Things to do in Stockton – California

Welcome to Stockton, California – a vibrant city with a rich history and a diverse range of attractions. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie, Stockton has something for everyone. From exploring the city’s museums and parks to enjoying its thriving food and nightlife scenes, there is no shortage of things to do in Stockton.

As the 13th largest city in California, Stockton is a hub for entertainment and tourism. Located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, Stockton is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes and is home to a thriving arts and culture scene, making it the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a family vacation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stockton offers a diverse range of attractions, catering to different interests and preferences.
  • The city has a rich history and cultural heritage, reflected in its many museums, landmarks, and events.
  • Stockton is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, offering numerous outdoor activities and adventures.
  • The city has a thriving food and nightlife scene, with a wide range of restaurants, bars, and clubs to choose from.

Exploring Stockton’s Historic Sites

When it comes to historic sites, Stockton has plenty to offer. Here are some of the top attractions to check out:

Attraction Description
Haggin Museum This museum features exhibits and collections related to California history and fine art. Visitors can explore a variety of galleries and exhibits, including pieces from local artists.
Stockton’s Historic Waterfront This area of Stockton features a variety of historical buildings and landmarks, including the Bob Hope Theatre, the Stockton Arena, and the Stockton Civic Auditorium. Visitors can take a walking tour to explore the area and learn more about its history.
Bob Hope Theatre Originally opened in 1930 as a vaudeville theater, the Bob Hope Theatre has since been restored to its former glory. Visitors can catch a variety of performances here, including concerts, plays, and film screenings.

Exploring Stockton’s Historic Sites

In addition to these top attractions, there are plenty of other historic sites to explore in Stockton. Some other notable landmarks include the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium, the Weber Point Events Center, and the historic Fox California Theatre.

If you’re looking to learn more about the city’s history, be sure to check out the Stockton Historical Museum, which features exhibits and collections related to the area’s past.

Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to explore Stockton’s rich cultural heritage, there’s plenty to see and do in this vibrant city. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore its historic sites and landmarks!

Family-Friendly Activities in Stockton

If you’re looking for fun things to do with the whole family in Stockton, you won’t be disappointed. Our city offers a wide variety of attractions and activities that will keep kids (and adults) entertained for hours. From interactive museums to outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone in Stockton.

Visit the Micke Grove Zoo

The Micke Grove Zoo is a must-visit attraction for families with children. This zoo offers a range of interactive exhibits, including a petting zoo where kids can feed and interact with animals. You can also see over 130 species of animals, including tigers, monkeys, and more. The zoo is home to over 700 animals from around the world. It is a great way to enjoy some family-friendly time, while also learning about different species of animals.

Explore Pixie Woods

Pixie Woods is a magical place for kids to explore. This amusement park gives visitors the opportunity to ride trains, splash around in the water play area, and ride on the carousel. Kids can also visit with real-life mermaids, pirates, and fairies. Pixie Woods offers a perfect way to spend a summer day with the family, and it’s one of the top Stockton attractions for kids.

Discover the Children’s Museum of Stockton

The Children’s Museum of Stockton is a perfect spot for families with young children. The museum is designed to engage kids in interactive exhibits and activities, such as a treehouse exhibit, a grocery store exhibit, and a dinosaur exhibit; there is plenty to keep young ones busy for hours. The museum also offers various classes for kids and hosts special events throughout the year.

These are just a few of the family-friendly activities that you can enjoy in Stockton. There are plenty of other Stockton attractions that are perfect for families with kids of all ages. Come explore our city with us!

Outdoor Adventures in Stockton

Looking for some outdoor fun? Stockton offers a variety of activities for adventurous travelers, giving them the opportunity to explore the city’s natural beauty and stunning scenery.

Exploring the Delta

Stockton is situated near the waterways of the California Delta, providing ample opportunities for sightseeing and exploration. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride along the San Joaquin Delta, or kayak through the waterways and observe the diverse wildlife in the area.

