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Downtown Lodi

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Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 1:00 pm

Overview: Between the various eateries, cinema, olive oil, cheese and wine tasting, shopping and more, Downtown Lodi is the place to be. You can grab a bite with friends at one of the various restaurants that serve delicacies ranging from sushi to burgers, sample some sweets at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory or sip Zin at one of the many tasting rooms. Then enjoy some shopping before ending your day.

The skinny: Downtown Lodi is full of fun shops and boutiques, from French decor at French at Heart to kitschy gifts and tasty treats at Taste of Heaven Cottage, and more.

Various antique and consignment stores dot the streets of Downtown. You can find everything from vintage jewelry to an antique hutch like grandma’s.

Fashion Safari is a fashion lover’s dream and has been in Downtown for 10 years as of April 26. From purses and scarves to shoes and rings, it’s a one-stop shop for all your fashion needs.

If you’re looking to get creative, the Mud Mill is a pottery painting studio that opened January 2004 in Downtown Lodi. Go in, pick your pottery, paint, glaze and enjoy! You can create gifts for others or keep your project to enjoy.

And Bunches of Beads is a creative genius’ paradise. They offer freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals, stringing materials, charms and more! Ask about their birthday parties and special events.

More interested in creativity of the edible variety? Lodi Cooks is a family-owned store that has been in the Central Valley for 10 years. They offer a wonderful selection of tools for your kitchen and gadgets that make cooking fun. If you love to cook or have a chef in the family, this is the store for you.

Don’t overlook the beautiful hand-painted murals or sculptures celebrating Sandhill cranes and the local grape harvest.

If you enjoy science or just love to explore new things, drop by the World of Wonders Science Museum and see what you can discover. It’s great for the kids too!

After you’ve had your fill of shopping and exploring, fill your stomach with some delicious eats.

Foodies, take note: Downtown offers dining options for everyone, from Italian dishes at the Twisted Fork and artisan pizza at the Dancing Fox Winery & Bakery, to a hot bowl of pho at the Saigon Grill or local veggies grilled to perfection at Rosewood Bar and Grill.

Be sure to stop by Shangri La Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar to try the Mom’s Roll — spicy tuna and shrimp tempura topped with avocado, maguro, shiro, special sauce, green onion and massago.

Drop by Olive Heaven and taste some of their delicious oils and vinegars. You won’t be disappointed.

Or if you’re in the mood for Mexican, try fresh guacamole made to order at your table at Alebrijes, or sample tamales at La Fuente, where you can also enjoy a glass of wine from Lodi Wine Cellars on the back patio — just one of several tasting rooms in Downtown.

Other things to do: There are plenty of events in Downtown, too. The Lodi Street Faire, which is held twice annually in May and October, features around 700 vendors selling everything from food and tool to crafts and antiques.

Wine and Chocolate Weekend is held in February and is the perfect event to enjoy with that special someone in your life.

Downtown also hosts the School Street Wine Stroll in April.

The Downtown Lodi Farmers Market draws hundreds of shoppers, and is known for its fresh produce, live bands and scrumptious delights. The market runs from 5 to 9 p.m. every Thursday from May until September.

The Parade of Lights, held in December, features hundreds of floats decked out for the holiday season. School marching bands follow to the beat of the drum, and holiday music floats down the streets. Take your little ones and some cocoa, because it can get chilly — and get there early because spaces fill up fast!

For more information on Downtown Lodi and events drop by Visit Lodi! Conference and Visitors Bureau at 25 N. School St., Lodi, CA 95240. For more information, call 209-365-1195 or email info@visitlodi.com.

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