The Central Valley: Places to Explore

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Lodi

Founded on agriculture, Lodi was once the watermelon capital of the country. Today it's surrounded by fields of asparagus, pumpkins, beans, safflowers, sunflowers, kiwis, melons, squashes, peaches, and cherries. It's also emerged as a wine-grape capital of sorts, producing Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. For years California wineries have built their reputations on the juice of grapes grown around Lodi. Now the area that includes Lodi, Lockeford, and Woodbridge is a wine destination in itself, boasting about 40 wineries, many offering tours and tastings. Lodi still retains an old rural charm, despite its population of 62,000. You can stroll downtown or visit a wildlife refuge, all the while benefiting from a Sacramento River delta breeze that keeps this microclimate cooler in summer than anyplace else in the area.

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