The best day trip: from San Francisco to Stockton, California
Just east of San Francisco, nearby Stockton, California is a great day trip destination for those looking to enjoy all that California has to offer.
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A short drive from San Francisco, Stockton offers the opportunity to explore the bounty of San Joaquin County farms, enjoy affordable family friendly outings, and so much more.
At a Glance:
Farms and Markets
Situated along the California Delta, Stockton boasts some of the richest soil in the state. San Joaquin County farms and markets are ready to welcome you with the best in local fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, honey, and more. Two of our favorites are:
- Downtown Stockton Asian Farmers’ Market - Open year-round every Saturday from 5am-11am. One of the oldest farmers' markets in the state, you will find things here you can't get many other places.
TIP: Get there early to find the best of your favorite items before they sell out!
- The Fruit Bowl - Open April through Christmas. In addition to apricots, cherries, and other delicious fruits, The Fruit Bowl has over 60 varieties of peaches! The market also has Italian foods, nuts, local honey and olive oils, and Lodi varietal wines.
TIP: Don't leave without heading into the Bake Shop to taste one of the delicious scratch made fruit pies!
Looking for U-Pick farm experiences and more farmers' markets? Find our full directory here.
Affordable Family Fun
Some of the best childhood memories are made on family vacations. Stockton is home to many places families can experience tons of fun, at an affordable price.
Kids 10 and Under:
- Pixie Woods Amusement Park - Located inside Louis Park - $4 General Admission for those 2 years and older - Open May through October. This children's fairy land is magical and exciting. Ride the merry-go-round and board the Pixie Express train to explore the park and all its many treasures.
TIP: Bring swimsuits or a change of clothes and towels so the kids can run around and cool off in the water feature play area.
- Children's Museum of Stockton - $6 for Adults and kids 1 year and older - Open year round Wed-Fri 9am to 4pm, Sat 10am to 5pm, and Sun Noon to 5pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday. This fun, educational experience lets kids touch, play, pretend, and explore how the world works.
TIP: Be sure to schedule at least a few hours for this experience and bring snacks to enjoy in designated areas.
Kids 11 and older
- Sky Zone - Pricing begins at $15.99/person. Hours Vary. This exciting trampoline park is fun for the whole family. Play dodgeball, joust, or just jump and play together. There is never a dull moment. Food available for purchase.
TIP: Wear comfortable clothing and remember that special socks are required - available for $3 on-site. Lockers also available to store your items during play.
- Limitless Escape Games - Pricing begins at $30/person. Open 10am to 10pm, seven days a week. Solve puzzles, answer riddles, and work together to escape from a locked room in less than 60 minutes. Three themed rooms to choose from.
TIP: Be sure and share your family/team photo on social media after you escape, but don't give away any clues to future players. Challenge your friends to see if they can beat your time! Truly a unique experience.
- Stockton Heat Hockey - Pricing begins at $15/person. October through April. Watch a hockey game inside the beautiful Stockton Arena. It's exciting and the fights are a regularly occurring event. See game schedule.
TIP: Make sure you get a photo and meet Frankie the Firebird, the Stockton Heats's fun-loving mascot. He's a kid favorite and always brings fun to the game.
- Stockton Kings Basketball - Pricing TBD. November to March. Experience NBA G League basketball action in Stockton, California. Elite professional basketball games offer affordable, family fun inside the Stockton Arena. See game schedule.
Find more free and low cost things to do with the family in Stockton here.
Arts and Culture
Stockton has a rich history in arts and culture. Here are a few favorite stops you can't miss during your day trip.
- Haggin Museum - Adults $8, Youth $5. Wed- Fri 1:30pm to 5pm, Sat & Sun Noon to 5pm, closed Mon & Tues. A $2.5 million renovation allows guests to see art in a new light. See works by the likes of JC Leyendecker, Bierstadt, and Bouguereau.
TIP: First Saturday of each month the museum offers free admission. They also have events the 1st and 3rd Thursdays for families.
- Stockton Cambodian Buddhist Temple - FREE during daylight hours. Open 365 days a year. Marvel in the largest display of its kind in California. Nearly 100 larger than life, colorfully painted and jeweled statues telling the life of the Cambodian Buddha.
TIP: The temple is located in a residential neighborhood. Drive in and walk to the back of the property to enjoy a self guided tour. Bathrooms are available.
Find more arts related and cultural adventures in Stockton here.
Fairs and Festivals
From food festivals and outdoor concerts to the county fair, you'll find lively ways to create memories with your family and friends in Stockton.
- Dia De Los Muertos Street Fiesta - Held annually on the final weekend of October in downtown Stockton. The festive and colorful celebration offers everything from cultural food to family fun entertainment such as Folklorico dancers and a Catrina pageant.
TIP: Make time to visit the Mexican Heritage Center to view the many altars and artworks on display, which commemorate and honor the lives of the deceased.
- Stockton Hmong New Year - Admission is $4 per person, children under 7 and seniors over 66 are free. Experience the sights, sounds and smells from Hmong New Year celebrations at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. The two day celebration features several sporting competitions, Hmong folkloric dancing, vendors, and traditional cuisine.
Need more recommendations on how to stay and play in Stockton? You can text us 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm at (877) 778-6258 and you'll receive a live response from a member of our team. Stay social with Visit Stockton on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.