15 Best Things to Do in Manteca, CA

Manteca, CA
Matt Gush / shutterstock.com

Manteca is an interesting city to visit, with its claim to fame being the “Pumpkin Capital of the World.”

But there’s more to Manteca than growing the most pumpkins in all of California.

There are lots of fun things to do within its 55.45-square-kilometer territory at central San Joaquin Valley, San Joaquin County.

This city celebrates its history, culture, and lifestyle in a wide selection of historical places, recreational centers, and commercial areas.

Festivals and special events are also very much part of the attractions in Manteca, including its trademark Pumpkin Fair.

So, if you’re planning to visit California, consider the listings below on the 15 best things to do in Manteca.

Check the Manteca Historical Society & Museum

Drop by 600 West Yosemite Avenue to view the vast collection of documents, photographs, and artifacts in the Manteca Historical Society & Museum.

Here, you can learn that this city was originally named “Monteca,” but this came out as “Manteca” because of a misprint in documenting its foundation.

This museum not only showcases the history and culture of Manteca but also the city’s surrounding areas.

The museum’s exhibit banner the area’s Native Americans, local agriculture, the railroads, the military, and the industries that propelled growth in Manteca’s northern California area.

Take note that this museum is open to the public on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., but private tours can be arranged.

Trace the Manteca Tidewater Bikeway

Follow the Manteca Tidewater Bikeway, a multi-use asphalt corridor stretching north to south through the city.

This path follows the tracks of the old Tidewater Railway, an interurban freight, and a passenger train.

The trail is flat and up to 100 feet wide, making it popular with bikers and inline skaters, and walkers.

The Manteca Tidewater Bikeway has an adjoining 4-foot-wide crushed gravel path solely for runners.

The trail is accessible all year round, and you can also take along your pet dog to this destination.

Taking this trail will allow you to access the central business district of Manteca and various local parks.

These parks include a sports and skateboard facility and the Library Park featuring historical and cultural exhibits.

Bring the Family to the Great Wolf Lodge

Load up the family for lots of fun at the lively resort Great Wolf Lodge on 2500 Daniels Avenue.

The resort's signature attraction is an indoor water park featuring an extensive water slide, a lazy river, and an activity pool.

The kids can also hit pay dirt at the resort’s Oliver Mining Co. feature, where they can pan and sift for minerals and gemstones.

They can also wield a wand the Lodge makes available for participants in its MagiQuest, a live-action game around the resort.

Other fun activities are in store at the Great Wolf’s miniature golf course, arcade, ropes course, and bowling alley.

To fully partake of all these plus the delectable dining options in the resort, you can book a stay at the Lodge, which has 500 rooms in all.

Play Golf at Manteca Park Golf Course

If you love golfing, proceed to 305 North Union Road for a round of play at the Manteca Park municipal links.

The Manteca Park Golf Course was originally a 9-hole layout when it opened in 1966.

Eventually, it was redesigned as a par 72, 18-hole course in the 1980s for a longer play at 6,466 yards.

True, this is a public golf course, but it has a private country club feel because it is very well-maintained.

Lush trees line its fairways, and its greens of Bermuda grass have excellent drainage.

In addition to the tip-top course conditions, Manteca Park draws golf patrons because of its excellent customer service.

Tour the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley

Plan a visit to the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley on 280 Lifestyle St., which offers an eclectic shopping experience.

Promenade Shops hosts 15 stores, including Outdoor World that bills itself as California’s Great American Outdoor Store.

There are also several restaurants in Promenade Shops, with pizza lovers easily gravitating to Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse.

Movie buffs, on the other hand, will find joy in watching a Hollywood hit at the AMC Showplace 16 with plush seating in its opulent interior.

For good measure, you can also book to stay in Manteca at the Hampton Inn & Suite located at the Promenade Shops.

Hit Strikes and Spares at Bowlero Manteca

Head on to Bowlero Manteca on 1251 East Yosemite Ave. to test your hand in one of its 48 bowling lanes.

Alternatively, you can go to the Bowlero’s deluxe arcade featuring not only state-of-the-art video games but also old-school classics like Pac-Man.

You can also perfect your trick shots in the billiard and pool tables at the Bowlero.

For more fun, join in the classic beanbag game of corn hole or darts, which are also mainstay Bowlero attractions.

If the competition gets too heated up, proceed to the Bowlero Sports Bar, where you can enjoy craft beer, wine, or cocktails.

You can also drop by at the Bowlero pro shop and browse for the latest in bowling equipment and attire.

Aim for the Bullseye at the Manteca Sportsmen Club

If you fancy being a marksman, book a visit to the shooting range of the Manteca Sportsmen Club on 30261 South Airport Way.

This club provides a sports shooting environment that is family-oriented, safe, and pleasant.

The shooting range venues that the club offers include those for rifles, shotgun (trap), pistol, black powder, indoor, and archery.

The club offers plenty of “open range” times not only for its members but also to the other avid shooters in the community.

Time your Manteca visit with the club’s competitive events, classes, and training sessions.

Get Lucky at the Casino Real

Drop by any time at the Casino Real at the North Main Street of Manteca and try to woo Lady Luck in one of its gaming tables.

This 24/7 casino has six tables dedicated to poker games.

The other table games to join include baccarat and blackjack, with casino staff available to orient newbies in these card games.

Within the casino, you can also have an exquisite dining experience with its extensive menu of American, Mexican, and Asian cuisine.

