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In North-Central California, Stockton is a mid-sized city famous for its many waterways and unique cultural attractions. Stockton features some of the region’s most impressive museums, parks and entertainment venues, such as the historic Bob Hope Theatre and the more modern Stockton Arena.
The city comes to life during March and April when the annual Chinese and Cambodian New Year’s Celebrations puts everyone in and around Stockton in an energetic and joyful mood. From the popular Stockton Marina to the one-of-a-kind Wat Dhammararam Buddhist Temple, there are some unexpected things to do in Stockton around every corner.
20 Things To Do In Stockton
1- Stroll Along The Stockton Marina Wandering around the waterfront is one of the things to do in Stockton to get your bearings.
Surrounded by popular attractions such as the Banner Island Ballpark and the Stockton Arena, the Stockton Marina in Downtown Stockton is the go-to entertainment venue in the city.
The marina stretches along the scenic San Joaquin Delta waterways and Stockton Channel, attracting thousands of visitors every day looking to enjoy the best sights and landscapes in the city.
From the fantastic free artwork dotted along the Joan Darrah Promenade to the great restaurants and eateries, the marina is a great place to hang out and absorb the local vibe.
Stockton Marina is at 445 W Weber Ave ste 128-b, Stockton, CA 95203.
2- Shop At Miracle Mile
Stretching along Pacific Avenue, Stockton’s Miracle Mile was established in 2007 by a collection of local businesses and has since grown to become among the hottest shopping and dining destinations in Stockton.
Speciality shops, boutiques and bustling nightlife venues line the street corners along Stockton’s favourite mile, making it a fun attraction to stroll along to take in all the sights.
Home to a wide array of permanent vendors and businesses, the mile also regularly hosts popular events ranging from wine walks to car shows, so check what’s happening along the mile during your visit.
Miracle Mile is at 221 Tuxedo Ct, Stockton, CA 95204.
3- Relax In University Park World Peace Rose Garden Stopping to smell the roses is one of the tranquil things to do in Stockton.
Established by Kevin and Sandy Huber in 2015, the University Park World Peace Rose Garden is a beautiful 102-acre (41 ha) mixed-use public venue that is both inspiring and scenic to visit.
The garden features over 250 rose bushes and a variety of heartfelt messages submitted by students from across the world, which visitors can explore free of charge.
There’s even a sizeable lake to enjoy a lovely afternoon picnic at, making this beautiful rose garden among the best free attractions in Stockton.
University Park World Peace Rose Garden is at 599 E Magnolia St, Stockton, CA 95202.
4- Get Fresh Produce At The Fruit Bowl Buying fresh produce and fruit is one of the things to do in Stockton for a healthy lifestyle.
Frank and Ina Lucchetti founded the Fruit Bowl in 1947 to provide the people of Stockton with the freshest fruits, jams and baked goods.
The venue is at the Lucchetti’s ranch along East Waterloo Road, where the family grows and sells more than 65 peach, nectarine and plum varieties and almost everything else for sale inside their large produce store.
You can find everything from homemade pies to imported Italian products at the venue, including award-winning olive oils from Bava, Bozzano, Sciabica and Corto.
No matter what delicacy or farm-fresh ingredients you’re looking for, this amazing Stockton venue is guaranteed to have exactly what you need.
The Fruit Bowl is at 8767 Waterloo Rd, Stockton, CA 95215.
5- Catch A Game At Stockton Arena
Opened in 2005, The 12,000-seat Stockton Arena is the home venue for the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat and the Stockton Kings from the NBA G League.
The venue is the area’s go-to sporting and entertainment centre and has hosted everything from regular sporting matches to MMA and WWE events.
Situated right in the heart of Downtown Stockton, the arena is close to many of Stockton’s biggest attractions, making it the perfect place to see an evening event after a long day of exploring this delightful Californian city.
Stockton Arena is at 248 W Fremont St, Stockton, CA 95203.
6- Spend An Afternoon At Pixie Woods Amusement Park
Stockton’s popular Pixie Woods Amusement Park opened in 1954 and has grown to become the area’s go-to holiday destination for families.
The park features several unique amusement rides ranging from vintage merry-go-rounds to a train journey through Native American lands.
The park delights visitors with themed attractions, such as Pirate Lagoon and Miner’s Cove, ensuring that guests are royally entertained throughout the day with something cool and unique to do everywhere they look.
