There are many lakes in the North San Joaquin Valley, but none quite like Lake Lodi.

Owned by the City of Lodi, it spans 114 acres and connects to the Mokelumne River.

It’s a place where you can:

* Use a public “pool” which is actually a “marked area” of the lake with a sandy beach, lifeguards, separate spray pool and changing rooms.

* Rent a kayak or paddle board for smooth fun on the water.

* If you prefer, there are pedal boats.

* Take a walk in a natural area by the lake.

* Picnic by the lake using tables or grassy areas

* Spread out a blanket – or just lay down – and enjoy the grass under a canopy of shade provided by towering trees.

You don’t need to head into the hills or into the delta to reach it.

Simply drive down Highway 99 to the Turner Road exit and head west until Lake Lodi comes into view on the south side of the road.

There are things you can do on a trip to Lake Lodi that are impossible to do at most lakes you can kayak or swim in along the 209.

First, you can take five minutes to swim, kayak, or just relax and cross Turner Road to a Sno-White Drive-in and get the best of decadent soft cones – a half and half twist of chocolate and vanilla.

They have a full menu and are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. But the attraction is the cones with a nostalgic twist that can satisfy any kid, big or small, on a fun day at the lake.

If you’d rather grab a mug of ice-cold A&W root beer — or the A&W-branded root beer float — at the original A&W in the US, you can drop by after visiting the lake.

Lodi also has a walkable downtown area with plenty of shade trees that is arguably one of the best examples of a San Joaquín Valley downtown destination. It features restaurants, sidewalk dining, wine tasting, unique shops, a movie theater and more.

You can head further down Turner Road and head to the Lodi Wine Visitors Center with tastings of the region’s finest wines next to the superb Wine & Roses.

Wine & Roses includes an artisan cafe, market, spa, hotel rooms and an elegant restaurant.

Learn more about Lake Lodi

There is a vehicle entrance fee to the lake of $4 for Lodi residents and $5 for non-residents. People 62 and over pay $2 for residents and $3 for non-residents per vehicle.

Launching fees are $13 per motorized boat. The price includes the entrance fee.

The beach, the bathing area and the paddling pool are open from Wednesday to Sunday until July 31 from noon to 2:45 p.m. and from 3:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

From August 6 to September 5, it is open on Saturdays and Sundays as well as Labor Day at the same hours as July hours, closed Monday to Friday.

The free swim or lap swim is $3.

The Lodi Lake Boathouse offers kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and pedal boat rentals that must be pre-booked online.

Headwaters Boathouse starting rates are $17 for a single kayak, $25 for a premium kayak, $35 for a tandem, and $21 for a paddle board. You can also rent a paddle boat big enough for two adults plus two to three children (depending on size) for $40 per hour.

You can kayak on the lake or up the Mokelumne River to the Hwy 99 bridge which is four miles away.

They also offer guided sunset kayak tours on Fridays in July and August. There is also a full moon guided kayak tour on July 12 and August 10.

Visits can be booked online as well as introductory courses. The 1.5 hour kayak lesson starts at $79 per person and the 1.5 hour paddle board lesson starts at $75 per person.

More information can be found at headwaterskayak.com

You can also fish although those over 16 must have state fishing licenses.

The Lake Lodi Park Gate hours of operation are 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.