Manteca is an interesting place. Originally founded back in 1861, the city was supposed to be named after its founder, a man named Joshua Cowell. Apparently, the townspeople were pretty adamant about using the same name for the town and its train station. Unfortunately, there was already a Cowell Station located in San Joaquin county, so Cowell’s name was out of the running. They eventually decided on “Monteca” but there was a misprint when officials went to file the papers. Because the townspeople rather liked this rendition of their original choice, and because refiling paperwork at that time was often more trouble than it was worth, the name stuck. For those who speak the common tongue south of the border, Manteca is the Spanish word for “butter” or “lard.” That easy-going energy seems to have survived generations. Today, Manteca is known for its parks, visitor centers, amusement parks and more. If you’re planning on visiting this northern Californian city, be sure to check out the list below. We’ve compiled our very own list of the best things to do in Manteca, California
Quick View: The Best Things to do in Manteca, CA
- Manteca Family Bowling Center
- Children’s Museum of Stockton
- World of Wonders Science Museum
- Sunshine Rafting Adventures
- Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park
- Caswell Memorial State Park
- Delicato Family Vineyards
- Dublin Heritage Park and Museums
- Angels Camp Museum
- Moaning Cavern Adventure Park
- Pixieland Amusement Park
- Western Railway Museum
- Manteca Tidewater Bikeway
- Caribbean Cove
- Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
- The Tech Interactive
- Redwood Regional Park
- Castle Air Museum
If you’re still struggling with arcade fever, head over to Bowlero Manteca. There, you’ll find a modern bowling alley, deluxe arcade, pool tables, corn hole and more. There’s even a sports bar on site for the adult members of your pack. They also offer birthday party packages so be sure to check this place out if you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate.
Source: Bowlero Bowl Twitter
It’s just a 20-minute drive from Stockton to Manteca. If you happen to be making the trek, then you’ve got to stop by the Children’s Museum of Stockton. Give the kids a hands-on experience over at their nature room, interactive water tables, STEMLAND, outdoor playground and more. There are also tons of rotating exhibits worth checking out, so make sure to check out the calendar of events before your visit.
Source: Children’s Museum of Stockton Twitter
The World of Wonders Science Museum is located about 30 minutes outside of Manteca and offers over 70 hands-on exhibits for kids of all ages. They can expect to learn about a variety of scientific subjects including energy, magnetism, optics and more. Visitors will also find a new 1700 sq. ft. educational science classroom located next to the museum.
Source: World of Wonders Twitter
Looking for more fun things to do in Manteca, California? Head over to Sunshine Rafting Adventures in the neighboring town of Oakdale. Here, visitors will experience tons of family fun all the way down the Stanislaus River. There will be plenty of attractions to take in along the way. Some highlights include the Russian Rapids, Lovers Leap and Horseshoe Park!
Source: Sunshine Rafting Adventure Facebookok
Looking for somewhere the kids can tire themselves out? Head over to the indoor trampoline park in Manteca where you’ll find a jump arena, dodgeball zone, slam dunk zone, vertical ops and more.
Source: Rockin’ Jump Twitter
Not only is this next destination beautiful, but it’s free! Head over to the popular Caswell Memorial State Park to enjoy a family-focused afternoon. The Manteca park contains hiking trails, scenic lookouts and more. If you’re looking to spend even more time in the park, you can check out their campground facilities.
Source: via Visit Stockton
Don’t forget to stop by the Delicato Family Vineyards when in Manteca, California! This family-owned winery has almost a century of experience of farming grapes and crafting quality wines. Trips to the tasting room are free, though the bottles you’ll be tempted to take home are not!
Source: Delicato Vines Twitter
Enjoy ten acres of American history at Dublin Heritage Park and Museums. Located about an hour away from Manteca, this destination comes complete with historic buildings, a cemetery, lawns and picnic areas. There are also two museums on site: the 1856 Murray Schoolhouse and the Kolb house. Both help display important history associated with this region of the country.
Source: Dublin PIO Twitter
Still looking for things to do in Manteca, California? Head over to the neighboring city of Milpitas and enjoy a series of challenging golf courses, arcade games, bumper carts, a laser maze and more. Top off the trip with some food from the best snack shack in town!
