Manteca is a city of about 68,000 people situated in the centre of the San Joaquin Valley in San Joaquin County. It claims to be the “Pumpkin Capital of the World” with most of the pumpkins from California being grown in Manteca.
It’s also known for its year-round pleasant weather and central location only fifty miles from the major cities of Sacramento and San Jose. It’s also less than 20 miles away from Stockton and Modesto.
Manteca is rich in culture and history. There are many parks, museums, restaurants, and shopping areas, such as the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley and Stadium Center.
Many festivals and events take place in Manteca throughout the year including the Crossroads Street Fair and the Manteca Pumpkin Fair.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Manteca, California.
1. Learn about history at the Manteca Historical Society and Museum
At the Manteca Historical Society and Museum, visitors of all ages can learn about the history and culture of the city and surrounding area.
On site, you’ll see a wide variety of artefacts, photographs, and documents across many exhibits about various aspects of the city’s history. These include the Native Americans of the area, the railroads, agriculture, the military, and other industries that thrive in the area. There is a gift shop on site.
2. Take a leisurely stroll through beautiful Caswell Memorial State Park
Caswell Memorial State Park is a beautiful natural area situated along the shore of the Stanislaus River. The park is a favourite among residents and visitors who want to get away from the noise and crowds of the city for a while and just relax with a nice stroll in nature.
The original purpose of the park was to protect the local Riparian Oak Woodlands and the endangered animals who make their home there.
Today, the park is popular with day hikers, picnickers, and anglers who come to fish for bass, catfish, and crappie. There are several swimming areas along the river and if you wish to stay longer, there are camping facilities on site.
3. Enjoy Caribbean cuisine at Mamas and the Tapas Cafe
At Mamas and the Tapas Cafe, friendly staff has been serving delicious Caribbean dishes from several of the region’s island nations including Jamaica, Cuba, and Puerto Rico since 2013.
On the menu, you’ll find a wide variety of options including tapas, salads, sandwiches, empanadas, plantains, rice-based dishes, and chicken-based dishes. Vegan options are also available.
4. Make your dream come true at Big League Dreams
I think it’s pretty safe to say that almost every sports fan has at one point dreamed of playing in a Major League ballpark. Even if you are not a huge sports fan, you’ll appreciate the replicas that are on site at Big League Dreams.
These replicas represent famous ballparks from around the country including Wrigley Park, Fenway Park, and Yankee Stadium. Visitors can play softball or baseball in these fields or they can play soccer in the large indoor pavilion.
The Stadium Club Restaurant overlooks the replica stadiums and serves an array of snacks and meals including burgers, hotdogs, and sandwiches. There’s also a playground on site for young children to enjoy.
5. Sample local wine at the Delicato Family Vineyards Tasting Room
For almost 100 years, the Delicato family has been creating fine wines using sustainable methods and an assortment of grapes from the family vineyards.
At the sophisticated tasting room, you’ll be able to sample a wide range of red and white wines including some rare ones. The wines, along with gift baskets and various gourmet items, are available to buy. Throughout the year, a number of events also take place here.
6. Catch a flick at the AMC Movie Theater
Every city has a movie theater but what makes the AMC Theater in Manteca unique is the sheer luxury you’ll experience during your movie experience.
The theater is situated near a large man-made lake. This beautiful exterior gives way to an opulent interior complete with plush seating and other comfortable features to make your experience enjoyable and relaxing. A range of high-quality snacks and drinks are also served.
7. Relax with your thoughts at the Wat Dhammararam Buddhist Temple
Visitors who are seeking a quiet, relaxing place to just sit back in peace with their thoughts will find such an environment at the Wat Dhammararam Buddhist Temple.
This Cambodian-style Buddhist temple in nearby Stockton was constructed by volunteers who continue to maintain the property. It features an array of beautiful statues, arches, and stunning decor.
