The Best Road Trip: Budget-Friendly Outdoor Adventures in Stockton, California | Visit Stockton
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The Best Road Trip: Budget-Friendly Outdoor Adventures in Stockton, California

Head outdoors, enjoy some time away, and have some fun without breaking the bank. We've gathered together a budget-friendly (FREE) list of outdoor adventures that showcase the beauty in Stockton, California.

Stockton, California is stocked full of awesome low-cost venues and attractions worthy of your visit, but it doesn't stop there. Stockton also has a number of FREE outdoor adventures that allow you to capture the beauty and culture of our city. We can all agree that giving our wallets a break sounds like a good idea!

The following list of great stops will make for a great weekend road trip.

SAVE MORE: sign up for the free Stockton's Savings Pass, a mobile coupon book, for special deals at locations across the city. You can also check out our local lodging options for great deals on places to stay when you visit.

Port of Stockton

The Port of Stockton is the farthest inland port in the state. Known for being a first-class warehouse storage and international distribution public agency, the port frequently receives visits from numerous cargo ships from across the world. For a free mini-adventure, head out to "Dad's Point" near Louis Park, hang out for a bit, and you're likely to catch some of the largest ships you've ever seen - up close and personal.

Pro Tip: Grab a bite to go so you can eat while watching the ships roll in. Delroy's Deli & Catering has the best jerk chicken sandwich and is close by.

Golden Villa Farmers' Market

Get lost on a Saturday morning (and enjoy every second of it) in one of the longest-running farmers' markets in California. Considered one of the best markets in the state, it houses a large variety of hard-to-find fresh produce, fresh eggs, fish, fresh-cut herbs, a Filipino bakery, Chinese food, and so much more. Formerly known as the Downtown Stockton Asian Farmers Market, it is free and open to the public, so go out and enjoy this staple of the Stockton community since 1979.

Pro Tip: arrive early. The market has been known to sell out and close down before its scheduled ending time.

Wat Dhammararam Cambodian Buddhist Temple

For a colorful, peaceful, and spiritual experience, Stockton's Wat Dhammararam Cambodian Buddhist Temple is a must-see. Located in southeast Stockton, just off of Hwy 99, the Stockton Cambodian Buddhist Temple features over 90 larger-than-life sculptures - including a 50 foot long recumbent Buddha. The temple is free to the public during daylight hours and includes ample parking and clean restrooms.

Pro-tip: if you are looking to make the most of your visit, and be respectful of monks that live on-site, we have put together some helpful information here.

Walk With Weber

Stockton is rich with a history dating back to the Gold Rush. To celebrate this history, and the current resurgence of Downtown Stockton, we suggest taking the free Walk With Weber audio tour. All you need is a smartphone to access this free, in-depth history via professionally produced audio clips. Narrated by retired Downtown Stockton Alliance ambassador and historian Manuel Laguna, the sights, sounds, and historic buildings will come to life.

Pro Tip: If you're looking for a quick snack and coffee stop in Downtown Stockton, we suggest Empresso Coffeehouse, Red's 13 South, or Trail Coffee Roasters.

Local Murals

As you walk through Downtown Stockton, you will notice some fantastic artwork placed on the sides of old buildings. We believe that art strengthens a community and as you stroll through, you'll see plenty of examples of that strength and beauty. Each mural has a different personality, message, and emotion attached—and you can see them all by hopping on the Stockton Art Trail! This trail provides a map to the over 50 pieces of beautiful art in our city. You can also check out a list of some of our favorite murals by checking out Street Art: The Essential Guide to Murals in Downtown Stockton, California.

Pro Tip: Stop into a few restaurants that feature murals on their walls, like Cast Iron Trading Co.

Stockton Art Murals

University Park Discovery Trail & World Peace Rose Garden

University Park is a great example of the peaceful beauty that resides in Stockton. Home of the Stockton Campus of California State University Stanislaus, University Park has created a beautiful campus that includes a one-mile discovery trail highlighting stunning architecture, art, and the elegance of nature. Additionally, the World Peace Rose Garden features stunning varieties of roses along with messages of peace from local school-aged children and others throughout the world. The campus is free and open to the public from sunrise to sunset daily.

Pro Tip: Find the small box on the west side of the garden where you can leave your own message of peace that will be shared online.

University of the Pacific

University of the Pacific is used to being near the top of many lists. It is the first chartered University in California, the first Conservatory of Music west of the Mississippi, and consistently ranks among the most beautiful college campuses in the country. Taking a stroll through the open campus will remind you of ivy league schools on the east coast. University of the Pacific's brick and ivy covered buildings and lush greenery create prime spots for taking photos. It is truly one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Stockton.

Pro Tip: the University is located in between the Miracle Mile shopping district and Stockton's two malls: Sherwood and Weberstown - which includes Northern California's only Dillard's department store.

Bonus: The Brick City Bucket List

Whether you're a resident, frequent visitor, or first-time explorer, the Brick City Bucket List is your pass to Stockton's beautiful and historical locations & landmarks. This is your in-depth tour throughout the city formerly referred to as “Brick City,” STOCKTON!

Looking for more suggestions? You can message us 7 days a week for assistance on shopping, dining, and things to do in and around Stockton.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok - and be sure to use #VisitStockton during your visit!

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