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13 Things To Do In Stockton
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13 Things To Do In Stockton

Things to do in Stockton are aplenty—and we’ve got a “greatest hits” selection just for you.

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5 min read

September 11, 2021

If you're visiting Stockton for the first time, seeing the ocean-bound freighters near its waterways may seem odd in the beginning... Until you realize that the city is California's largest inland deep-water port. Boats the size of rocket ships move the region's crops from the roaring Pacific out into the world. Impressive, right? Well, agriculture is only one facet of what this Central Valley gem has to offer. Things to do in Stockton are aplenty—and we’ve got a “greatest hits” selection just for you.

Fun Things to Do in Stockton

The Bob Hope Theatre features 2,042 completely refurbished red velvet seats and offers tours provided by Friends of the Fox.

1. Watch a Show At the Bob Hope Theatre 

If you ever want to experience Stockton's devotion to the arts, go to the Bob Hope Theatre. Besides being an architectural marvel (which you can tour by the way), the theater boasts a selection of shows that range from classic movies to elaborate dance shows. With state-of-the-art sounds, lighting, and rigging systems, an experience while seated on one of their 2,042 red velvet seats is sure to be remembered.

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2. Get Lost in the Japanese Garden at Micke Grove Park

“A beautiful cherry tree looks like what tranquility feels like”—you're probably going to have thoughts like this all the time at the Japanese Garden at Micke Grove Park. It’s one of the places to go in Stockton if you want to get away from it all, and do it under the shade of 60 Kwazan cherry trees and five Akebono ones. There’s also a lot to see; a koi fish pond, colorful lanterns, a five-story pagoda, and an angle bridge that keeps evil spirits from crossing into the garden.

Isn't hockey basically figure skating in a war zone? If hockey was easy, they’d call it football.

3. Watch Hockey at the Stockton Arena 

Cheer on Stockton's very own AHL hockey team at the Stockton Arena. Where else can you find NFL-sized players flying by on two blades of steel? Standing in the stands, cheering your favorite team, will really make you feel the energy radiating from the ice. The best part? There isn’t a bad seat in the house.

4. Indulge in Authentic Mexican at Maria's Cafe 

Vetoing pizza? No problem. Make your way to Maria's Cafe and fill yourself with authentic Mexican cuisine. Established over 20 years ago, this eatery prides itself on perfecting the flavors of Sinaloa and serving them through a variety of dishes; the large combination burritos are quite the local favorite. 

Operating since 1947, The Fruit Bowl continues to provide the freshest and the best of local produce, baked goods, nuts, jams, local honey, and more.

5. Try Local Produce at The Fruit Bowl

Providing Stockton locale with the freshest fruits and veggies since 1947, The Fruit Bowl initially started out as a single table placed at the edge of a ranch. And as the business grew into the thriving establishment it is today, a few things remained the same; like a bowl of fruit from which passer-by can get a sample. And so should you, trust us on this one.

6. Explore Little Manila 

One of the top Stockton attractions, Little Manila is an area south of Main Street predominantly inhabited by Filipino Americans. As you explore the vibrant community, you'll find a handful of shops, hotels, and eateries, showcasing the splendor of Filipino-American culture.

Golf may not exactly be your sport, but it's always an absolutely gorgeous day in Stockton to give a swing at it.

7. Practice Your Swing at the Swenson Park Golf Course

The Swenson Park Golf Course needs no introduction (but we’re going to give it one anyway). The stunning greenery is designed by Jack Fleming— a household name in the NorCal architecture scene. Overall there are two courses to choose from, the nine-hole par-three course and an 18-hole par-72 course, so no matter which skill-set you belong to, there’s something for you.

Cool Things to Do Near Stockton

The Haggin Museum’s permanent art and history exhibits are augmented by a number of temporary exhibitions annually. Photo courtesy of Haggin Museum.

8. Visit The Haggin Museum

Nestled in the heart of Victory Park is the Haggin Museuman art buff's dream and a historian's fantasy. It was opened in 1931 and is split over three levels, spanning just under 240 art pieces in its rich and colorful collection. There's also an array of Japanese woodblock prints, illuminated manuscripts, and paintings by American illustrators. Since Stockton also has a rich agricultural and industrial history, be sure to look for the Holt Wing: a recent addition to the museum. There you’ll come across a Holt tractor, a restored combine harvester, and other gems from the city's history.

9. Visit The Wat Dhammararam

Featuring over 90 colorful, jewel-encrusted statues, the Wat Dhammararam is an active Buddhist temple and is simply stunning. The larger-than-life statues are the first thing you’ll notice, and you’ll discover the story of the Cambodian Buddha. Visiting this breathtaking temple is an excellent way to mix education and culture with sightseeing.

Anything is paws-ible with a dog by your side because love is a four-legged word. This friendship is fur real!

10. Take Your Pup to Barkleyville Dog Park

Does your four-legged friend want to tag along on your getaway? Well, Stockton says "bring 'em", as a place like Barkleyville is basically their dream come true. It's the area's only off-leash park, with designated areas for dogs both small and large. If your pup is feeling particularly energetic there is an obstacle course armed with benches and drinking fountains.

11. Explore Stockton's Taco Scene 

Since Stockton has long been renowned for its Mexican cuisine, it was only a matter of time until something like the Stockton Taco Trail was invented. A great excuse to enjoy tacos and support small local businesses at the same time, the Stockton Taco Trail is an app that maps you to nearly 50 local taquerias. So relish in the mouthwatering scene and even potentially win prizes.

The Port of Stockton is a major deepwater port on the Stockton Ship Channel and an inland port located over 70 nautical miles from the ocean.

12. Watch the Ships at the Port 

To see ships coming in and out of inland, make your way to the Port of Stockton. Access is somewhat restricted and if you don't manage to get inside, don't worry, there are still many parts of the northside channel where you can see port operations. A local favorite is "Dad's Point" near Louis Park.

13. Go to a Farmers Market

For one of the quintessential Stockton experiences, try and find an open-air farmer's market brimming with customers—there are many, but they aren’t hard to miss. Look out for busy displays of mouth-watering produce, local farmers boasting about herbs and floral arrangements, and take in the colorful and lively sights.

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