While Lodi, California’s famous wineries are a favorite tourist attraction, its vibrant downtown has been winning raves lately, too. Restaurants, tasting rooms, art galleries and clothing boutiques make up its laid-back persona. So if you’re planning a visit to Lodi Wine Country, plan to spend a day exploring the brick-lined streets of downtown. Here are a few highlights:
Tony Segale’s Double Dip Gallery
Perhaps half of your group wants to visit an art gallery, while the other half is ready for an ice-cream break. What to do? Go to Tony Segale’s Double Dip Gallery, where you can get a taste of fine art as well as Gunther’s Ice Cream (a local favorite) all in one place. If you’re interested in creating your own art, Double Dip also offers classes for artists of all ages – beginners and experts alike!
Jeremy Wine Co.
Jeremy Wine Co. is one of 13 tasting rooms that have cropped up all over downtown Lodi, offering sips to visitors in relaxed surroundings. The owners harvest over 70 tons of grapes annually and serve the resulting wine in their tasting room—a former bank building—and courtyard, where you can also enjoy a side order of live music.
Hutchins Street Square
For a small town, Lodi has a big cultural scene, much of it centered at this popular performing arts theater close to downtown. Have a leisurely dinner at a local restaurant, then stroll over to the theater, which features plays, ballet performances, live music and events year round.
Five Window Beer Co.
Located right off the main drag in downtown Lodi, Five Window Beer Co. is a great place to hang out with your friends, and your pup too! Offering a rotating assortment of seasonal beers, games, food trucks, and an expansive patio, this is one brewery you won't want to miss!
At Fē•nix, you will find great service, incredible new American cuisine, and a relaxing, art-inspired atmosphere with food that will please even the most discerning palate. Offering seasonal and locally sourced produce, menu offerings include plates such as pan-seared diver sea scallops with pesto risotto, organic stone-ground herbed polenta with cultivated mushrooms and pecorino romano, and pan-roasted king salmon with a molasses glaze. Is your mouth watering yet?
World of Wonders Science Museum
You’ll plan to go to this hands-on museum for your kids, but you’ll leave realizing you loved it just as much. Science becomes entertainment when you build Lego cars engineered to go fast and straight down a ramp, manipulate clouds and rainbows, and take a peek inside your own eyeball!
The Dancing Fox
You’ll be dancing too when you step into this winery/brewery/bakery/restaurant, which takes “house-made” seriously. Drink a glass of wine from its local vineyard or try one of their house-brewed beers. Top it off with a pizza made with organic grain that’s milled—where else?—on the premises!
Want to see amazing artwork without stepping into a museum or gallery? Just walk around Downtown Lodi. In commemoration of its 100th anniversary in May 2006, a group of artists called the Walldogs created nine colorful murals depicting the town’s fascinating heritage. Some of the murals are humorous, others historical, but all capture life as it was in Lodi.
The Lodi Mission Arch
Paris isn’t the only city with a famous arch. Lodi’s classic Mission Arch, topped with a 23-karat, gold-leaf-covered state bear, is a beloved focal point of the downtown area. The 40-foot arch was built in 1907 to provide a grand entrance to the site of the first Lodi Grape Festival.
Photo by Instagram user: Alex Torres @lurkerking
Not new to Lodi, but new to downtown is McCay Cellars! Michael McCay came to Lodi in the 1980's, started making wine in 1994 and launched the McCay Cellars label in 2007. Steps away from the heart of downtown Lodi, with a beautiful new tasting room, outdoor patio, and delicious Rhone varietals, McCay Cellars is a must! McCay Cellars is open daily from 11 am - 5 pm and from March to August they will be featuring "Market After" every Thursday evening from 5 pm - 7 pm with a new bottle special each week!
There’s more magic to Lodi than what’s in your glass. To learn more about Downtown Lodi shops, restaurants, tasting rooms and attractions, check out VisitLodi.com!