Enjoy the greening landscape and small, historic towns on a leisurely winter drive
Brannan Island State Recreation Area. At this 300-acre waterside park ($2 day use, $12 campsite; 916/777-7701), you can fish, hike Primrose Trail, a short nature trail where you can see the Antioch dune primrose, or picnic. There's a small visitor center, plus a boat ramp and 115 campsites.
Isleton. Its colorful Asian Celebration (10-4 Mar 2-3; 916/777-5880 or www.isletoncoc.org) is small but festive. Summer Wind Stained Glass: Closed Mon-Tue; 45 Main; (916) 777-6906.
Locke. The story of the town is told in Bitter Melon: Inside America's Last Rural Chinese Town , by Jeff Gillenkirk and James Motlow (Heyday Books, Berkeley, 1997; $19.95; 510/549-3564). Dai Loy Museum: Closed Mon-Wed; $1.25; (916) 776-1661. Locke Chinese School:Closed Mon; (916) 776-1661.
Phil and Marilyn Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve. Two-hour guided tours ($5; 916/358-2353) are offered on February 3, 10, 14, 17, and 24, and March 3. Call for reservation information.
Walnut Grove. Sleepy Sacramento River community has a few antiques shops and small stores. Walnut Grove Area Chamber of Commerce: www.walnutgrove.com.
In the Delta, it's all about casual, local atmosphere, not fancy cuisine. In Isleton, pick up burgers at the Levee Cafe (501 Second St.; 916/777-6524) or plates of steaming crayfish at Ernie's Restaurant & Saloon (212 Second; 916/777-6510). In Locke, try Al's Place (13943 Main; 916/776-1800).