One of my favorite Northern California getaways is spending a few days in Nevada City and its environs. There is so much history there because it has some of the first California towns, gold mines as well as it has many structures that were built in the mid 1800’s e.g. California’s first theater!!! Its like a living museum and its only 2 hours from the SF/Bay Area.
In the summer months, my favorite thing to do is play in the South Yuba River with its huge boulders, mini waterfalls and clear water. I usually go to the Bridgeport site http://www.southyubariverstatepark.org/ but locals tell me that I need to check out the “emerald pools”, Hoyt crossing and Edwards crossing.
My fav motel is the “Outside Inn” and there are lots of Airbnb options.
My fav restaurants are the Heartwood café and south pine cafe for breakfast, for lunch/dinner – 3 forks and late night dining – crazy horse. For great sandwiches to take on your hike or swim, check out the “Hamstand”.
Fun places to roam and visit:
- Lobby of the National Hotel built in 1865
- Empire Mine State Historic Park
- Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
- Cascade Canal Trail
- Walk through downtown Grass Valley its just ten minutes away by car and has a different vibe from Nevada City but is equally artistic and historic.
- Nearby lake: Scott’s flat
- Little village town – North San Juan
- Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum
- If there are actual guided tours of Nevada City, that might be worthwhile.
Picture of Elaine at Empire Mine State Park, where you can take a guided tour that affords you the opportunity to actually descend into the earth to visit what formerly was an actual gold mine.