Discover one of the Gold Country's prettiest towns
If Jimmy Stewart returned for another "wonderful life," he might come to this hamlet of regal Victorian homes and narrow, maple-lined streets. Pick up a free walking-tour map at the tourist office (132 Main Street), then stroll up the street to the bell-towered firehouse, site of a small history museum. Stop in at the wonderfully eclectic Main Street Antiques & Books, with everything from vintage toys to rare books and paintings. Wander over to Broad Street and the heart of town. Here you'll find restaurants and antique shops housed inside impeccable 19th-century buildings adorned with wooden awnings and elaborate wrought-iron balconies. Pop into the Nevada City Winery on Spring Street to sample vintages from one of the state's oldest vineyards. A block away on Broad Street, check out more local wines at Indian Springs Vineyards.
Work up an appetite for lunch or dinner by walking up to the top of Pine Street and the Indian Medicine Stone, a granite-boulder tribute from local Indians to honor the healing power of sunshine. Now that you're good and hungry, head back down to peruse an assortment of great cafes in town; Nevada City specialties include pasty (originally brought to the Gold Country by Cornish miners) and locally brewed beers.