The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

California Bucket List

Here’s your daily travel guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State. Each of these essential California adventures has been tried and tested by a Travel section staffer or contributor.

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Central ValleyFamily-friendly

Break bread like a Basque sheepherder at Schat's old Dutch bakery in Bishop


Why: Erick Schat’s Bakkery in Bishop is California’s bread basket. About four hours from Los Angeles, the old Dutch bakery is a must-stop on the half-day ride into the Eastern Sierra. A travel touchstone for generations, Schat’s famed sheepherder bread was developed in 1938 to please Basque farmers who missed the bread of their homeland. Almost 80 years later, stopping for a loaf of the hand-shaped bread remains a California tradition. Oh, and don’t forget the chocolate macarons.

What: Schat’s big bakery is the focal point of a Main Street that features no-frills bars and fishing tackle shops. The bakery/deli offers sandwiches and pastries for the road for travelers heading to Mammoth Lakes or Yosemite. A beautiful city park across the street allows for impromptu picnics and a chance to stretch your legs.

The magic? The Sierra snowmelt that filters into the groundwater, and eventually into the famed breads. Stone-ground flour also is a key ingredient, and pecans and other nuts are provided by local growers.

The place is so popular that parking can be a little tricky, but there are usually spots at the far end of the lot. Inside, lines can be long. You can be in and out in a flash by passing up the long lines in front and paying at secondary registers farther back in the store.

While the sheepherder bread is the go-to delicacy, the fresh sourdough and apple tarts are popular as well. The feel-good vibe of this old European-style bakery is one of the joys of any Western road trip.

Where: 763 N. Main St., Bishop, 267 miles north of downtown Los Angeles

How much: Cookies and pastries from a couple of dollars, sheepherders bread $4.35

InfoSchat’s Bakery

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