Activity Description
Delta Waterways Boat tours and water sports
Fishing Catch a variety of fish in the Delta
Paddleboarding Experience the Delta on a paddleboard

Water Sports

Stockton’s location near the Delta also makes it a prime destination for water sports enthusiasts. With its year-round sunny climate, visitors can enjoy activities such as wakeboarding, water skiing, and jet skiing.

  • Wakeboarding
  • Water skiing
  • Jet skiing

Outdoor Recreation

Looking for a more leisurely outdoor activity? Visitors can enjoy hiking, cycling, and picnicking at one of Stockton’s many parks and nature reserves.

Parks and Reserves Description
Oak Grove Regional Park Scenic hiking and picnic areas
University Park World Peace Rose Garden Beautiful rose garden in a peaceful setting
Stockton Delta Waterfront Walking and cycling trails along the Delta


Stockton offers a wide range of outdoor activities for adventurous travelers, with options for all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re looking for water sports, hiking, or sightseeing, Stockton has something to offer. So why not explore Stockton’s natural beauty on your next visit?

Cultural Experiences in Stockton

Stockton offers a variety of cultural experiences that are perfect for entertainment lovers. Whether you’re interested in catching a concert, attending a sporting event, or enjoying different festivals and events throughout the year, Stockton has plenty to offer.

Stockton Arena is a popular venue that hosts a variety of concerts, sporting events, and live entertainment acts throughout the year. From big-name performers to local talent, the arena offers something for everyone.

The Bob Hope Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Stockton, is another great venue for live entertainment. The theatre features concerts, ballets, plays, and other performances throughout the year.

If you’re looking for something unique, be sure to check out Stockton’s various festivals and events. The Stockton Asparagus Festival, one of the city’s largest events, celebrates the local asparagus crop with food, live music, and family-friendly activities. Other popular events include the Stockton Beer Week, Stockton Arts Week, and the Stockton Children’s Film Festival.

No matter what type of entertainment you enjoy, Stockton offers a diverse range of cultural experiences that are sure to captivate and entertain you.

Exploring Stockton’s Parks and Nature Reserves

Stockton is not only known for its urban attractions but also its natural beauty. With a number of parks and nature reserves in the area, visitors can take a break from the city to enjoy the great outdoors.

University Park World Peace Rose Garden

The University Park World Peace Rose Garden is a hidden gem in Stockton. This beautiful garden features over 600 roses, representing over 150 varieties from around the world. Visitors can take a peaceful stroll through the garden and admire the colorful blooms, while learning about the history of roses and their significance to different cultures.

Oak Grove Regional Park

Oak Grove Regional Park is a popular destination for nature lovers. With over 180 acres of land, visitors can explore the park’s hiking trails, have a picnic, or go fishing or boating on the lake. The park also features a playground and a dog park, making it a great spot for families and their furry friends.

Location Contact Information Open Hours
1492 E. Eight Mile Rd., Stockton, CA (209) 953-8800 Open daily from 7:00am to sunset

Stockton Delta

The Stockton Delta is a great place to explore the waterways of the San Joaquin Delta. Visitors can rent a boat and go fishing or waterskiing, or simply take a leisurely cruise through the delta’s winding channels. The delta is also home to diverse wildlife, including migratory birds and endangered species like the Delta smelt.

Whether it’s a peaceful walk through a rose garden, or an adventurous day on the water, Stockton’s parks and nature reserves offer something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the city’s natural beauty during your visit.

Stockton’s Local Cuisine

One of the best things about visiting Stockton is the vibrant food scene. With a diverse range of cuisines to choose from, foodies will find themselves spoilt for choice.

Stockton is known for its farm-to-fork dining, which celebrates locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. Visitors can find these dishes at local restaurants such as Market Tavern and Midgley’s Public House.

For those looking to explore ethnic cuisines, head to Little Manila for Filipino eats or the Miracle Mile for Italian cuisine.

Don’t miss out on trying Stockton’s famous pizza, which locals claim rivals that of New York City. Head to places like Tony’s Pizza Napoletana or Pizza Guys for a slice.