Liquor, beer, and wine at casino-friendly prices are likewise available.

For even more choices, proceed to a favorite local eatery, Ernie’s Food & Spirits, also on the casino’s premises.

Go Wine-Tasting at the Delicato Family Vineyards

Don’t fail to pay a visit to the Delicato Family Vineyards on 99 Frontage Road when in Manteca.

Tracing its roots way back to 1924, this family-owned winery is ranked as the fifth-largest wine supplier in the US.

There is free wine-tasting at the Delicato Family Vineyards, which has established a lofty reputation in wine-making.

The portfolio of premium wines that the Delicato Family has assembled is drawn not only from established California grape-growing regions but also from counterparts in Germany and Chile.

In California, this Manteca winery harvests grapes from more than 6,000 acres of California vineyards in the Lodi, Monterey, Napa, and Sonoma regions.

Rejuvenate at the Spa on Yosemite

Rid yourself of stress through a therapeutic session at the Spa on Yosemite.

Located at 318 E Yosemite Ave., this premier day spa offers many luxurious treatments for both men and ladies.

The Hot Lava Shell Massage is easily one of the favorite services here because of its unique procedure.

This massage therapy involves using sanded and polished Codacia shells from the Philippines as massage implements.

Using disposable sachets with 100% pure natural minerals, the shells are applied to your muscle tissue.

This allows the therapist to perform a more targeted and deeper, stress-relieving massage.

The spa also offers contour body wraps, providing soothing relief from head to toe.

Relax at the Northgate Park

Make the best of the warm and sunny California days and visit Northgate Park, one of the best public parks in Manteca.

Located on 1750 Hoyt Lane, this park spreads near East Union High School and Neil Hafley Elementary School.

The park provides a paved walking trail passing through stands of lush trees.

You can have a family cookout in this park where barbecue grills and picnic tables are available.

For group games, there is an area for softball and beach volleyball, as well as a kids’ playground and a horseshoe pit.

Several sports fields are also on the flanks of Northgate Park, such as a basketball court and a track oval.

Experience Big League Dreams

Let your star player aspirations fly at the sports park Big League Dreams that in Manteca is located on Milo Mandini Drive.

Like its counterpart sports park developments across the U.S., the Manteca version features replicas of historic ballparks.

Big League Dreams Manteca has a 20,000-square-foot indoor soccer pavilion, batting cages, flag football fields, and a Stadium Club restaurant.

The replica ballfields in Manteca are New York's Yankee Stadium, Boston's Fenway Park, and Chicago's Wrigley Field.

Games are played on these scaled-down stadium replicas featuring stadium-style spectators seating and sunken dugouts.

The sports park offers leagues for soccer, kickball, and slow-pitch softball for players of all skill levels.

The Stadium Club restaurants provide the ideal vantage point for spectators and also serve your favorite food or beverage while enjoying the scheduled ballgame.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Adore Nature at the Caswell Memorial State Park

View of  Caswell Memorial State Park
Leonard G., CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Plan a side trip to the Caswell Memorial State Park on the flanks of the meandering Stanislaus River in the town of Ripon.

This park, which is only about 7 miles or a 15-minute drive southeast of Manteca, is a preserve for riparian oak woodland.

It also hosts several endangered animals, like the riparian brush rabbit, which is endemic to this area.

Entrance to this park of over 250 acres is free, and its features are enjoyable for all members of your family.

This state park, accessible via South Austin Road, provides campground facilities, hiking trails, and scenic lookouts.

The Stanislaus River offers beaches and swimming areas near the park’s camping ground.

Raft Through Stanislaus River

Reserve some time for a rafting adventure on the Stanislaus River, with your jump off at Manteca’s neighboring town of Oakdale.

You can embark on this river trip via the services of Sunshine Rafting Adventures, which has been operating for more than 30 years.

This outfit specializes in self-guided and family-oriented river rafting that traverses several highlights like Horseshoe Park, Russian Rapids, and Lovers Leap.

Another major attraction that the Sunshine Rafting Adventures banners is its trips’ base at the historic Knights Ferry, a hotspot in crossing the Stanislaus River during the California gold rush.

Dare to Fly at Skydive California

Test your nerves in tandem skydiving at Skydive California in Tracy City, which is only about 12 miles southwest of Manteca.

Before the jump, you’ll undergo a 20-minute ground instruction and then get fitted to a harness connecting you with your instructor wearing the parachute.

On the jump’s call time, you’ll board the plane that will climb to 13,000 feet in about a 15-minute flight.

At the right altitude, you and your instructor, as a tandem, will jump out of the plane for a thrilling freefall dive.

For 45 to 60 adrenaline-pumping seconds, you’ll plunge toward earth at a breathtaking 120 miles per hour.

Then at around 5,500 feet, your instructor will open the parachute for 5 to 7 minutes of a quiet but blissful descent to the ground amidst panoramic views of Northern California.

Great pride and relief will surely grip you upon lifting your legs for pre-landing as your instructor leads the touchdown to the ground.

Be sure that your smartphone’s camera has everything recorded in this adventure of a lifetime.

Final Thoughts

Manteca is a small city by California standards, but it nonetheless offers a large selection of interesting places to visit.

From its various points of interest, you can relish a history, culture, and lifestyle that deserve spending time and effort to explore.

Add some attractions in the city’s Northern California neighbors, and you will have a truly memorable visit to Manteca.