As people are staying closer to home this fall, restless adventurers are looking for new outdoor experiences to break up their routine.
Scenically nestled between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lodi Wine Country is just a few hours away beckoning with adventures. The lovely wine region is a favorite with travelers. There is much to do and there are many award-winning places to stay; from garden resorts to amenity-rich hotels.
With such a vibrant Lodi community, it might seem challenging to pick an itinerary, but Visit Lodi! Conference & Visitors Bureau offers many tips and curated travel plans. Here is just a taste of what adventure awaits you.
Live it up outdoors
Visit Lodi! Conference & Visitors Bureau: 25 N. School St., Lodi, (209) 365-1195, www.visitlodi.com
Headwaters Kayak Boathouse: 1101 W. Turner Road, Lodi, (209) 471-5988, www.visitlodi.com/directory/headwaters-kayak
Bike Lodi: www.visitlodi.com/things-to-do/bike-routes
Micke Grove: 11793 N. Micke Grove Road, Lodi, (209) 331-7400, www.visitlodi.com/directory/micke-grove-park
Parachute Center: 23597 N. Hwy. 99, Acampo, (209) 369-1128, www.visitlodi.com/directory/parachute-center
Wine & Roses: 2505 W. Turner Road, Lodi, (209) 334-6988, www.visitlodi.com/directory/wine-roses-hotel-restaurant-spa
Fairfield Inn & Suites Lodi: 262 Rocky Lane, Lodi, (209) 268-7500, www.visitlodi.com/directory/fairfield-inn-suites-lodi
Poppy Sister Inn Bed & Breakfast: 533 West Oak Street Lodi, (209) 625-9021, www.visitlodi.com/directory/poppy-sister-inn-bb
Headwaters Kayak Boathouse
Grab your lake gear to one of the most popular destinations in Lodi, Headwaters Kayak, where “You can always social distance on the water.”
Once you have your stand-up paddleboard or kayak, you’ll head out to the waters of Lodi Lake, set in an 114-acre oasis traversed by the Mokelumne River. Balance is key, you’ll find, even on these calm waters, as you navigate different currents, nooks, crannies, and set your speed. You might alternate between relaxed paddling, and racing with your friends. It can be a leisurely day, a workout on the water, or both.
With 58 acres of wilderness area within Lodi Lake Park you’ll have prime views of wildlife, including elegant sandhill cranes, deer, hummingbirds, Northern Pintail ducks and Yellow Billed Magpies, found only in California. In winter, you can even spy the stunning Tundra swan, which settles on the lake before moving to Alaska and Canada.
Reservations are required for rentals, but once owner Dan Arbuckle and his team load you up, you’re ready to start your water adventure.
Choose a basic kayak ($16-$18 for one hour, depending on weekday or weekend), a premium kayak ($24-$28), a tandem kayak ($33-$38) or SUP ($19-$22).
You can hop out at secluded beaches and sandbars if there are no other people present, watch for the more than 47 bird species that call the area home, then head back on shore to enjoy your BYOB picnic on a grassy knoll or at a wood picnic table. Plan a hike, too — the park is next to Lodi Lake Nature Area with a two-mile wilderness hiking trail, where you can trek the well-maintained nature trail past scenic river access pullouts and through thick forest.
If being on land on two wheels is more your adventure, then Lodi is the place to be. As savvy bikers know, Lodi is one of the most gorgeous, challenging and flexible areas for biking adventure. Boasting a year-round Mediterranean climate, you can hop on your bike and go down flat country roads lined with picturesque vineyards, orchards and pastures.
Bike Lodi, a nonprofit group supporting the biking community, has put together 22 routes for your riding pleasure. The routes go through the spacious wine country pastoral area, around the Delta river towns, into the foothills and all over charming downtown. The group also helps you pick what riding level you’d like — will it be a “stroll” on two wheels, or a private Grand Prix?
Favorite itineraries include a 24.4-mile loop with optional stops at Michael David Winery and Café, d’Art Wines; the Lodi Lake Family Fun Ride that’s an easy 5-mile round trip ride to Lodi Lake and the Mokelumne River; and the 10-mile Weekend Wine Tasting Jaunt where you explore six different wine tasting options spanning wineries surrounded by vineyards to tasting rooms in Downtown Lodi.
