The Blackhawk Museum shines the spotlight on historically significant classic automobiles, showcasing more than 90 one-of-a-kind cars from every era of driving history. Automotive archivists display jewels of internal combustion with their expansive 70,000-square-foot facility, which sprawls over two floors and four dramatically lit exhibition galleries filled with iron horses polished to a high gloss. Knowledgeable docents mill about the gleaming, custom Jaguars, Mercedes-Benzes, and Rolls Royces, ready to answer questions about engine sizes, production specs, and whether ejector seats come equipped with parachutes. The Blackhawk Museum also houses a host of rotating exhibits, including nonvehicular attractions such as Jukebox Saturday Night's nostalgia-packed collection of classic music makers. A museum store and automotive reference library complete the learning experience, filling visitors' hearts with glee, brains with knowledge, and gas-powered cats with premium conventional oil.
The history of wine in the Livermore Valley spans 250 years. Spanish missionaries planted the region's first grapes in the 18th century, and Robert Livermore sowed the first commercial vines in the mid-19th. These early efforts led to America's first international gold medal for wine at the 1889 Paris Exposition, when California grapes beat out bordeaux in the annual race to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The guides at Livermore Valley Wine & Cycle Tours lead cyclists into this historic, scenic valley in which some 40 wineries currently reside. Rides between them follow moderate routes, letting peddlers soak in views of the canyons and ridges that rise and fall between the clustered rows of vines.
Roberta's completed her first foray into glass art in 1979 with a stained-glass sun-catcher. Though this pursuit began as a hobby, she loved it so much that she soon leaped into a one-year glass-making apprenticeship—and the following year, she opened her first stained-glass studio. In the decades since, Roberta has crafted pieces ranging from glass beads to church windows. Today, as the owner of Art Glass Studio, she ships her custom glass works across the country and abroad—but also finds the time to hold art classes. Tailored to students of all experience levels, these workshops introduce the basic techniques needed to create colorful, whimsical glass arts, such as fused jewelry, mosaics, and stained-glass windows. Roberta provides hands-on instruction and all the necessary tools in each class.
With thousands of frame-and-mat combinations, Deck the Walls can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate ($100+), personalized jerseys glisten ($300+), and man-cave movie posters sparkle (many 24"x36" pieces are less than $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. Deck the Walls' no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
The Haggin Museum’s redbrick pediment has cast its shadow on the grassy expanses of Victory Park since 1931. Though not much has changed in its outward appearance, the museum’s collection of fine artworks and historical artifacts has continued to evolve. Recent decades have brought new landscapes, portraits, and commercial artworks to the art wing, where one can view American painter Albert Bierstadt's stunning Yosemite landscapes alongside the iconic images of J. C. Leyendecker, Norman Rockwell’s predecessor at the Saturday Evening Post. The history galleries cast a spotlight on how Stockton has shifted and grown over the past 150 years. The finely curated exhibits craft a seamless narrative that begins with the pre-pioneer lifestyle of an average Native American family.
Studio Seven Arts, voted Best Art Gallery of 2011 by Diablo magazine's readers, is bedecked in one-of-a-kind fine art, handcrafted jewelry, and eclectic crafts, fostering an inspiring backdrop to their custom-framing services. The staff members curate a collection of American art pieces, including locally made creations, displaying handcrafted fine jewelry and skillfully made crafts that can be both functional and decorative—much like a scarecrow in a sundress. The gallery’s in-house framing artisans draw upon 25 years of experience to build custom frames for such treasures as paintings, photos, diplomas, and mirrors of any shape or size. Frames can be outfitted with wood to match any room’s décor, and with a variety of glass options that can block the bleaching effects of sunlight and scribblings of pets who feel they ought to be in all the family photos.