8. Learn about local wildlife at the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge
Visitors to Manteca who are interested in seeing and learning more about the flora and fauna of the region can head to the San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge where they’ll see various local species living in their natural habitat.
The first thing you’ll notice in this natural area is the stunning scenery that includes beautifully-maintained grassland and wetland areas.
Some of the animals you’ll spot along the way include Aleutian cackling geese, sandhill cranes, and Riparian brush rabbits – the most endangered animal in the state.
On site, you’ll be able to enjoy a nature walk along the four-mile Pelican Nature Trail which is home to a free-roam exploration area.
You’ll also be able to get a better view of the refuge and its fields and grasslands from the Beckwith observation platform. The San Luis NWR Complex Visitor Center and Headquarters feature a variety of exhibits about the area and local wildlife.
Visitors are welcome to do their own self-guided walk through the refuge or participate in one of the staff-guided programs available. A number of events take place at the refuge throughout the year.
9. Satisfy Your hunger with Mexican cuisine at Taqueria Yvette
Enjoy a casual environment suitable for the whole family while you enjoy a tasty meal of authentic Mexican and Latin American fare.
Lunch and dinner are served daily and some of the items that you’ll find on the extensive menu include enchiladas, tacos, chili, burritos, quesadillas and a variety of sides and appetizers. Beer and wine are also served.
10. Enjoy family fun at Manteca Bowl
There’s something for people of all ages at Manteca Bowl. Whatever you and the members of your travel party choose to do there, it is sure to provide hours of fun.
This classic bowling alley is home to 48 bowling lanes, an arcade, pool tables, dartboards, and batting cages. Rookies’ Pub and Grill features a wide assortment of food options including burgers and hotdogs. A pro shop is also on site and guests have access to complimentary wi-fi.
11. Learn a new skill at Manteca Sportsmen Club
Men, women, and children of all ages can enjoy a variety of shooting sports in the safe environment of the Manteca Sportsmen Club.
The on-site facilities are suitable for pistol, shotgun, and rifle shooting. Archery is also available. You can visit during open-range hours to do your own thing or you can participate in classes, events or training activities suitable for all levels including beginners.
12. Book a tee time at Tracy Golf and Country Club
Tracy Golf and Country Club welcomes the general public to tee off at this championship 18-hole course in nearby Tracy. Located in a valley, this desert course has many challenges but it’s suitable for all levels.
Practice bunkers and a driving range are on site for golfers who wish to brush up on their skills. Visitors can also enjoy a pro golf shop and a bar and restaurant with fabulous views of the valley.
13. Spend a Day Exploring the Dell’Osso Family Farm
For many years, the Dell’Osso Family Farm has provided a variety of produce including asparagus, alfalfa, tomatoes, beans, melons, and pumpkins. Today, the family-run farm offers that and so much more so that families can enjoy a day outside exploring the farm and enjoy many fun attractions.
During your visit, you’ll enjoy a corn maze, a haunted castle, a kiddie playland and a tire pyramid. Throughout the day, you can also go on a hayride, take a ride on the Dell’Osso Express Train, watch duck races, and embark on a mystery tour.
14. Spend an afternoon shopping at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley
With 720,000 square feet of space filled with shops, eateries, and entertainment venues, you’re sure to find everything you’re looking for at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley.
On-site you’ll be able to browse many popular stores including Banana Republic, Sephora, Guess, and Bass Pro Shops.
When you’ve had enough retail therapy, settle into one of the many eateries for a delicious bite to eat. Red Robin, Matsu Sushi Japanese Restaurant, and Subway are among the options to choose from when hunger strikes.
15. Learn to ride at All Star Training
If learning to ride a horse is something you’ve always wanted to do, All Star Training is where you can learn everything there is to know.
This training facility teaches visitors of all ages how to ride Western-style but before you get to that point, you’ll also learn safety techniques and how to halter, lead, tie, and groom a horse. You’ll also learn important aspects of the overall process including the basic anatomy of a horse and parts of the saddle.