Stockton, with one of its nicknames being "California's Sunrise Seaport" and having the motto "All American City," is the Central Valley's San Joaquin County seat. The city is situated by the San Joaquin River with a total area of 64.75 square miles, 61.67 square miles of land and 3.08 square miles of water.
Built during the California Gold Rush, its fully-operating Port of Stockton provided easy access for transportation and trade to the southern gold mines and still is a gateway to the Central Valley. Population was estimated in 2016 to be 315,592 making it California's 13th largest city and the nation's 63rd largest city. It was recognized as an All-America City in 1999, 2004, 2015 and in 2017.
Stockton is part of four public school districts, and there are also over 40 private elementary and secondary schools and public charter school systems. The University of the Pacific (UOP) is the oldest of California's universities, having been chartered in 1851, and has been in Stockton since 1923. For sports enthusiasts, it is interesting to note that the men's basketball team, the Pacific Tigers, has been in NCAA Tournaments nine times.
Numerous motion pictures have been filmed in this diverse city because UOP looks like East Coast Ivy League universities, the area's waterways stand in for the Mississippi delta, and the farmland can be used as the American Midwest and plains.
The Cambodian Buddhist Temple gives an amazingly unique outside spectacle to behold at this active temple with more than 90 statues that are larger than life, extremely colorful, and are encrusted with jewels. The statues celebrate and demonstrate the life of the Cambodian Buddha. Included is an approximate 100-foot-long recumbent Buddha. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted.
The temple is also the host of the annual exciting three-day Cambodian New Year Celebration every April. It is the most significant Cambodian national holiday, and this event draws people from as far as Oregon and Texas to enjoy traditional music, individuals dressed in traditional garb, and Cambodian cuisine. This is also free; but, again, donations will be happily accepted. The city is a “playground” with over 60 parks. An example is Pixie Woods, which is especially great for young children with rides on a boat, a train, and a carousel. There are also many play areas and a splash pad and picnic tables.