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Downtown Lodi offers attractions for everyone

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Posted: Friday, May 29, 2015 10:15 am

Downtown Lodi is ground zero for wine tasting, dining of all cuisines, entertainment, local art and shopping at several of the city’s ‘mom and pop’ shops.

Imbibe Lodi’s famous Zinfandels or some Cabernet Sauvignon from several tasting rooms such as Lodi’s Wine Social, Toasted Toad Cellars, Estate Crush and cellardoor. Or treat your palate with some Spanish varietals like Tempranillo at Riaza Wines or Albariño at Viñedos Aurora at Pamplona Tapas.

In several tasting rooms both here and around the county, you can even chat leisurely with the winemakers.

Several large-scale wine tasting events happen each year, including the highly popular Wine and Chocolate Weekend in February and the many wine strolls in the spring and fall. Many wineries will open their tasting rooms in the area as well as bring the party downtown inside local businesses.

Beer fans will also find something here at many of the local pubs such as Ollie’s Pub, which provides some nice open air seating to drink a cold one on a hot summer evening. Or visit Lodi Beer Company where much of the beer on tap has been crafted onsite — stay for the baby back ribs, salads, and burgers.

Lodi’s Downtown is not just a playground for the 21 and older. It’s home to the innovative World of Wonders Science Museum on Sacramento Street, a hands-on learning experience geared toward children with attractions such as a hovercraft, a heart beat drum and a wind tunnel.

Staff are more than willing to explain the science behind the exhibits and perhaps demonstrate with their own experiments.

Other family-friendly options include the Mud Mill, where you can paint pottery or Bunches of Beads to make your own bracelets.

If you love browsing through antiques and decorating shabby chic style, visit shops like Bath and More and, Secondhand Rose or Thomas’ Favorite Things. Or try out endless scarves and accessories at Fashion Safari and Perfect Pear.

The weekend after Thanksgiving brings countless deals at these stores for people who want to shop local for some unique holiday gifts or just a great outfit.

Foodies looking for a new dining experience can visit several of the new restaurants which have opened in the past year.

Shep’s Sports Bar and Grill is a hot spot for hot dogs and spicy wings, or you can head for some pasta at Marino’s Italian Restaurant. For a quick stop, build your own 11-inch pizzas or salads at Smack Pie Pizza

Enjoy a meal or two at some of Lodi’s long-time favorites including Dancing Fox Winery and Bakery, Shangri-La Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar and Rosewood Bar & Grill.

For dessert stop at one of many places to get ice cream, frozen yogurt and gelato.

It wouldn’t be a visit to Lodi’s Downtown without a stop at the decades-old Honey Treat Yogurt Shoppe. Honey Treat has a changing monthly menu of hand-crafted flavors including French custard, black cherry tart and peanut butter fudge.

Combine a love of art and ice cream over at Double Dip Gallery, or try some Italian gelato at the new School Grounds Coffee & Gelato Bar.

Need some after dinner family fun? Check out a movie at the Lodi Stadium 12, which not only shows the biggest blockbuster hits but also National Theatre Live recorded performances.

This historic part of town featuring several buildings with unique architecture has also been host to countless festivals and attractions including the Amgen Tour of California in May 2015.

For those who missed the Amgen Tour, Lodi offers a yearly Cyclefest in June to get your fix of fast-pedaling cyclers.

From late May to early September, Downtown transforms, bringing the town out for some fresh fruit and good food at the Thursday afternoon Lodi Farmers Market. The Lodi Street Faire, the first weekend in May and October provide more chances to take to the streets and discover local antiques and handmade gifts.

For more information on Downtown Lodi and its events, stop by the Visit Lodi! Conference and Visitors Bureau at 25 N. School St. in Lodi. You can also go to www.visitlodi.com, email info@visitlodi.com, or call 209-365-1195.

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