Introduction to Lodi, California
The northern California city of Lodi is located in San Joaquin County, about 90 miles east of San Francisco and 35 miles south of the state capital of Sacramento. Situated near the junction of California State Highways 99 and 12, Lodi is also adjacent to State Highway 88 and easily accessible to Interstate I-5. Lodi is within 45 minutes of the Sacramento International Airport and within convenient driving distance from Oakland International and San Francisco International Airports.
Best known as a major center of wine production, Lodi, along with its neighboring city of Woodbridge, have been a respected part of California's wine industry for over 100 years. First known as Mokelumne Station when it was a railroad stop in 1869, Lodi was renamed just three years later. The derivation of the name Lodi is unclear, but one prevalent theory has it being named for a popular race horse of the time. Incorporated in 1906, Lodi has relied heavily on agriculture and vineyards as its major industries. Today, some of the California's most important wineries rely on grapes grown in the Lodi-Woodbridge region. Over 60 wineries grace the area and nearby Woodbridge is the home of a famous Robert Mondavi winery, Mondavi Woodbridge.
Lodi Events and Attractions
There are plenty of cultural and community events to enjoy and plenty of sites to visit in Lodi. Hutchins Street Square, the city's performing arts and conference center, is home to a varied array of community programs and events. Its large 800-seat theater and adjacent outdoor amphitheater accommodate live entertainment and conferences. Events in Lodi include the Lodi Street Faire, held twice annually in May and in October, which takes up a 10-square block area and features about 700 vendors selling antiques, arts & crafts, commercial wares, and food items. Around Valentines Day Lodi wineries combine to produce the annual Wine & Chocolate extravaganza. Springtime brings the Spring Wine Show at the Grape Festival Grounds where several thousands visitors sample the offerings of dozens of area wineries. ZinFest, another signature Lodi event, offers yet another opportunity to visit tasting rooms around Lodi to sample new releases and gourmet food from local restaurants, as does October's "A Taste of Lodi" event. The Sandhill Crane Festival, held in November, celebrates the thousands of five-foot tall creatures who winter in Lodi. Places of interest to visit in Lodi include the San Joaquin County Historical Museum, the Micke Grove Zoo, the Hill House Museum, and the Great Valley Serpentarium.