Things for University of the Pacific Students to do in Stockton, California | Visit Stockton
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Things to do in Stockton for UOP Students Returning to School

Returning to school is always a big time in the life of a college student. Kicking off the 2021/22 school year is an even more momentous occasion as many students are returning to campus life for the first time in more than a year. UOP students have the option to return early, so here's some ways to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with your college town.

Explore Stockton's diverse culture

Stockton is known as one of the most diverse cities in California, which in itself is known for its diversity as well. The vibrant cultures are on display throughout the community, and you don't have to look hard to find them.

Cambodian Buddhist Temple (Wat Dhammararam)

Stockton's Wat Dhammararam temple is one of those places that has to be seen in person to really believe. The grounds are surrounded by 90 dazzling statues that illustrate the life of the Cambodian Buddha. In the center of it all is a 50 foot long statue of Buddha; It's one of the most photographed spots in all of Stockton. Once you're there you'll see why.

Mexican Heritage Center

The Mexican Heritage Center is part museum, part art gallery and all parts celebration of the Mexican culture here in Stockton. You'll find art, music, dance and even cuisine and coffee at the attached Arte del Café. Come see the work of local artists as they explore the culture and traditions that shaped their lives. You can even purchase some art, jewelry, pottery and more, perfect to decorate your dorm or to send to family back home.

Haggin Museum

Stockton's famous Haggin Museum, affectionally referred to as "The Haggin" by locals, showcases the history of Stockton through exhibits and art. Even Sunset Magazine extolled the virtues of The Haggin in an issue once, calling it one of the "undersung gems of California." Exhibits both static and rotating tell the many stories of how Stockton came to be. Be sure to make a visit to Victory Park when you go to the museum, it's one of the city's most picturesque spots, outside the UOP campus of course.

Japanese Garden at Micke Grove Park

The story of the Japanese Garden is as fascinating as the grounds are beautiful. It was founded by "Duke" Yoshimura, who served in the US Armed Forces during WWII. In 1959 Yoshimura asked William Micke for permission to create a Japanese garden to show solidarity between the Japanese community and the people of San Joaquin County. Micke gave his enthusiastic approval and with a lot of hard work from the community, the three-acre park was eventually created. The design and plans are inspired by the three major religions of Japan while various regions of the nation are represented in lanterns and structures throughout the park. This beautiful garden is a stunning sight to behold and a wonderful place to visit if you need a break from the stresses of college life.

Explore the foodie scene

If you're a lover of a good meal, then you're going to feel right at home in Stockton. We've got a killer food scene that's going to have your friends eating student union "food" at other universities jealous.

Fat City BBQ

You can't go wrong with BBQ food, especially at Fat City. The food is amazing as the rubs and sauces used by local chef and owner Don King are simply works of culinary art. If you're over 21, you'll also appreciate their wide and rotating selection of craft beers on tap. Better yet, Fat City is in the heart of the Miracle Mile shopping district, making it an awesome spot to refuel after exploring the many local stores that line the street.

Kitchen at Stonebrier

Just because you're in college doesn't mean you only eat ramen. Sure, it's cheap and easy, but sometimes you just gotta go big, right? When you feel like going fancy, get the friends together and go to the Kitchen at Stonebrier. You're on your own, doing your own thing, why not throw on your best clothes and have some prime rib, short ribs or event filet mignon? The food is so good, it'll totally be worth it.

Tasty Pot

Speaking or ramen earlier, another fun idea is to see how real ramen is made when it doesn't come in a bag for less than a dollar at the grocery store. Tasty Pot is regularly at the top locals' lists for best ramen in Stockton. And it's not just ramen, Tasty Pot specializes in all sorts of savory soups. No matter if you're looking for a little comfort food to remind you of home or looking for a professional take on the college student staple, this will be a good spot to check out.

Fun for the whole family

Did the whole family come with to move you in? Or maybe they're coming for a visit and you're looking for some fun things to show them in your new town. We've got plenty to keep you all busy.

Micke Grove Zoo

The Micke Grove Zoo is a five-acre zoo with a fun selection of bids, reptiles, mammals and more to see. The zoo may be small, but you'll see some fun and unique specimens here as the staff focuses on quality versus quantity of what they display.

Micke Grove Disc Golf Park

Since you're already at Micke Grove, why not try your hand at Disc Golf? Stockton is a premier disc golf location, with pros and up-and coming amateurs alike traveling here for practice and tournaments. Micke Grove is just one of the courses here, we have other spots if you find yourself falling in love with the sport like so many others do.

Go shopping

Stockton has a vibrant shopping scene, both in small, independently owned stores and with some big names. Stockton is home to California's only Dillard's, a name you'll know if you hail from outside the golden state. Located in Weberstown Mall, it's one of many national chains but is also surrounded by independent businesses as well. It's also right next to Sherwood Mall where you'll find even more big and little stores so you can round out the wardrobe or finish decorating your dorm room.

Of course you'll really want to get the feel for Stockton, and that's done at the small mom and pop shops. Stockton has a rich maker's culture that you can find at shops and pop up markets throughout the community. You can also find some great local deals by using our Stockton Savings Pass. Check out our shopping page and our calendar of events regularly to see what's happening where and when.

Go to a Ports game

You're moving in at a good time as you're right in the middle of baseball season. The Stockton Ports are affiliated with the Oakland Athletics. They're one of the original teams that formed the California Baseball League and also one of its most successful, winning 11 titles. That's more than any other team playing today. Their home games are at Banner Island Ballpark, widely considered to be one of the most beautiful ballparks around. Their schedule is packed with fun promotions, meaning the whole family will have a great time going to the game.


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