Lodi, CA: Jump In!

Experience the thrill of tandem skydyving from 13,000 feet above Skydive Lodi Parachute Center

Published: 3/21/2018

Located just 35 miles south of Sacramento and 90 miles east of San Francisco, Lodi offers more than 100 varieties of winegrapes, an amazingly diverse wine portfolio, and some exciting things to come out and do.
Want to get the lay of the land? At the Lodi Airport, you’ll find one of the oldest and largest drop zones for skydivers in the United States. Founded in 1964, the Parachute Center employs the latest in training techniques, modern equipment and facilities, a variety of aircraft, and a staff of the country’s most experienced and active instructors. Newbies to the sport start with a tandem jump with an instructor from 13,000 feet. From there, you can enter the Accelerated Training Program and learn skydiving skills and techniques. The center is open year-round, jump weather permitting. No reservations are needed.

One of the great things about Lodi is its proximity to water. The Mokelumne River is the major thoroughfare, and it feeds Lodi Lake giving you miles of waterways to explore. Kayakers can venture out on their own or consult with local experts. The Headwaters Kayak Shop offers kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboard rentals on an hourly, half-day, or all-day basis. Sign up for a lesson or a variety of fun tours designed for locals and visitors alike. Two local traditions are the Wednesday Evening Social Paddle at Lodi Lake, a weekly twohour paddle that launches from the Boat House and continues along the Mokelumne River at a leisurely pace; and the Full Moon Paddle, which takes place monthly on the Mokelumne River. Paddlers watch the moon rise, then paddle back to the Lodi Lake Boat House under the light of the full moon.

Avid cyclists are often drawn to Lodi for its miles of country roads that lead them past vineyards, orchards, and wide-stretching farmland. The Cosumnes River Preserve, The Delta, and Micke Grove Regional Park are all popular destinations for cyclists starting from Lodi. If you want to work some wine tasting into your ride, check out the 36.4-mile Four Wineries and a Café route. Or go lightly and follow the 5-mile Lodi Lake Family Fun Ride with a highly recommended stop at World of Wonders Science Museum. Left your bike at home? No worries, Downtown Bicycles has everything you need. Lodi is also home to a number of annual cycling events including the Giro D’Vino bike tour in the fall, and the 50k, 100k, and 100-mile Tour delle Vigne touring event in May. In June, both amateurs and pros take to the downtown streets for Lodi Cyclefest.

Lodi is surrounded by acres of nature preserves chock-full of marshes with an abundance of wildlife. Nature lovers flock to the area to see them. Besides local residential birds such as red-wing blackbirds, kestrel, ring-necked pheasants, and meadowlarks, migratory species such as sandhill cranes, Canada geese, snow geese, and tundra swans spend the fall and winter here. It’s not unusual to see hawks, quail, egrets, ducks, geese, and woodpeckers. Grab your binoculars and visit the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve or the Cosumnes River Preserve to see what you can spot on the water and in the sky. Another popular place for birding is Heritage Oak Winery on the Mokelumne River. Monthly Bird Walks are offered and a list of birds that have been sighted is available in the winery’s tasting room.

Check out where to stay and which wineries to visit! >

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As seen in the issue Spring 2018 of Touring & Tasting Magazine.