You can still strike gold with Gold Country’s many activities and historical landmarks – and have a “Capitol” time.
Trip Time: 4 days
Begin your trip with a day in Downtown Sacramento. Start at the California State Railroad Museum. Whether you are a railroad fan or not, you can definitely enjoy this unique museum. The museum is a complex of historic facilities and unique attractions. It contains more than 40 exhibitions, including 21 trains. Next, visit the State Capitol. The beautiful Capitol, with its gilded dome, was built in 1860. If you join a guided tour, you can take a close look at marble floors, glittering chandeliers and monumental staircases.
Steep yourself in history, go river rafting, ride a horse, and learn about the California’s Gold Rush.
Trip Time: 5 Days
Placerville/Coloma. Ride the American River with local rafting companies (Mother Lode River Center has shuttle vans that run on eco-friendly vegetable oil). Explore the history of the start of California’s Gold Rush.
Auburn (28 mi: 46 min). Grab an local bite at Tsuda's, then walk the Trail of Treasured Trees. Explore Old Auburn’s antique shops. Sample a local brew at the Auburn Ale House or seize the moment at Carpe Vino. Reserve tee time at DarkHorse Golf Club.
There’s gold in the foothills, but these days, it’s red. Zinfandel, planted not long after James W. Marshall discovered shining flecks in the river at Coloma, has always thrived in the region’s warm summer days and temperate nights. For many years it was turned into sweet white Zinfandel. Over the last decade or so, intense (red) Sierra Zins have gained a foothold in the region—and a passionate following.
Creative new winemakers are migrating here, as they are discovering Gold Country is an excellent place for other reds, too, namely Rhône varietals such as Syrah and Mourvèdre, Italian Barbera and Sangiovese, and Spanish Tempranillo. Get to know the Sierra Foothills’ modern treasures on this journey that leads you past rolling hills and spreading oaks to fine wines and towns that are historic and increasingly sophisticated.
Immerse Yourself in History - James W. Marshall discovered gold in 1848 on the South Fork of the American River in the tailrace of the sawmill he was building for himself and John Sutter. This discovery changed the course of California's and the nation's history. See a replica of the original sawmill and over 20 historic buildings including mining, house, school, and store exhibits. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is one of the most significant historic sites in the nation.
Lined with trees, a quiet stroll down Downtown Murphys Main Street is a perfect way to spend the day!
Murphys is located in the central Sierra Nevada foothills between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park, in Calaveras County, California (see location map). Rich in gold rush history, Murphys today is a vibrant, thriving community of approximately 2,000 residents, alive with art galleries and live theatre, eclectic shops, fine restaurants, charming hotels and B&B’s, and a multitude of outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities all just a short drive away.