Life In San Joaquin County

Where We Are

San Joaquin County is an underserved community of approximately 800,000 people south of Sacramento and east of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California. The county contains five incorporated cities and towns – Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, Lodi, and Lathrop – and many smaller unincorporated areas. According to US News and World Report, the county’s central city of Stockton is the most racially and ethnically diverse city in the United States. The county’s economy is centered around heavy and chemical industry, agriculture, healthcare, and shipping and warehouse services for Amazon, Tesla, and other large corporations. The county is home to several large groups with special needs: documented and undocumented immigrants, the homeless, veterans, people who speak languages other than English, people living with addictions, the indigent, sex workers, prisoners, LGBTQ people, and many others. These are the communities that San Joaquin General Hospital predominately (but by no means exclusively) serves.


Housing is more affordable in San Joaquin County than almost anywhere else in California. Some residents choose to rent a house or apartment for residency, while others choose to purchase a home. Regardless, affordable housing for individuals and families is available in this part of California.


The remarkable diversity of the local population gives rise to a wide array of cultural expression. In the same evening one can attend a memorial for World War II veterans and a teach-in on the internment of Japanese Americans in 1942. Monster truck rallies are held alongside rodeos. Churches of every persuasion, mosques, synagogues, Sikh temples (including the oldest Sikh temple in the United States), Hindu temples, and Buddhist temples serve their own communities and regularly open their doors to all. Food trucks serving every imaginable cuisine dot the landscape, and affordable, community-focused restaurants are found everywhere. These many cultures coexist quite easily here, and the community is made brighter by each one of them.

Sports, Outdoors, and Entertainment

Local professional sports teams play regularly. The Stockton Kings is the G league affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, and the Stockton Ports is a minor league baseball team; their games are well attended by the local community. The county features several public and private golf courses and several club-based skeet and trap ranges, as well as several indoor shooting ranges. For outdoor enthusiasts, local fishing includes American shad, bass, carp, catfish, crappie, striped bass, and trout, while local hunting includes dove, duck, quail, rabbit, squirrel, and wild boar. Several beginner/easy hiking trails are available locally, as are many parks. While only one moderate-difficulty trail is available in Stockton, several moderate to advanced hiking trails are within 30 minutes by car. Various organizations in the county hold martial arts competitions throughout the year, ranging from children’s Muay Thai demonstrations to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions to full contact amateur and professional mixed martial arts contests. These athletes come from a variety of martial arts studios in the county, most notably the Diaz Academy, owned by Stockton’s famous Diaz Brothers. With San Joaquin County’s remarkable diversity comes an incredible complement of restaurants, running the spectrum from affordable family- and community-focused eateries to indulgent dining experiences. California’s “other wine country” is centered around the city of Lodi, approximately 15 minutes north of Stockton. Lodi features lovely wineries, again ranging from affordable and community-focused to decadent and indulgent. Stockton has a respected opera guild and symphony. The county has a wide variety of museums, including the famous Haggin Museum in Stockton.

Local Education

The University of the Pacific, San Joaquin Delta College, UEI College (a vocational school), and Humphreys University and its Laurence Drivon School of Law are all located in Stockton, and each incorporated city in the county has both public and private K-12 schools. San Joaquin General Hospital itself serves as a major hub for graduate medical education for resident physicians and medical students, nurses, radiology technicians, surgical technologists (“scrub techs”), CRNAs, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.

Central Location

As the map above illustrates, San Joaquin County is centrally located to some of the most enjoyable areas California and the western United States have to offer. Sacramento, Oakland, Napa, and San Francisco are 60, 70, 90, and 90 minutes from Stockton by car, respectively. One can drive to Los Angeles in five hours or take the Amtrak and arrive in seven hours. Yosemite National Park is a two hour and fifteen-minute drive, South Lake Tahoe is a two hour and forty-minute drive, and Reno, NV is a three-hour drive. Stockton’s small airport features 75-minute flights to Las Vegas for $59 each way. And there are few major cities in the country or the world that do not have a direct flight from the Sacramento, Oakland, or San Francisco international airports.

Living in San Joaquin County is both affordable and rewarding. The community is one in great need, and with a remarkable amount to give in return. The diversity of cultures, the food, the opportunities for enjoyment and enrichment of one’s own life, the affordability, and the central proximity to so many other remarkable parts of the country make this a wonderful place to live.