Source: Milpitas Golfland Facebook
Welcome to the premier local history museum in Northern California! Located on a 3-acre site of the historic Angels Quartz Mine, the museum allows museumgoers to explore the gold country history of Angels Camp and the Mother Lode region. Home to just about the most extensive collection of carriages and wagons in the country, they’ll also enjoy the opportunity to learn and discover the extraordinary stories of our country’s past.
Source: Angels Camp Facebook
The moaning caverns were discovered close to Manteca by gold miners back in the 1840's, though arrowheads and other pointed tools found date back thousands of years. Today, visitors can enjoy underground tours as well as a few above-ground activities including ziplines and a climbing wall. Don’t forget to check out the visitor center before you go! There, you'll find tons of interesting artifacts to explore, including a necklace that dates back over 8,000 years!
Source: Caverns Park Twitter
The perfect destination for those traveling with small kids, Pixieland provides tons of attractions including a Dragon Roller Coaster, Teacups, Antique Carousel and more! Don’t forget to climb aboard the Pixieland Express before you head home. The ¼ mile-long ride takes the kiddos through a tunnel, around the duck pond, and then finally back to where they started!
Source: Pixieland Twitter
If you’re crazy about trains then this day trip is definitely for you! Located just under an hour and a half away from Manteca, the Western Railway Museum offers affordable family fun for individuals of all ages. Experience California as it existed nearly 100 years ago. Here, you’ll not only have the opportunity to learn about the history of electric railways, but to ride one yourself! You’ll also get to explore 50 historic cars on display as well as 22 miles of track across 22 acres!
Source: Western Railway Museum Facebook
Enjoy yet another free and fabulous activity in Manteca, CA! The Manteca Tidewater Bikeway provides hours of all-natural fun. The 7.1-mile trail provides tons of walking, hiking and biking opportunities for people of all skill levels. The trail is also a dog-friendly destination, accessible all year long
Source: via WayMarking
Get ready for a watery wonderland! Caribbean Cove is housed at the Six Flags in Concord, and is located just about 45 minutes away from Manteca, CA. Spend the day enjoying the park facilities, from the activity pool, to the fountains, sprays, jets, geysers and more!
Source: HH Concord Twitter
Is your family crazy about animals? Well then, this day trip will certainly be worth the travel! About two hours away from Manteca, the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo provides families the opportunity to see over 150 exotic animals, from jaguars, lemurs, and meerkats to American alligators. But that’s not all! Happy Hollow is also home to a park full of interactive play areas as well as one of the longest running puppet theaters in the state!
Source: HHP Zoo Twitter
The Tech Interactive is a family-friendly science and technology center located a few hours away from Manteca, CA. It offers hands-on activities, experimental labs and challenge experiences designed to encourage people to innovate with creativity, curiosity and compassion. It’s also a leader in the creation of immersive STEAM education resources available to the next generation of problem-solvers!
Source: The Tech Interactive Twitter
The Redwood Regional Park is a big area to explore. With over 62 hiking trails, the park provides tons of hiking trails, mountain biking trails and more. The park is best known for its old growth redwood forest and houses children’s play structures, overnight camping areas and picnic tables to enjoy some food and drink. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife in the area! The park is home to a variety of species, including some rare species, such as the golden eagle and common species like deer, raccoons, and squirrels.
Source: via All Trails
19. Castle Air Museum
Located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, the Castle Air Museum contains over seventy restored vintage military aircraft on static exhibit. And that collection is only expected to grow in the future! The Museum It officially opened to the public in 1981 as a non-profit 501c3 organization with a mission “to preserve military aviation heritage for future generations.” You can find it located next to the former Castle Air Force Base, now Castle Airport.
Source: Castle Air Museum Twitter
We hope you enjoyed our list of things to do in Manteca, California! As you can see, there are plenty of fun things to do in town, not to mention tons of natural beauty to explore. Looking for somewhere to call home during your visit? Think about planning a stay at our lodge. Our Manteca location features 500 themed suites to accommodate our overnight guests. Check out our official site for more information on our water park, activities and attractions.