About San Joaquin County

Stockton’s public marina is a reminder that this city is one of California’s most important deep-water ports.

Stockton’s public marina is a reminder that this city is one of California’s most important deep-water ports.   Matt Gush   Shutterstock.com

About San Joaquin County and California Local

California Local gives you reliable information about San Joaquin County, beginning with three pillars of old-fashioned journalism: San Joaquin County news, San Joaquin County traffic, and San Joaquin County weather.

Our primary mission is to support democracy in California by presenting honest news about local—in this case San Joaquin County—government and politics. We also give you access to community organizations and nonprofits throughout the county.

Obviously, we’ve optimized all of the above for easy-breezy online consumption.

Going With the Flow

It’s fitting that San Joaquin County got its name from the river that runs through its fertile farmland, from the Sierra Nevada to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In addition to the mighty San Joaquin River, which runs through Stockton, the county seat, the Mokelumne River meanders by Lodi, the county’s northernmost city; and the county’s southern border is defined by the Stanislaus River.

Nut crops dominate in the southeastern part of San Joaquin County.

Before the arrival of European settlers, the Yokuts and Miwok people fished and hunted along these waterways. But after the Gold Rush, the liquid gold of the Central Valley’s rivers powered the rise of agricultural empires.

These days, agriculture generates some $2.6 billion in gross value for the county. Nut crops are among the most valuable, underlined by such festivities as Ripon’s annual Almond Blossom Festival and thousands of acres of walnut orchards along the county’s rural roads. Other big crops include grapes and dairy. And in Lodi, wine is a top crop; the area is a leading producer of zinfandel.

The New Gold Rush: Logistics

The River Islands development
is Lathrop’s newest neighborhood.

San Joaquin County’s population in the 2020 Census hit 779,233, with 320,810 living in Stockton. Founded in 1849, Stockton is one of California’s oldest municipalities; its geography has made the city a transportation hub since the 1860s, when the Central Pacific Railroad constructed lines from Sacramento to Stockton and then southwest to San Francisco through the Altamont Pass. In addition to transportation by rail, goods move through Stockton via its deep-water port, its municipal airport and its proximity to both Interstate 5 and State Route 99.

The logistics industry is increasingly important to the local economy. The city of Tracy is home to a huge Amazon fulfillment center, and warehouses are spreading throughout the county. Fun fact: The small community of Lockeford, in the northeast part of San Joaquin County, was one of only two Prime Air locations in the world, with packages being delivered there by drones throughout 2023.

The Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium is managed by the city of Stockton.

SJC Cities and Cultural Highlights

In addition to its economic strengths, the county offers its residents many other amenities, including two institutions of higher learning: San Joaquin Delta College, a public community college; and the University of the Pacific, a private university. Outdoors enthusiasts will find room to ramble in more than 230 public parks, including the 180-acre Oak Grove Regional Park in Stockton and the 132-acre Micke Grove Regional Park in Lodi. Kids will enjoy the Children’s Museum of Stockton and the Pixie Woods theme park. Among other attractions, Stockton also boasts a picturesque downtown marina and the dramatic visuals in Wat Dhammararam Buddhist Temple, where 90 wildly colorful statues celebrate the Cambodian Buddha.

Manuel Valverde Park in Lathrop

In addition to Stockton, the county has six much smaller cities. Tracy, Manteca and Lodi are close in size (with populations of less than 100,000); followed by Lathrop, Ripon, and the smallest, Escalon. The county also has 21 small census-designated places—one of which, Mountain House, has grown large enough to entertain ideas of cityhood. Presently its residents are served by the Mountain House Community Services District, but in March 2024 a ballot measure will raise the question of whether there is voter interest in incorporating as California’s newest city.

About California Local

California Local produces community journalism for the digital age. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, we have a virtual state bureau in Sacramento and freelancers throughout the state.

In addition to original reporting in the form of statewide California government news, and Explainers that put the day-to-day news in context, our San Joaquin County Media Directory points our readers to trusted local news.

California Local also offers you free access to a comprehensive “civic database” that is fully integrated with our news products. At its heart is a Community Groups directory, where you will find hundreds of San Joaquin County-based nonprofits and community groups listed under 25 topics, from Agriculture and Animals to Veterans and Water.

A former Carnegie Library houses Lodi city offices.

The staff and volunteers at these organizations do important work in San Joaquin County. We make it easy for you to learn about them, contact them, volunteer, and donate.

Our database also makes it easy to find information about elected officials in San Joaquin County, including:

Downtown Ripon

Each of these officials has a page on California Local where you can find info compiled by our writers, as well as easy access to the public officials’ websites, social media channels and contact information.

In a nutshell: California Local offers you reliable news and information, and access to the people who make San Joaquin County tick. In other words: We make it easy to citizen. And again, San Joaquin County traffic and San Joaquin County weather!

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