For those with a sweet tooth, try classic treats like the Pixy Stick donut from Donut Avenue or the ice cream sandwiches from House of Ice Cream.

Whatever your taste, Stockton’s local cuisine is not to be missed.

Best Places to Eat in Stockton

When it comes to dining in Stockton, visitors are in for a treat. With a diverse culinary scene and a focus on farm-to-fork cuisine, there are plenty of options to suit every taste and budget.

For those looking for a fine dining experience, the Market Tavern is a great choice. Their farm-to-table menu features locally sourced ingredients, and their extensive wine list offers options from around the world. Another option for excellent cuisine is the Midgley’s Public House, known for their creative twists on classic dishes.

If you’re in the mood for something more casual, there are plenty of options to choose from as well. The Fat City Brew & BBQ offers delicious barbeque dishes in a relaxed atmosphere, and the Empresso Coffeehouse is the place to go for coffee and light bites.

For those with a sweet tooth, Stockton has a few standout bakeries. The Bakerie and Bloom offers delicious treats, including cakes and cupcakes, and the House of Shaw Espresso Cafe is known for their signature cinnamon rolls.

No matter what type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, Stockton has something to offer. From local favorites to hidden gems, the city’s dining scene is sure to impress.

Accommodation Options in Stockton

When it comes to finding a place to stay in Stockton, visitors have a range of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious hotel or a budget-friendly motel, Stockton has plenty of accommodation options to suit every preference and budget.

Accommodation Type Description
Hotels Stockton has a variety of hotels located conveniently near its attractions. From luxurious chain hotels to local independent options, hotels offer comfortable stays with amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers and on-site restaurants. Some popular options include the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel and the Hilton Stockton.
Motels For budget-friendly stays in Stockton, motels are a great option. They offer basic amenities at affordable rates. Many of the motels in Stockton are located near the interstate highways, making them a convenient choice for those who are driving. Some popular options include Motel 6 and Red Roof Inn.
Bed and Breakfasts If you’re looking for a cozy and charming lodging experience, bed and breakfasts are a great choice. Stockton has a few locally-owned bed and breakfasts that offer a unique and personalized experience. Guests can enjoy a homemade breakfast and comfortable rooms in a historic setting. Some popular options include The Inn at Locke House and the Blossoming Rose Bed and Breakfast.

No matter where you choose to stay in Stockton, you’ll be close to the city’s top attractions. Additionally, many hotels and motels offer discounts and package deals for popular Stockton attractions, making it easy to save money on your trip.

When planning your stay in Stockton, it’s important to book in advance as accommodations can fill up quickly during peak travel seasons. Whether you’re visiting Stockton for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, you’re sure to find the perfect lodging option to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.

Exploring Surrounding Areas near Stockton

While Stockton offers plenty of attractions and activities to keep visitors busy, there are also several nearby areas that are worth exploring. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or wine tasting, there’s something for everyone within a short drive from Stockton.

Lodi Wine Country

Located just 30 minutes from Stockton, Lodi is a popular destination for wine lovers. With over 85 wineries, visitors can enjoy tastings, tours, and beautiful views of the surrounding vineyards. Be sure to check out the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center for more information and recommendations on the best wineries to visit.

San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge

For nature lovers, the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit destination. Located just 20 minutes from Stockton, this 7,000-acre wildlife refuge is home to over 400 species of birds, as well as a variety of other animals and plants. Visitors can explore the refuge on hiking trails, enjoy birdwatching, and learn about the local ecosystem at the visitor center.

The Historic Town of Locke

About 40 minutes from Stockton, the historic town of Locke is a unique and fascinating destination. Founded in 1915 by Chinese immigrants, Locke is the only town in the United States built entirely by Chinese people. Visitors can explore the town’s rich history and architecture, enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine, and visit the Locke Boarding House Museum for more information.