Pixie Woods Amusement Park is at 3121 Monte Diablo Ave, Stockton, CA 95203.
7- Join The Annual Cambodian New Year’s Celebration
The Cambodian New Year’s Celebration is a popular new year’s parade organised in April every year that brings together the area’s Cambodian citizens together for one grand cultural extravaganza.
Free to visit and open to people from all backgrounds, this three-day event is centred around Stockton’s Wat Dhammararam Buddhist Temple and features traditional Cambodian cuisine and music performances.
Not only is Stockton’s Cambodian new year’s parade among the largest in the world outside of Cambodia, but the energetic event is among the best free things to experience in the region, making it an excellent addition to any Stockton itinerary.
Cambodian New Year’s Celebration is at 3732 Carpenter Rd, Stockton, CA 95215.
8- Marvel At The Colourful Stockton Chinese New Year’s Parade Taking part in the Chinese New Year festivities is one of the things to do in Stockton.
Much like the Cambodian New Year’s Celebration, the Stockton Chinese New Year’s Parade is an annual gathering of Chinese-descent citizens in Stockton and beyond to joyfully enter the New Year spectacularly.
Held in Downtown Stockton, the parade is the largest in San Joaquin County and features highlights such as traditional Chinese folk dances and colourful dancing lions and dragons.
Free to enjoy and open to visitors of all ages, the parade is among the unique attractions in Stockton and one that’s packed with a laundry list of fun things to experience.
The celebrations were cancelled from 2020 to 2022 due to COVID but are back in 2023.
9- Catch A Show At The Historic Bob Hope Theatre
The Bob Hope Theatre is among the most impressive and prestigious art venues in the San Joaquin Valley and is a listed National Historic Landmark.
When the theatre opened in 1930, it was one of only two movie palaces in California’s Central Valley and played host to some of the biggest film premiers on the West Coast during its heyday.
Today, this Stockton landmark hosts everything from theatre productions to stand-up comedy.
It features a grand interior with a marble mosaic floor and a 1928 Robert Morton theatre organ.
If you’re interested in checking out the local arts scene in the San Joaquin Valley, there’s no better place to start than the Bob Hope Theatre.
Bob Hope Theatre is at 242 E Main St, Stockton, CA 95202.
10- Take the little ones to the Children’s Museum of Stockton
The Children’s Museum of Stockton became a reality in 1994 when Janet Geng founded this child-oriented safe space where kids and their families could learn through play.
With over 22,000 square feet (2,044 m2) of exhibition space and roughly 44 interactive displays, the museum can keep kids busy for an entire afternoon.
With exhibits such as the Lego Derby Area, the Nature Station and the Galaxy Room, the museum is a fun and highly educational venue.
Children’s Museum of Stockton is at 402 W Weber Ave, Stockton, CA 95203.
11- Plan A Day Trip To The Bay Area
With the Bay Area situated less than 80 miles (129 km) from Downtown Stockton, it serves as the perfect day trip destination to see and experience everything that San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland has to offer.
The Bay Area is among the best places to live and has world-famous landmarks to marvel at, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Fisherman’s Wharf.
All this and more is right at your fingertips when staying in Stockton, with less than 90 minutes separating Downtown Stockton and three of the world’s most historic, cultured and touristy cities.
12- Visit the Delta Center For The Arts
Operated by the San Joaquin Delta College’s Fine Arts Division, the Delta Center For The Arts hosts world-class art and theatrical exhibitions all year.
The venue is home to the Stockton Symphony Association and the college’s choir, concert band, jazz band and drama productions.
An absolute hit with locals thanks to its affordability and family-friendly atmosphere, the centre is a must-visit attraction in Stockton for high-quality theatre and music.
Delta Center For The Arts is at 5151 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95207.
13- Practice Your Swing At Swenson Park Golf Course Playiing golf is one of the top things to do in Stockton California.
Rated as one of the best golf courses in the San Joaquin Valley, the Swenson Park Golf Course features an 18-hole and 9-hole course to perfect your golf swing while travelling around Stockon.
Apart from its two golf courses, the venue also features an area for disc golf, a driving range and a restaurant titled The Fox Den.
A truly multi-purpose venue, Stockton’s favourite golf course is well worth checking out the next time you’re in the region.
Swenson Park Golf Course is at 6803 Alexandria Pl, Stockton, CA 95207.
