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Stanislaus County is in the San Joaquin Valley region of California.
The primary north-south route through the county is California State Route 99, which traverses the eastern side of the Central Valley from just north of the Grapevine up to Sacramento before ending in the northern part of the state near Red Bluff. Interstate 5 crosses the county's western side as it speeds travelers between Los Angeles and Sacramento.
- 1 Calaveras County - Northeast of Stanislaus County lies sparsely populated Calaveras County, which inspired author Mark Twain's first successful story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"; today visitors can both visit Twain's cabin and enjoy the annual Jumping Frog Jubilee in the tiny town of Angels Camp. The county is also home to several natural caves, a handful of wineries, Gold Rush history, and giant sequoia trees in Calaveras Big Trees State Park.
- 2 Tuolumne County - Stanislaus County's eastern neighbor was one of California's original counties at the time of statehood, and today offers a glimpse into the region's gold mining and logging history, as well as numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation. Portions of Yosemite National Park lie in the county, and with limited parking and lodging inside of the park, the YARTS shuttle system makes the county's towns an option to consider for park visitors.
- 3 Mariposa County - Located east of Stanislaus County, Mariposa was the largest county in California at the time of statehood in 1850, but later ceded land that formed twelve other counties. Today it maintains a relatively small footprint in the Sierra Nevada foothills, but has kept one of the state's treasures: Yosemite National Park, home to impossibly tall granite cliffs, remote alpine wilderness, and an iconic valley.
- 4 Merced County - Stanislaus County's southern neighbor is located entirely within the San Joaquin Valley. Most travelers will likely just take advantage of the county's hotels and other amenities, but there are a few attractions worth considering. The Castle Air Museum in Atwater is home to over 50 planes, while the Merced National Wildlife Refuge hosts thousands of waterfowl during winter months, including huge flocks of snow geese and sandhill cranes.
- 5 Santa Clara County - Stanislaus County's western neighbor is home to Silicon Valley, headquarters to hundreds of tech companies including giants like Apple, Intel and Hewlett Packard. Visitors will appreciate the massive array of restaurants, museums, and cultural opportunities offered by the huge city of San Jose, while at the other end of the spectrum the tiny town of Gilroy is famous for garlic, with its annual festival attracting over 100,000 garlic lovers.
- 6 Alameda County - Alameda County is located to the northwest of Stanislaus County. The densely populated northern part of the county is home to the many parks and museums of Oakland, the counter-cultural hub that is Berkeley, and even a historic aircraft carrier in Alameda. The county's southern region provides a chance to experience dozens of immigrant communities, particularly in Fremont, while the eastern part of the county is rural, with the windmills and rolling hills surrounding Livermore offering opportunities for outdoor activities.
- 7 San Joaquin County - San Joaquin County lies to the north of Stanislaus County on the eastern edge of the California Delta, an estuary formed by the confluence of the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. Nicknamed "California's Holland" due to the extensive levee system, the area is an interesting place to explore by car or boat. Stockton is the county's largest city and is notable for being the world's most inland natural seaport.