Located in the heart of California’s wine country and surrounded by incredible wetlands, Elk Grove is a perfect place to stop on the way to Yosemite National Park.
Start your day at the Cosumnes River Preserve, 20 minutes south of town. See more than 250 species of birds as you walk the 3-mile roundtrip River Walk Trail. In the winter months, spot the majestic sandhill cranes at the preserve. The Cosumnes River provides stunning flat water opportunities to kayak, canoe or SUP. You can bring your own boat, or rent paddle crafts in nearby Lodi. For even more wetland beauty, Stone Lakes Wildlife Refuge 20 minutes west of Elk Grove has easy, paved walking trails. Both areas offer guided tours with naturalists on dates throughout the summer.
After a day spent wildlife watching, there’s no better place to relax than at one of Elk Grove’s many wineries or breweries. To get a taste of all this area has to offer when it comes to adult beverages, buy a two-day Trail Pass from CorksAndCaps.org. This pass will let you order four flights from eight different participating wineries and breweries. Be sure to stop at McConnell Estates Winery, a fifth-generation operation housed in an 1800s-era house turned tasting room. For brews, Flatland Brewing is a local favorite. It’s the perfect spot to head for lunch as the on-site restaurant, the Pizza Peel, serves up delicious pizzas and burgers to accompany your flight.
When it’s time for dinner, don’t miss trying one of Elk Grove’s diverse restaurants. You’ll find many parts of the globe represented here from Korean barbeque to Nashville hot chicken to poke. Don’t miss Journey to the Dumpling which specializes in Shanghainese and Cantonese dishes and, of course, incredible dumplings. The Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings are always a crowd pleaser, but you’ll find a variety of these steaming delicacies on the menu, including vegan options.
Learn more at exploreelkgrove.com.