Thinking about a weekend away for just the two of you? Come to Lodi, a gem in California wine country where you can relax and recharge as you indulge in great food, award-winning wine, outdoor fun, boutique shopping and lots more.
Have a Taste or Two in Wine Country
There’s something utterly romantic about touring Lodi’s wineries. The voluptuous grapes, the winemakers’ loving attention to their craft, and the products’ exclusivity make it an intoxicating experience. To figure out which wineries to go to, drop by the Visitor Center in Downtown Lodi for a comprehensive guide. Are you interested in historical wineries or modern ones? Lodi has both. With more than 85 wineries and 450+ wine labels, you’ll find plenty of choices to satisfy your taste. The area is known as the Zinfandel Capital of the World, but Merlots, Chardonnays and many other varietals are produced here as well. If you prefer not to sip and steer, hop on (and off) the Sip Shuttle, which stops at several wineries throughout the day. If you enjoy the outdoors, bicycling is another way to enjoy wine tasting with your sweetie.
Get Active in the Great Outdoors
When you want to take a break from the wineries, head to spectacular Lodi Lake for outdoor activities you can do together. Spend a few hours skimming the water in a kayak, taking a leisurely walk along the nature trails or, in warmer weather, walking hand-in-hand on the beach (taking a dip in the water is not required, but highly recommended!). Lodi has a renowned wilderness area that attracts thousands of migratory birds every year, so be sure to pack binoculars. Other fun activities: biking the area’s back roads, rafting or tubing down the Mokelumne River and, if you dare, go all Indiana Jones and parachute out of a plane, tandem style.
Be Dazzled by Downtown
Lodi’s charming downtown is a vibrant mesh of eclectic restaurants, tasting rooms, boutiques and galleries filling the tree-lined streets. Not to miss: the 40-foot arch built in 1907, Walldog murals depicting Lodi’s heritage, and the School Street Gallery, a new addition to the downtown art scene that showcases local artists’ paintings, stained-glass works and photographs. If you and your honey enjoy history, pay a visit to the Hill House Museum, an early 20th-century Victorian home that displays Hill family artifacts from clothes to furniture. Later, check out a play or concert at the Hutchins Street Square performing arts theater, where the entertainment includes acts of all kinds, from Grammy-winner Billy Dean to Lodi’s Got Talent.
Explore a Foodie's Paradise
Lodi has become a foodie’s paradise with high-end to casual restaurants, cafés and breweries serving everything from trendy dishes to classic favorites. You can find just about anything you’re craving, from sushi to steak. To top it off, many restaurants offer delicious Lodi wine to enjoy with your meal! For breakfast or lunch, head to Phillips Farm Café & Bakery at Michael-David Winery for omelets, burgers and homemade soups. Locals never walk out without buying one of the café’s famous pies. Tin Roof BBQ is another great lunch spot, where the aroma wafting through the dining room is mesmerizing and the barbecue — baby-back ribs, smoked brisket — is like a delicious dream come true.
Rest and Relax for a Romantic Stay
Is staying in a beautiful hideaway part of your romantic weekend plans? Lodi’s got just the place: Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, which offers deluxe accommodations on seven lush acres. Start your day with a walk through the flower-filled gardens or soak in the hot tub. Keep the romance going with a 60-minute couples massage at the hotel’s renowned spa. If you’re interested in resting your head in a place with historical significance, book a room at the Inn at Locke House, an eco-friendly bed-and-breakfast set in a restored brick farmhouse. The property — with stunning views of the Mokelumne River bluffs and surrounding orchards, vineyards and ranches — is a California landmark that’s on the National Register of Historic Places. To plan your romantic Lodi getaway, explore VisitLodi.com or check out our upcoming events! Published: February 2016 By Guest Blogger Nancy Mattia