Based on Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (27.5 mpg) and using AAA's survey-based average price of $3.90 a gallon for gas last week in California, this trip will cost you about $44.24 to drive the 312 miles from Los Angeles to Modesto.
Beekman & Beekman Honey Farm, 5236 Geer Road, Hughson; (209) 667-5812, http://www.beekmanandbeekman.com. Honey and wine tastings and displays of antique farm tools and old family photos. Open February-December, 11 a.m- 5 p.m. Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays.
Buchanan Hollow Nut Co., 6510 Minturn Road, Le Grand; (800) 532-1500, http://www.bhnc.com. Free tours of the farm upon request; gift shop sells pistachios, almonds and other goods in bulk. Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays.
Castle Air Museum, 5050 Santa Fe Drive, Atwater; (209) 723-2178, http://www.castleairmuseum.org. Huge collection of military aircraft, including a Boeing B-52 bomber, on 20 acres, plus a small indoor museum. Admission $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for children 6-17. April 1-Sept. 30, open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, Oct. 1-March 31, open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.
Hilmar Cheese Co., 9001 N. Lander Ave., Hilmar; (209) 667-6076, http://www.hilmarcheese.com. Check out the interactive dairy exhibits or see how cheese is made. Open daily 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Insect Lore Bugseum, 132 S. Beech Ave., Shafter; (800) 548-3284, http://www.insectlore.com/bugseum. See live butterflies, toads, ladybugs, scorpions and tarantulas in Shafter's nifty new museum. Free. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays.
Mooney Grove Park, 27000 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia. Large community park with oak trees, a lagoon, walking paths and a small agricultural museum. Open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
WHERE TO EAT
99 Café at the Bravo Farms Cheese Factory, 36005 Highway 99, Traver; (866) 898-6455, http://www.bravofarms.com. Tri-tip sandwiches, tortilla soup and burgers in a "Cheers"-like environment. Sandwiches $6-$12. Shop and café open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily; factory open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
Dala Horse, 1531 Draper St., Kingsburg; (559) 897-7762. Breakfast and lunch spot known for its crepe-like Swedish pancakes. Platters $3-$9.
Sal's Mexican Restaurant, 2163 Park St., Selma; (559) 896-0412. One of the state's oldest (and perhaps friendliest) Mexican restaurants; combination plates are $9-$13. Open daily. There's also a branch in Fresno.
TO LEARN MORE
California Welcome Center, 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare; (559) 688-6894, http://www.visitcwc.com/Tulare. On the grounds of the Heritage Complex. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.