Crowned Wine Enthusiast’s 2015 Wine Region of the Year? Lodi is hot on the vine trail. But wine isn’t the only thing flowing here: The Mokelumne River is a nature-lover’s oasis that pairs perfectly with some beginner-friendly stand-up paddling (still waters enable easy SUP gliding). Rent from Headwaters Kayak Shop—their newly upgraded fleet will keep you happy on your feet, and they’ll set you up with details and directions. You’ll launch from Lodi Lake Boathouse and paddle left out of Lodi Lake before merging sharply right onto the river’s slinking waterway. Thick reeds and lily pads fill this winding riparian marsh with solitude.
Afterwards, it’s time to get a different fill. Lodi’s 85 wineries are concentrated within a walkable downtown radius. Indulge in delectable wood-fired pizza and almond sparkling wine at The Dancing Fox (free wine bar tasting with lunch!), or venture 15 minutes outside of town to hidden gem Heritage Oak. This family-owned property has a shaded patio, wooden picnic tables beneath a towering fig tree, and a 15-minute trail through vineyards and woodland to the property’s private beach—and rope swing!—along the Mokelumne River. Bring your own picnic, or reserve a basket; for $20 Heritage rents backpacks packed with a light meal for two (including a table cloth and cheese cutting board). Bottom’s SUP!
Headwaters Kayak Shop is located within Lodi Lake Park at 1101 W. Turner Rd. in Lodi. $5 city parking fee for non-residents. Dogs allowed in park, but not on Lodi Lake Nature Trail. Kayaks, canoes, and SUPs available for rent on an hourly, half-day, and full-day basis. Lodi winery map and further information regarding tasting room hours found here. Before hiking at Heritage Oak, sign in at the tasting room. Dog-friendly!