While Stockton is a great destination in itself, there are many nearby areas that are worth exploring. From wine tasting in Lodi to exploring the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge and immersing yourself in the unique history of Locke, there’s no shortage of things to see and do within a short drive from Stockton. So pack your bags and get ready to discover all that this region has to offer!

Enjoying Stockton’s Nightlife

If you’re looking for some entertainment after a long day of exploring Stockton’s attractions, you’re in luck. Stockton has a vibrant nightlife scene with plenty of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues to choose from.

If you’re in the mood for live music, head over to the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel’s Delta Bistro and Lounge. This venue offers live music on weekends and is a popular hangout spot for both tourists and locals.

For a more upscale experience, check out the Cattlemen’s Lounge in the Stockton Hilton Hotel. This elegant lounge offers a wide selection of cocktails and spirits, along with live music on weekends.

If you’re more interested in dancing, you can’t go wrong with the Sky Lounge at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel. This trendy nightclub features a spacious dance floor and hosts DJs regularly.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, head over to Cast Iron Trading Co. This cozy bar offers a wide selection of craft beer and wine, along with a menu of tasty bar bites.

Whatever your preference, Stockton has something to offer for everyone when it comes to entertainment and nightlife.

Shopping in Stockton

When it comes to shopping in Stockton, visitors won’t be disappointed. With a variety of options to choose from, there’s something for everyone. From local markets to large malls, here’s what you need to know about shopping in Stockton.

Local Markets

One of the best ways to experience the local culture and find unique souvenirs is by visiting one of Stockton’s local markets. The Miracle Mile Farmers’ Market is a popular spot for fresh produce and handmade crafts, while the Stockton Certified Farmers’ Market offers a variety of fruits, vegetables, and artisanal goods.

Shopping Centers and Malls

For more traditional shopping experiences, Stockton has several malls and shopping centers to choose from. The Weberstown Mall offers a variety of stores such as Macy’s, Forever 21, and Sephora. The Sherwood Mall is another popular destination, with stores such as Target, Best Buy, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Lincoln Center is a charming outdoor shopping center that offers unique boutiques, specialty stores, and restaurants.

Local Boutiques

If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind items, Stockton has a variety of local boutiques to explore. Magnolia Boutique offers trendy clothing and accessories, while Serendipity Boutique features handmade gifts and home decor. Another gem is the Maple Tree Gallery, which offers a wide range of art and handcrafted items.

Souvenir Shopping

For those interested in picking up some souvenirs, the Stockton Souvenirs and Gifts store is a must-visit destination. A family-owned business, the store offers a variety of items such as magnets, mugs, and t-shirts, all featuring unique Stockton designs.

No matter what type of shopping experience you’re looking for, Stockton has something for everyone. Be sure to set aside some time to explore the city’s shopping scene during your visit!

Events and Festivals in Stockton

Stockton is a city that loves to celebrate and has a vibrant community spirit, which is evident in the many events and festivals that take place throughout the year. Whether you are looking for live music, food, art, or cultural experiences, there is something for everyone in Stockton.

Annual Events

One of the most popular events in Stockton is the San Joaquin Asparagus Festival, which takes place every April and celebrates the region’s rich agricultural history. The festival features live music, asparagus-themed food, and family-friendly activities.

Another annual event not to be missed is the Stockton Beer Week, which usually takes place in August, where visitors can sample craft beers from local breweries and enjoy live music and food.

Special Events

Stockton also hosts many special events throughout the year, such as the StocktonCon, a two-day event celebrating all things pop culture, and the Stockton Pride Festival, a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.

For those interested in arts and culture, the Stockton Arts Week, held in October, showcases local artists and performers with a variety of events throughout the city, such as art walks, theater performances, and concerts.


Stockton is also home to several exciting festivals throughout the year, such as the Brubeck Jazz Festival, which honors the city’s native jazz legend Dave Brubeck, and the Stockton Asparagus Festival, which celebrates the region’s favorite vegetable with food, live music, and family-friendly activities.

