Plunge into the delta

A travel planner for visiting the California Delta

For general information, contact the California Delta Chambers and Visitors Bureau (209/367-9840).

Bitter Melon: Inside America's Last Rural Chinese Town is a good history of Locke, with text by Jeff Gillenkirk and photographs by James Motlow (Heyday Books, Berkeley, 1997; $22; 510/549-3564).


Alma's Cafe. This 40-year-old diner serves hearty breakfasts. 14147 River Rd., Walnut Grove; (916) 776-1650.

Breadfruit Tree. Colorfully painted dining room with Caribbean dishes such as chicken peleau and curry lamb. Closed Mon. Disappointment Slough, Paradise Point Marina; (209) 952-7361.

Locke Garden Chinese Restaurant. Good spring rolls, fried rice, and steamed pork buns. Closed Mon. 13967 River Rd., Locke; (916) 776-2100.

Orilla del Rio. Great tortilla soup. Closed Mon. 14133 Market St., Walnut Grove; (916) 776-2007.

Yozen Frogurt. Coffee, juices, and smoothies. 26 N. Second St., Rio Vista; (707) 374-5777.


If you're planning a delta visit but aren't ready to tackle a houseboat, these lodgings are on or close to the water.

Delta King. This 1927 riverboat now houses a restaurant and hotel, with 44 shipshape rooms. From $139. 1000 Front St., Sacramento; (800) 825-5464.

Ryde Hotel. Art deco-style 1927 building has 32 rooms. Adjoining restaurant is open Fri-Sun. From $99. 14340 Hwy. 160, Ryde; (916) 776-1318.


Brannan Island State Recreation Area. The 336-acre park has a swimming beach, guided canoe trips on spring and fall weekends ($15), and windsurfing coves. Visitor center open Sat-Sun; $4 day-use fee. Rio Vista; (916) 777-6671.

Cosumnes River Preserve. This 40,000-acre preserve with a freshwater marsh draws lots of bird life. Hike on the 3 1/4-mile Willow Slough Trail. Monthly guided hikes and canoe trips. Free. Visitor center, 13501 Franklin Blvd., Galt; or (916) 684-2816.

Delta Loop. A 10-mile driving loop along Brannan Island Rd., off State 12 near Isleton. Contact California Delta Chambers and Visitors Bureau (see left).

Locke. Built in 1915 after a fire destroyed nearby Walnut Grove's Chinatown, the historic Chinese American town is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Dai Loy Museum is open 11- 4:30 Fri, 11-5 Sat-Sun; $1.25. The Joe Shoong Chinese School is open 11-4:30 Tue-Fri, 11-5 Sat-Sun; free. For town tours and more information, visit or call (916) 776-1661.

Ryer Island car ferry loop. A driving loop around this island leads to ferries across both the Cache and Steamboat Sloughs. Contact

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