WOODLAND, A DESTINATION
Have you ever noticed that out of town visitors know more about the attractions in your hometown then the people that live in the city? This is a common occurrence. Yet all of us should take time to look around and appreciate what we have here in Woodland and Yolo County.
We recommend you take a stroll down First or College Streets. We have a collection of some of the finest Victorian and craftsmen houses in the country. The occupants value their properties and treat them as the assets they are. The downtown is home to many antique shops and quaint restaurants.
As soon as you leave the City limits, you are surrounded by some of the richest farmland in the world. It acts as a buffer to the urban sprawl confronting the rest of the Sacramento area and offers a visual delight when driving around the area. There are also working farms in the area where you can visit and learn about the effort it takes to grow the food we eat. For those of you that love to shop on the east end of the city along I-5 is the new Gateway Shopping Center (Costco/Target/Best Buy/In N Out/Michaels/Famous Footwear) and the newly renovated County Fair Fashion Mall (Burlington Coat Factory/JC Penney Co./Wat-Mart Neighborhood) is located on East Street and Gibson Road.
With its more than 130,000 square feet of interactive, one-of-a-kind exhibits, the Ag History Center showcases the marvels of agriculture and commercial trucking, featuring the world’s largest and most unique collection of antique agricultural and truck equipment. A must for railroad buffs, the Sacramento River Train steam and diesel engines operate on weekends from April through early October, featuring an unsurpassed ride through rich farmlands and conservation preserves — and maybe even a visit from the Valley Vigilantes.
The Woodland Opera House built in 1896. Saved from demolition in 1971 by the efforts of many active community members, the Opera House is now a State Historic Park and is the oldest single-purpose theater outside of San Francisco. The Woodland Opera House hosts a variety of plays, musicals and concerts throughout the year. With the Opera House as a backdrop, the annual September Stroll Through History allows visitors to tour the historic district’s stately and elegant homes. Horses and carriages abound, and the sell-out event has been featured in Sunset Magazine. Visitors can also explore Main Street to browse for collectibles and other treasures in the antiques shops, sip a soda at the restored Railroad Depot and shop at the Corner Drug Store. Artisans proudly display their arts and crafts in Heritage Plaza. The Friday Art Walk is held in the downtown the first Friday of each month, February - December.
Massive wooden columns, formal pediment and a uniquely original series of cut decorations spelling the name “Gibson” reflect some of the character of the ten-room home that now houses the Yolo County Historical Museum. The 1850s–70s Classical Revival-style home, built by William Gibson and occupied by his family until 1963, now hosts rooms of furnishings depicting different styles and eras. Located a half-mile west of the County Fair Mall at 512 Gibson Road, the two-and-a-half acre park setting is open for picnicking during regular museum hours and is available on a fee basis for special events.
Other enjoyable sites-to-see in the area include:
Beautiful almond blossoms draw thousands of visitors to the annual Capay Valley Almond Festival, held in late February west of Woodland. Tasty almond products, food and beverages, as well as arts and crafts and the area’s hospitality, make this weekend a special celebration of rural tourism.
In April, the Scottish Games & Gatherings Festival celebrates Scottish and Celtic arts, culture and history. In July the City of Woodland hosts Fireworks Display and festivities at the Woodland High School Stadium. In August, Woodland hosts the Yolo County Fair — one of the few remaining free-admission fairs in California - Even though there is no charge for admission, food, crafts, art, exhibits, rides and entertainment abound for all ages. In September the annual Dynamite Chili Cook-off is held at the fairgrounds.
For the past 48 years, The Woodland Chamber of Commerce has celebrated the holidays with its annual Holiday Christmas Parade that has attracted crowds as large as 30,000 to downtown Woodland. Believed to be the largest holiday parade of its kind in Northern California, over 200 entries entertain parade watchers, including (of course!) Santa Claus, the antique fire engine, bands, scout and military/ ROTC units, along with outstanding local business and private floats.
The Yolo County Visitors Bureau welcomes you and has more information, check out their website or call their toll free number 877-713-2847.
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