The car show over the weekend was held at Micke Grove in Lodi, California. Micke Grove is a quaint park with a zoo, small amusement park, and a lovely Japanese Garden. These aren’t huge attractions on the scale of San Francisco, but they have a special charm.

The zoo feels like it is in a private garden. It isn’t huge, but it has the feel that it could be in quirky millionaire’s back yard. One of the star attractions is a pair of bald eagles that couldn’t be returned to the wild. The zoo is undergoing an upgrade, so the mountain lion and snow leopard have to alternate time in the display cage. We got to see the mountain lion. But the zoo mainly is composed of monkeys and birds.

And the Japanese Garden is a pretty, shaded wonderland. It may be one of my favorite places in the Central Valley. At one point we had to hop across a rock path in a small pond to continue on the path. The garden was a post war gift from San Joaquin County’s Japanese community, and was dedicated in 1965. It was designed by Nagao Sakurai who for 20 years was the landscape architect at the Imperial Palace in Japan.

Entrance to the park is $5 for parking, and to enter the zoo is and additional $2 for adults and $1 for a child.