Micke Grove Regional Park
In one afternoon at Micke Grove Regional Park, you can go golfing, visit a Japanese garden and play a competitive round of frisbee golf — something for everyone. Golf is a perfect adult outdoor pastime, allowing for visiting while easily keeping social distance. And the 132-acre regional park offers an excellent excursion, especially for kids needing to burn off energy.
Park highlights include Wortley Lake, a 3-acre lake accentuated by a stunning 40-foot water fountain drawing, a Japanese Garden with cherry blossom trees and koi pond and softball fields.
And then, there’s disc golf at the park, which is great fun for the whole family. Think of it as a combo of golf, and basketball – you throw a disc at a target, aiming to land it in the chain hoop “hole” with as few tries as possible. Be ready to really get your game on here, too, because the Professional Disc Golf Association ranks it as a top course for its many trees that challenge navigation, but also its flexible track for both beginners and experts.
Imagine hopping in a plane, and then 15 minutes later, taking a leap of faith 10,000 ft up in the air… your heart is racing and adrenaline pumping, until poof – your chute opens and you’re soaring like a bird through the clouds. Tranquility mixes with thrill, and you’ve just experienced skydiving in Lodi Wine Country.
Since 1964, Lodi’s Parachute Center, a professional, family-owned operation, has catered to all levels, from introductory tandem leapers with an instructor ($150), to experienced jumpers ($25 for a 13,000-foot descent), to beginners wanting to become experts (learn all the steps from earth to sky to earth again for $1,000). Modern, sanitized equipment is available for rent, as well.
As one of largest drop zones in the United States, the Parachute Center also has an ample array of aircraft, including three Super Otters (the Otters are considered by many to be the most versatile jump aircraft in the turbine world).
During this time, face masks and gloves are required for visitors, but once you’ve leapt from the plane, you’ll feel oh-so-free. And to show off to your friends, you’ll want to get photos and videos of your journey, taken in-flight by the jump masters.
After a glorious day of outdoor activity, you’ll want some place to rest, grab something delicious to eat and drink and lay your weary head for the night. Lodi has been growing with its cozy accommodation options, even as it retains its small town charm, so make your visit a full vacation. Rest, relax and rejuvenate at these standout resorts and hotels.
Wine & Roses
Feast your eyes on this 7-acre award winning estate of towering trees, flowers and herb gardens, established in 1902. The hotel, restaurant and spa at Wine & Roses looks like a pristine park with plenty of places to hide away amid lawns, towering oaks, redwoods, weeping willows and rose gardens.
The 66 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites vary with their amenities, but accents include beamed ceilings, private trellised balconies or verandas, gossamer king canopy beds, separate living areas, oversized spa tubs and a limited number of pet-friendly rooms.
Bonus: The Lodi Wine & Visitor Center is located on the grounds, so wine tasting information (plus discounted wine tastings), maps, and advice are easily accessible.
The Towne House Restaurant is open for patio dining in the heart of the gardens, featuring seasonal and regionally sourced ingredients, plus a wine list including more than 80 Lodi appellation wines.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Lodi
This brand new hotel opened in July off Highway 99. The 72-room Fairfield Inn & Suites Lodi offers convenient access to downtown Lodi, Lodi Lake and numerous wineries and restaurants. Modern rooms features include Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, a coffeemaker and a microwave, plus there is a daily complimentary breakfast buffet brimming with goodies like omelets, crispy bacon, mini waffles, fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and pastries. What really sets them apart is their amazing hospitality.
Poppy Sister Inn Bed & Breakfast
Built in 1907, relax and rejuvenate at this quaint, recently restored lemon yellow Victorian in downtown Lodi. With just four bedrooms, the Poppy Sister Inn Bed & Breakfast is a quiet getaway in the vintage-style queen suites with private bathrooms (one with a claw foot tub). Stays include a hot, home cooked breakfast each morning, and afternoon beverages in the front garden or on the wraparound porch.
To plan your ideal adventure or find the perfect lodging on your next trip to Lodi, go to www.visitlodi.com.