Other notable festivals include the Stocktoberfest, a celebration of German beer, food, and culture, and the Filipino Barrio Fiesta, which showcases the vibrant culture and traditions of Stockton’s Filipino community.

No matter what time of year you visit Stockton, you are sure to find an exciting and diverse range of events and festivals to enjoy.

Plan Your Visit to Stockton

Now that we’ve highlighted all the fantastic things to do in Stockton, it’s time to start planning your trip. Whether you’re a history buff, foodie, or outdoor enthusiast, Stockton has something to offer. Here are some practical tips to make the most of your visit.

Getting to Stockton

Stockton is easily accessible from major highways and airports. The city is located in the heart of California’s Central Valley, and driving is the most popular mode of transportation. If you’re flying in, the closest airports are Sacramento International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take public transportation to Stockton.

When to Visit

Stockton has a Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The best time to visit is during the spring and fall months when the weather is comfortable, and tourist crowds are smaller. Summer is peak season, and temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Where to Stay

Stockton has a variety of accommodation options to fit any budget. For a more luxurious stay, check out one of the many hotels in the city, such as the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel or the Hilton Stockton. If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, there are also plenty of chain hotels and motels in the area. For a unique experience, consider staying at a bed and breakfast, such as the Benjamin Holt Inn or the Auld Holland Inn.

Getting Around

The best way to get around Stockton is by car, as public transportation options are limited. If you don’t have your own car, you can rent one from one of the major car rental companies at the airport or in the city. Taxis and rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, are also available.

Additional Tips

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring sunscreen and water when exploring the city’s outdoor attractions. If you’re planning on attending one of Stockton’s many festivals or events, check the schedule ahead of time and purchase tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Lastly, don’t forget to try some of the city’s delicious local cuisine.

With this helpful information, you’re ready to plan your trip to Stockton and experience all the amazing attractions and activities the city has to offer.


Q: What are some popular attractions in Stockton, California?

A: Some popular attractions in Stockton include the Haggin Museum, Stockton’s Historic Waterfront, and the Bob Hope Theatre.

Q: What are some family-friendly activities to do in Stockton?

A: Some family-friendly activities in Stockton include visiting the Micke Grove Zoo, Pixie Woods, and the Children’s Museum of Stockton.

Q: What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Stockton?

A: Stockton offers outdoor activities such as exploring the Delta and the California Delta Waterways, as well as enjoying water sports and fishing.

Q: Are there any cultural experiences in Stockton?

A: Yes, Stockton offers cultural experiences such as concerts and sporting events at the Stockton Arena, as well as various festivals and events throughout the year.

Q: Are there any parks or nature reserves in Stockton?

A: Yes, Stockton has parks and nature reserves such as the University Park World Peace Rose Garden and the Oak Grove Regional Park.

Q: What is the local cuisine like in Stockton?

A: Stockton has a vibrant food scene with diverse culinary offerings, including farm-to-fork dining, ethnic cuisines, and local specialties.

Q: Where can I find the best places to eat in Stockton?

A: Stockton has many great restaurants and eateries, including popular local establishments and hidden gems.

Q: What are the accommodation options in Stockton?

A: Stockton offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts, catering to various budgets and preferences.

Q: Are there any nearby attractions or day trips from Stockton?

A: Yes, nearby attractions and day trips from Stockton include the Lodi Wine Country, San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge, and the historic town of Locke.

Q: What is the nightlife like in Stockton?

A: Stockton has a vibrant nightlife scene with bars, clubs, and entertainment venues where visitors can enjoy live music, dancing, and socializing.

Q: Where can I go shopping in Stockton?

A: Stockton offers shopping opportunities such as malls, boutiques, and local markets, where visitors can find unique souvenirs and gifts.

Q: Are there any events and festivals in Stockton?

A: Yes, Stockton hosts annual events and festivals that showcase the city’s vibrant cultural scene and community celebrations.

Q: What practical information should I know when planning a visit to Stockton?

A: When planning a visit to Stockton, consider transportation options, weather considerations, and helpful tips for travelers.