14- Tour The Haggin Museum
The Haggin Museum first opened its doors in 1931 and features a world-class collection of American and international art ranging from classic paintings to Japanese woodblock prints.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Jean Béraud and Auguste Rodin are some notable artists whose masterpieces are displayed at the museum.
The museum is also home to the most extensive collection of Albert Bierstadt paintings and J. C. Leyendecker illustrations in the entire region, so be sure not to miss out on all the treasure troves on display at the Haggin.
Haggin Museum is at 1201 N Pershing Ave., Stockton, CA 95203.
15- See The Impressive Wat Dhammararam Buddhist Temple
The Wat Dhammararam Buddhist Temple is among the most remarkable landmarks In California.
Erected in 1982 by a group of Cambodian refugees who wanted to preserve a bit of their culture after fleeing their war-torn country for Stockton, the temple features numerous Buddhist statues encrusted with colourful gemstones.
Serving as the centrepiece for the annual Cambodian New Year’s Celebration in April, the temple is open for visitors of all backgrounds and regularly hosts events throughout the year.
Visiting this one-of-a-kind California landmark is always a must-do activity in Stockton, especially when the New Year’s celebrations are in full swing.
Wat Dhammararam Buddhist Temple is at 3732 Carpenter Rd, Stockton, CA 95215.
16- Stroll Through Victory Park
Donated to the City of Stockton in 1914 and officially opened as a public park in 1916, Victory Park is one of the best outdoor attractions in the San Joaquin Valley.
The venue is popular for its free open-air music concerts hosted throughout the year and is home to the famous Haggin Museum.
Nature trails, picnic areas, playgrounds and BBQ areas throughout the park are a great addition to any Stockton itinerary when visiting the region.
Victory Park is at 1001 N Pershing Ave, Stockton, CA 95203.
17- Enjoy The Japanese Garden at Micke Grove Park
Situated roughly 25 minutes from Downtown Stockton, the Japanese Garden at Micke Grove Park is a traditional Japanese garden complete with a koi pond, cherry blossom trees and pagodas.
The park was established in 1959 by WWII veteran “Duke” Yoshimura and treats visitors to impeccably maintained gardens and scenery every season of the year.
Not only is this delightful urban park free to visit, but its uniqueness makes it one of the highlights of any trip to the San Joaquin Valley.
The Japanese Garden at Micke Grove Park is at 11793 Micke Grove Rd, Lodi, CA 95240.
18- Marvel At The Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium
One of the city’s top live performance venues, the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium was built in 1925 by architects Glenn Allen, Ivan C. Satterlee and W. J. Wright as a memorial to the countless Stockton veterans of WWI.
The stately venue features a proscenium-style arch and an Indiana limestone facade and has seen some of the biggest performers in the world roll through its doors.
Not only is the venue a great memorial to those who lost their lives fighting in the First World War, but it’s also among the hottest spots in town for live music and concerts during the evening.
Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium is at 525 N Center St, Stockton, CA 95202.
19- Spend An Afternoon At Oak Grove Regional Park
Oak Grove Regional Park is a scenic 180-acre (73 ha) outdoor attraction that features a nature centre, several hiking trails, a 10-acre (4 ha) freshwater lake, an 18-hole disc golf course, playgrounds, picnic areas and BBQ grills.
The park hosts a range of events and fishing competitions throughout the year and even has paddleboat rentals available for guests interested in enjoying the park’s lake up close.
Free to enjoy and stocked full of fun things to do, Oak Grove is among the best outdoor venues to visit in the San Joaquin Valley and well worth checking out the next time you’re in Stockton.
Oak Grove Regional Park is at 4520 W Eight Mile Rd, Stockton, CA 95209.
20- Go Shopping At The Lincoln Center
The Lincoln Center is Stockton’s shopping and dining hub, featuring a laundry list of chain stores, restaurants and juice bars for visitors to shop and eat at.
The mall, distinguished by its massive “L” sign along Pacific Avenue, is open from 7 am to 10 pm every day of the week, so there’s ample time to shop for gifts and trinkets.
Several unique attractions are situated inside the mall, including escape rooms and several of the city’s top-rated restaurants.
The venue also regularly organises special events throughout the year, such as their Sidewalk Sale, which makes visiting Stockton’s shopping mecca a fun experience time and time again.
Lincoln Center is at 374 Lincoln Ctr, Stockton, CA 95207.One of the things to do in Stockton at night is to stroll around the city.
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