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Stopping in Stockton

We've driven through Stockton more times that we can count on the way to Yosemite or to our cabin above Sonora. But it's never seemed to call to us. We sometimes checked for restaurants or parks, but never really found a reason to stop. After all, even thought it's halfway between our house and the mountains...better just keep driving.

But I kept seeing signs for the Haggin Museum, and finally made plans to stop there on a recent trip. If nothing else, it seemed to have a nice collection of California art, including a lot of landscapes. I like those, so it was worth a shot.

Turns out, it was worth way more than a shot. For under $10 we spent a few hours exploring not only great paintings by Bierstadt, Keith, and Moran, but also works by top European painters like Renoir. What a treat!

And the history of the museum, as well as its historical collections, were also a delight. Who knew that the track drive of Caterpillar tractors was invented in Stockton to deal with that thick Delta mud? Of that the shipbuilding history of Stockton is quite impressive? The Haggin family story is a remarkable part of California's history.

And you'll never look at an old trunk quite the same way after visiting this museum and seeing the trunk of Emma Le Doux.

At any rate, we loved the museum and will visit again soon. And while we were in town, we also discovered the Lotus Thai and Khmer restaurant, near the corner of Pershing and March. Easy access from the freeway, easy access from the museum, and delicious Asian food in a tiny little space. Now we have two reasons to stop in Stockton!

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