Seeking my fame and fortune /Looking for a pot of gold / [...] / Oh, Lord, stuck in Lodi again -- From "Lodi" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
If you find yourself stuck in Lodi, it's because you found your pot of gold -- a great house or apartment, and a wonderful place to live. Located in the Northern California's Central Valley, Lodi is known for its wine production, notably of Zinfandel. The Woodbridge neighborhood of Lodi is home to the Woodbridge winery, founded by famed vintner -- and Lodi native -- Robert Mondavi. Wine production isn't the only business in this small city. Companies such as General Mills, Blue Shield of California, Archer Daniels Midland, and Dart Container are all headquartered in Lodi. Other local claims to fame include being the birthplace of A&W Root Beer -- you're welcome, root beer float lovers! -- and many references as a neighboring city on the FX show Sons of Anarchy.
Moving to Lodi
Whether you move here for an executive job or to grow grapes, you'll find plenty of land or space in Lodi -- or both. The verdant land isn't just optimal for creating wine -- it makes for a picturesque landscape as well. This appreciation for the soil comes out in the local restaurants that strive to serve locally-produced food, so make sure you check out the restaurants when you come here. You'll also notice that appreciation for the land when you take part in the outdoor events planned throughout the year and take advantage of the plethora of parks and jogging trails in the city.
Housing prices here rival some of the most expensive places in the country, but they're really pretty average for California. So if you're a California native, it's affordable to live here! But if you're from out of state, you might be a bit shocked by the prices. Just make sure you've saved up a huge chunk of money before your move to Northern California -- unless your last name is Astor or Rockefeller, in which case you should feel free to move today!
The vacancy rates fluctuate depending on the neighborhood, so expect to spend at least three weeks or even longer looking for the perfect spot to call your next home. When you do start looking, you can speed up the process by gathering paperwork such as proof of income, vet records, and maybe even a credit check, all of which you'll need to show potential landlords. And don't forget your checkbook -- you'll need to be ready to plop down a hefty security deposit to match the hefty rent!
Sixteen distinct neighborhoods can be found within Lodi, although some are better for renters than others. Here are descriptions of the best options for renters, along with the relative rental price for each neighborhood.
Villinger:Cows, farms, and land -- lots and lots of land; only a few hundred cows -- perfectly describes the rural extreme western part of Lodi. But don't think it's nothing but large privately-owned family estates here. Oh, no! Villinger has a surprisingly robust rental market, just not in the form of apartment complexes. It's strictly single-family homes here. But if you have your heart set on a front, back, and side yards, start looking early and look often here because once renters find a home in this area, they tend to not give it up for years! And at these prices, who can blame them? $$
East Lodi: A little away from the rest of Lodi, this area is about as rural as it gets. While there aren't many rental options in the area (most of the properties are owned), the vacancy rate is high enough that it shouldn't take you more than a few weeks to find a small or medium-sized home once you start looking. Just be prepared to spend a little more time and money driving into town for pretty much everything. $$$$
Woodbridge: Drive by rows of grapevines on the way to your rental home or townhome in the northwest corner of the city. Most of the properties are owned, so finding a rental might take a little detective work. Securing a spot here though is worth it if you want a little breathing room or if you're planning on working at one of the wineries, especially for the price you'll be paying! $$$$
Ampere:Renters mix it up with homeowners here in southern Lodi, although most rental properties are small or medium-sized homes. A couple of public parks, Hwy 99, and new construction make it a popular -- yet expensive place to live. $$$$$
Lodi Junction:On Lodi's east side of town, Hwy 99 cuts through Lodi Junction, so commuters will want to look here first. Renters rule here, but check out the vacancy rate since some places tend to sit empty here for a while. $$$
Downtown: While some might not consider it a true downtown area (the streets are a little too clean, there are too many trees planted around the neatly kept sidewalks), it is the closest thing Lodi has to an urban epicenter. The area is a nice mix of renters and owners, although the rental market is pretty tight here. Consider yourself lucky if you score an apartment or loft, and pat yourself on the back if you stumble onto an available rental home. $$$
Think you're going to spend a lot of time in your spacious new apartment? Not once you learn about all the outdoor activities that go on in Lodi throughout the year! You'll be amazed at how much time you spend outside, and how much fun you're having! The farmer's market is held in downtown Lodi every Thursday evening from June through September. Get out and pick some produce that was probably still in the fields just that morning. The Spring Wine Show is a great way to get to know all about the local wineries. And not drink wine -- wait, that can't be right! You'll know exactly which ones to sample at the Zinfest held each May at Lodi Lake. Not to be outdone, the Lodi Grape Festival in September has wine tastings, as well as food and amusement rides.
Don't like wine? Well, you might learn to appreciate it; but if not, you can spend your free time attending the World of Wonders Science Museum in the downtown area or the Hill House Museum, which is a restored Queen Anne Victorian that tells the history of the town. The Changing Faces Theater Company is a children's theater company that puts on a production each summer, while theLodi Musical Theatre Company has staged such well-known musicals asJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and West Side Story. Say it loud, and there's music playing!