About halfway between Stockton and Sacramento off I-5, the Cosumnes River Preserve is one of the better places in the San Joaquin-Delta region for non-boaters to see birdlife. It's located near the confluence of the Consumnes River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Consumnes (a name derived from a Miwok Indian word, I believe) is one of the last major rivers in California not tapped directly as a fresh water or electrical resource somewhere between its source in the Sierras Mountains and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The Preserve has an extensive wooden boardwalk through the wetlands, which allows wildlife enthusiasts to see many varieties of birds and wetland animals. Go to the website for an update and exactly when to come for the bird migrations. Bring your binoculars and telephoto camera. I was last there just after some heavy January rains that caused flooding in various parts of the San Francisco Bay Region, in particular the cities of Vacaville and Napa were affected. The images here were taken during a brief stop to examine the possible damage to the boardwalk system, so expect me to replace them later with better images of the animal life. The Visitor Center is located on Franklin Boulevard 1.7 miles South of Twin Cities Road, near the small but fast growing town of Galt.
The waterfront at Weber Point and elsewhere downtown is totally worthwhile, but its also worth finding the turn-out across from the Port. Stockton Port is the furthest east on California's Pacific coast as it is part of the freshwater San Joaquin Delta area. The battleship Iowa is may be permanently docked there, providing a new tourist attraction, but the great experience here is watching the old style bulk cargo transfer of grains and fertilzers. Nearby also is the construction yard for the parts of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. To get there, take the Fremont Street exit off I-5 and head west. There's an empty turn-out of gravel right across from the Port. That's where my pictures were taken. For those concerned with the environment, some of these old rusty freighters navigate fragile freshwater channels, no doubt leaving toxic residues behind.