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Lodi Wineries and Other Fun Things To Do on a Day Trip from San Francisco

Explore Lodi California. Drive from San Francisco to Lodi for a day to experience downtown Lodi and the surrounding wineries. Taste Lodi wines on a day trip from the San Francsico Bay Area.
A day trip from San Francisco to Lodi wineries had been on our travel wishlist for quite a while and turned out to be an awesome SF Bay Area surprise

Hearing Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Lodi' on a recent business trip to the San Francisco Bay Area sealed the deal. For days leading up to this wine tasting trip, the refrain 'Oh Lord, Stuck in Lodi Again' tripped off our lips...but in a good way, of course. 

Downtown Lodi is a cute town surrounded by countless vineyards and also features outstanding birding opportunities.  This is definitely a San Francisco day trip for wine lovers!

San Francisco to Lodi: Lodi town arch

What are Lodi Wineries Known For?

According to the Lodi Winegrape Commission, Lodi American Viticultural Area (AVA) is one of the largest recognized wine growing regions in California. 

While the region achieved AVA status in 1986, the Lodi California region has been growing wine grapes for over 200 years. Because of this, you'll find gnarly old vine Zinfandel among the 125 grape varieties planted and used in wine production. 

I am personally a fan of the Petit Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon that Lodi produces.

To learn more about what Lodi wine country has to offer, make sure to stop at the Lodi wine visitor center to kickstart your day trip.

Fun Things to Do in (and Around) Lodi

Now let's jump into all the fun things to do in Lodi and the surrounding area on a day trip from San Francisco.

1. Lunch in Stockton; A Pitstop En Route to Lodi

The day trip drive to the Lodi wine region from Silicon Valley, San Francisco, or the East Bay, inevitably will take you through Stockton.  Stockton is an ideal stopping off point en route to Lodi for coffee and a bite to eat. 

We stopped at House of Shaw, a place that looked like an old-fashioned American diner but was really a Lebanese leaning coffee shop and restaurant.  We ate and got a bit of a sunshine injection dining al fresco in Stockton.

House of Shaw in Stockton, CA

2. Go Wine Tasting at Mettler Family Vineyards

Moving on, we arrived in Lodi's sphere of influence and stopped at our first winery of the day. Lodi's Mettler Family Vineyards features an elaborate tasting room and gorgeous vistas outside that are perfect for photo ops.  I imagine that they host many weddings here.

Lodi Wineries: Mettler Family Vineyards

3. Sample Wines and Browse the Shop at Lodi's d'Art Winery

In contrast, d'Art winery was much more quirky than Mettler Family winery.  An old timey truck with wine barrels on the back sat outside.  Three metal mice welcomed us to the property.  

d'Art sold all manner of fun souvenirs including my favorite: the Drink-up Bitches tea towel.  My favorite part about d'Art is that they served a dish of chocolate chips to accompany tasting of fine Lodi wines.  On the way out, we even met the winery's resident hound.

Lodi Wineries: d'Art Winery

4. Stroll through downtown Lodi

We drove into downtown Lodi and marveled at just how adorable the town is.  A classic arch with California state bear on top greets you along with an iconic water tower declaring that you have indeed arrived in Lodi.  

There are lots of little shops in Lodi that make me think of Main Street USA from days gone by.  Art adorns many of the facades in Lodi and the main street is dotted with sculpture.  The town of Lodi is a great stop for a little rest and atmosphere before continuing the day trip to the next winery.Downtown Lodi, California

5. Nosh Pizza for Lunch in Downtown Lodi

We treated ourselves to fresh pizza in the sun at Lodi's Smack Pie to fill our bellies and fortify ourselves before an afternoon of wine tasting.  Various finishing sauces, including the hot and spicy buffalo sauce that I added to my pepperoni pizza are a nice touch.

Smack Pie Pizza in Lodi, California

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for other wine country day trips in the San Francisco Bay Area? Of course, there is always a classic weekend in Napa and Calistoga to consider. Alternatively, drive down the California Coast to Monterey and unforgettable Moss Landing.

6. Tour Lodi's Langetwins Winery

Langetwins sounds like it should be a tiny family owned winery so when we drove up to it, we were surprised to find that Langetwins is a massively commercial Lodi winery.  

Huge tanks line the property and Langetwins has a huge tasting room which was quite full when we visited Lodi for the day.  

We normally avoid the big name wineries when we go wine tasting in favor of smaller boutique brands with more limited distribution that we wouldn't get to try otherwise but Langetwins was still worth the stop for their tasty Lodi-grown red wines.

Langetwins Winery in Lodi, California

7. Take a Birdwatching Break in Lodi

Even better, Langetwins vineyard sits at the edge of a pond and is actually a lovely spot to do a bit of California bird watching.  We spotted a kildeer just strolling along the path on our day trip drive to Lodi.  

A brace of wildflowers had also popped up near one of the pipes leading out of Langetwins winery and onto the nature trail.  I liked this mix of natural and industrial in Lodi.Wildfowers and kildeer bird at Langetwins Winery in Lodi

8. Visit Michael David Winery

Lodi's Michael David Winery is situated inside what looks like an old time general store so you can pick up food (they had nice looking bread and pies) in addition to Lodi wines and winery souvenirs.  

They also had some wonderful and well-priced reds including Don's Lodi Red which was priced at about $7.00 per bottle at the winery and also had a feel good element in that it was created special for the current owner's father, Don.  

As an added bonus, Michael David has a lovely lake and picnic area out back. Michael David Winery epitomizes Lodi at it's finest.Lodi Wineries: Michael David Winery

9. Lodi's Woodbridge Ecological Reserve

We finished our day in Lodi at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve where thousands of birds had amassed and were feeding and splashing about. California has a great reputation for birds but until this point I had only been birding in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

We were really hoping to see the Sandhill cranes that come to Lodi to breed but alas, it was not to be.  We were a little late in the season when we visited Lodi for a day in early March.  

Plus, Sandhill cranes normally don't arrive until dusk.  We had a two hour drive from Lodi back to San Francisco ahead of us and didn't want to do it in the dark.  Oh well, at least it gives us a reason to go back to Lodi.
Birds of Woodbridge Ecological Reserve in Lodi, California
Is Lodi worth visiting on a day trip drive from the San Francisco Bay Area? With great wines, food, and nature, being Stuck in Lodi Again doesn't have to be thought of as such a bad thing after all. 

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Pinterest Pin: From San Francico to Lodi wineries for a day

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for other ideas for things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area? Here are some of my top suggestions:
Why not see multiple areas around San Francisco on a Bay Area birdwatching hike at various places in the South and East Bay? Another great option (if you are less outdoorsy) is to take yourself on a self-guided tour of the best margaritas in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Lodi Wineries and Other Fun Things To Do on a Day Trip from San Francisco
Lodi Wineries and Other Fun Things To Do on a Day Trip from San Francisco
Explore Lodi California. Drive from San Francisco to Lodi for a day to experience downtown Lodi and the surrounding wineries. Taste Lodi wines on a day trip from the San Francsico Bay Area.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog