Plein Air Locations (Nor Cal)

Lodi lake

1301 W Turner Rd, Lodi, CA 95242

Drive into the parking lot ($5 entrance fee) and turn right, go to the end and turn right onto a little road next to the lake. Go around to the other side of the lake from a little road. Picnic tables, restrooms.


15th and I St., Modesto, CA

Victorian architecture in highlights and shadow, random mottled sunlight, broad range of value contrasts, diverse lines of action, greenery in light and shadow, range of cast and contained shadows.


203 Washington St, Stockton, CA 95202


Lovely views down Washington St. around sun up or sun down. Park on Washington and set up near car on street. At least this was the best view I could find.


146 W Weber Ave, Stockton, CA 95202


Look towards the West at morning light, beautiful views of downtown Stockton. Palm trees in foreground.


1051 Wetmore, Livermore, CA 94550

Walk the path over the bridge, stay on the paved road until you get to your second right, which is the "Vineyard Train". Turn right at the dead trees. Half way down, you'll see the large eucalyptus tree. Further on, on the left is a concrete building. The bridge is nice to paint.


17968 Covered Bridge Rd, Knights Ferry, CA 95361

Old brick shell of a mill on one side of the building. The other side of the bridge is a beautiful spot with wild flowers, picturesque river and rocks.


715 Central Ave., Tracy, CA 95376

Wide sidewalks and good vantage points of the theatre from across the street, Central Ave. The surrounding streetscape is interesting too with vintage shops and cafes. There are restrooms inside the Grand Theatre.


Hwy 99 north to Hwy 120 to Hwy 205. From Hwy 205 in Tracy take Tracy Blvd exit and turn right.

Drive about 8 miles north to 3 rd bridge (Middle River). 

Turn left onto side road right before the bridge to park and paint. If you get to Hwy 4, you have gone too far.

Great spot to paint, no shade through.

lagrange river and bridge

Take Hwy 132 out of Waterford; go about 17 miles to small gold country town of La Grange. Watch for these landmarks before you get into town. 

  1. Crossing of Tuolumne River at La Grange Regional Park.
  2. Large welcoming sign at crossing of  Yosemite/Hwy 132 and La Grange Road.
  3. When you arrive in the town La Grange on the main street look for a small (very small) sign saying’Old La Grange Road’ on the left side of road; turn left on a downward slope; park at the abandoned roped off old bridge.

From the bridge you have a view of rolling hills, trees, rock outcroppings reflections, lowlands, spring wildflowers.


modesto farmer's market

16th St. between H St. and I St. Modesto, CA 

From Hwy 99 take Central Modesto exit; proceed east on I St to 16 th .

Colorful fruit and vegetable stands, musicians, food booths, craft booths.

red hills road

Directions: Take Hwy 108/120 out of Oakdale east. Drive past Knights Ferry. Turn right onto La Grange Road. It will meet Red Hill Road. Turn left on Red Hill Road and drive until you see the small parking lot with a restroom. Paint along the side road or pair up to decide where to paint from there.


Spring wildflowers, red rocks hills and unique vegetation.

wood colony tree and old vlach home

Directions: Take Beckwith Road west of Hwy 99. Turn left on Dakota Ave. Next block up is North Ave. To the left is the house and tree. Park in the lot on North Ave. where the telephone poles lines up to the road.  Good view on the corner of North Dakota Ave. and North Ave. No restrooms.


100 year old walnut tree and historical Modesto farming community with equipment, walnut and almond orchards, old home, church and barn.


Locke, CA

Take I-5 North to Thornton. Take exit 493, turn West on W. Walnut Grove Rd. Take River Rd to Locke Rd. in Walnut Grove.


100 yr old dilapidated Chinese settlement.

hagaman park, livingston

Directions: From Turlock take Hwy 164 / Lander Ave south - drive through Hilmar - park is about 4-5 miles - cross Merced River Bridge - turn immediately left - restrooms, picnic tables


Merced River, bridge, reflections, vineyards

san luis wildlife refuge, los banos

Hwy 165 out of Hilmar - sharp left on Wolfsen Rd - meet at visitor center- restrooms.


Wetlands, slough, tules, wildflowers, waterfowl.


Near the corner of California and Carpenter Rd., Modesto, CA. No restrooms.


Strawberry field and fruit stand.

jacob myers park, riverbank, ca

23653 S. Santa Fe Rd, Riverbank, CA

Directions: from Hwy 108/McHenry Blvd head east toward Riverbank 4 miles, just past RR overpass turn left onto First St by Shell station - drive over river and turn left. $5 entrance fee, restrooms.


Stanislaus river, old railroad trestle, people swimming.

beekman's lavender farm, geer road, hughson, ca

5236 Geer Rd., Hughson, CA 95326



Lavender fields with a variety of colors, farm equipment, farmhouse

on east side of road- watch for their sign - pull into the driveway & drive behind the house - restroom

kasteel noz, Southeast modesto

6101 West Keyes Road, Snelling, CA 95368


Take Keyes Road exit from Hwy 99; go east several miles; past major intersections of Geer Rd., Gratton Rd. Hickman Rd., Montpelier Rd.. Past Holly Rd and Hawkins Rd. (both dead ends at Keyes) and Bledsoe Road (also dead ends at Keyes Rd.) Soon after that, on your right you will see a small, high level sign saying: “Kasteel”. Turn into the orchard/lane; proceed down the hill; you will see the castle from that distance.


Medieval brick and mortar castle with towers and flags, stairs, interiors with furniture, flowers, and orchards.


Camino Diablo and McCabe Roads, Byron, CA 94514

Directions: Hwy 205 to Mountain House Exit just past Tracy but before the Altamont Pass.

Exit and go north until you curve around to Byron Rd. and then turn left on Byron Rd.

Go north a mile or two to Camino Diablo Road. Drive a little ways to the churches on the left.


Two churches,  green hills, Mt. Diablo in view, old house and dirt road with trees leading up with trees, vineyard.

Good distance views.

stanislaus river at ripon pedestrian/bike bridge, ripon, ca

Directions: From 99 in South Ripon, take the Main St. exit and head South on South Parallel Ave. for 1/2 mile until you get to the walk-in entrance.


Tall trees overhanging the trail and river, dense undergrowth creating extreme shadows. Fallen trees across the river, shaded water with filtered sun highlights.  A loop trail provides many vantage points.

river's end marina, byron, ca

6020 Lindemann Road, Byron, CA

Directions: Hwy 205 to Mountain House Exit just past Tracy but before the Altamont Pass.

Exit and go north until you curve around to Byron Rd. and then turn left on Byron Rd.

Go down about a mile and turn right where the River’s End boat is sitting by itself.

Drive back a ways, turn right and park in the parking lot near the

shack on stilts in the canal water.

tuolumne river park, modesto, ca

Directions: From Hwy 99, take the Central Modesto/I St exit. Take I to 14th St and turn right, It becomes Yosemite Blvd. Turn right on Santa Cruz. Proceed to Legion Park/ Tuolumne River. Follow the drive to the sharp left turn. Continue around the bend to the first driveway into the “Tuolumne River Regional Park.”(sign to your right). Continue to the very last parking lot. Walk down to our painting spot by the path and river.


Directions: Hwy 108 past Jamestown to Hwy 49 - Columbia is 3 miles north of Sonora off Hwy 49


Fall color, historic wooden buildings

bangs road barn and farmhouse, salida, ca

Directions: From Hwy 99 take the Pelandale Rd. exit. Go east on Pelandale. Turn left on Dale Rd., then right on Bangs. Farmhouse is on the left past Carver Rd. before you get to Tully. From the west side, good afternoon light and long cast shadows. Paint on the side of the road – NOT on the property.


Whitewashed farmhouse & tank house with red barn and orchards.

walnut grove on the sacramento river

jessie's grove winery, lodi, ca

1973 W. Turner Rd. Lodi, CA 95242

Directions: Exit Hwy 12 East, Kettleman Rd. Go a couple of miles and turn left on DeVries.

Go to second stop light and turn right. Not far, and turn left into Jessie's Grove.

Vineyard, old white house, old trucks & tractor, trees, big old white barn, old outhouse, animals, old structures, wine vats, big trees, etc.

del oso farms, lathrop, ca

Directions: Mossdale exit off of Hwy 5 North, turn right and go around under the bridge. Turn right onto Manthey Rd. Go to the end of

Del Osso farms and turn in the gate. You can see the brick structures from there.



River's End, lathrop, ca

301 Stewart Rd, Lathrop, CA


A river, train track, old metal bridge,  a eucalyptus trees.

boarded up house, del oso farm, lathrop, ca

501 S. Mathey Rd., Lathrop, CA

Directions: Hwy 205 going toward Hwy 5, exit North toward Sac.

Take 1st exit, Mossdale Rd. upon getting on Hwy 5N.

Turn right at stop sign

Then make the 1st right onto S.Manthey Rd.

Go past the Del Osso park, past the River Island subdivision, over the green bridge over the water.

Go about 1/2 mile? and there's a white boarded up house on the left.


1993 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon, CA 94583

Main park entrance is at 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd.  with a second parking lot at 20503 San Ramon Blvd.


smith family farms, brentwood, ca

4400 Sellers Ave. Brentwood, CA 94513



The Kellogg Creek Picnic Area, about a mile in from the park's north entrance gate. Restrooms are available, but bring your own water. There are picnic tables and shade structures and plenty of great views within steps of the parking lot.

The Peninsula Crest Trail Map is longer than it appears on the map.  the hike’s halfway point stroll on the ridge of the trail, with its numerous oaks and unique views of the reservoir, makes it worthwhile. Also, there are 2 picnic areas with benches and tables on the Peninsula Crest Trail.


3465 Old Foothill Rd., Pleasanton, CA 94588


5175 Somersville Rd., Antioch, CA 94509

Plenty of beautiful views in every direction, including the historic Rose Hill Cemetery. Restrooms available.


25 Main St (corner of Central Pkwy & Main St), 95391 Tracy, CA

Take Hwy 205 past Tracy and turn on Mountain House exit. Don't pass it or you're go over the Altamont. Go north a couple of miles to Arnaudo (I think it's the last light past the homes). Go down a couple of lights to turn right on Central. You can see the palm trees on the right down a ways. That's the park. Park there or in the street. Cross the street and walk the sidewalk to the right to the opening to the pond.


5236 Geer Rd., Hughson, CA 95326

Five generation old Beekman farm, apiary and guest house in Hughson, CA open of r visitation and tastings...


70 Rincon Rd,. Kensington, CA 94707

Blake property offers a spectacular panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. The 10.5-acre university property includes the Blake House, currently designated as the residence for the president of the University of California. The garden is a regional resource that is open to the public on weekdays and known for its outstanding collection of plants assembled by the Blake family between 1922 and 1962. Admission is free, restrooms available.


Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out

Bay Point Regional Shoreline

End of McAvoy Road, Bay Point CA 94565

EBRPD - Bay Point (


Let's paint the Delta at Bay Point Regional Shoreline. This is a low-key setting with shoreline views along a tidal channel that winds through marshy wetlands. There are some good tree-shaded spots along the trail on the right-hand side as you're looking from the parking lot. Admission is free, restrooms are open.