breweries.

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SPOTLIGHT

The Point

120 Marina Dr, Rio Vista

Dine along the water at The Point in Rio Vista, a favorite for the views and a hearty rib-eye steak and grilled salmon. Don’t forget to save room for the bread pudding.

Stop 6

Locke

13916 Main St, Walnut Grove

Step back into the Delta’s rich past as you stroll the covered sidewalks in Locke, described by the National Park Service as “the largest, most complete rural, agricultural Chinese American community in the United States.” Built in 1915 by Chinese immigrants and now a national historic district, the town’s landmarks include the Dai Loy Museum, a former gambling house that displays gaming paraphernalia (open Saturdays and Sundays only), and the Chinese Association Museum, a onetime social club. Then try the Cantonese cuisine at the Locke Garden Restaurant, located in a building that dates to 1912.

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SPOTLIGHT

Grand Island Mansion

13415 Grand Island Rd, Walnut Grove

For a very different side of Delta history, the nearby Italian Renaissance–style Grand Island Mansion in Walnut Grove resembles an opulent European villa and has hosted American presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan.

Stop 8

Clarksburg

52902 Clarksburg Rd, Clarksburg

Meander along River Road to Clarksburg in the heart of the Delta wine country. Stop by the Old Sugar Mill to sample from multiple wineries, including Draconis by Matt Powell, a small winery producing outstanding (and hard-to-find) Zinfandels. Or go to the source at Bogle Vineyards, a Clarksburg classic where the region’s first vines were planted in 1968. Make sure to taste the winery’s heritage Petite Sirah—the Delta’s original varietal.

Plan your visit

SPOTLIGHT

Old Sugar Mill

35265 Willow Ave, Clarksburg

Built as a beet-sugar refinery in 1934, the aptly named Old Sugar Mill offers a one-stop opportunity to sample top Delta wines thanks to the 15 wineries pouring in this enormous brick structure.

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Road Trip Snapshot

Learn more about the amazing locations featured in this road trip. Ready to plan your trip? Print the itinerary or map your adventure to get started.

Stop 1Stockton
125 Bridge Place, Stockton
Stop 2Antioch
200 H St, Antioch
Stop 3Brannan Island State Recreation Area
17645 CA-160, Rio Vista
Stop 4Isleton
101 2nd St, Isleton
Stop 6Locke
13916 Main St, Walnut Grove
Stop 8Clarksburg
52902 Clarksburg Rd, Clarksburg

Car & RV Rentals

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Avis Rent a Car
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