Panning for Gold? Still, but much more in California's Gold Country. Here are 20 Ways to "Get out There" in Northern California.
Historically known for the infamous cry of "Eureka!" in 1849 and the California gold rush, California's Gold Country is possibly the most authentic early California experience for visitors.
Once beautiful but sleepy, it's now beautiful and sophisticated but has retained the historic charm of small towns, friendly outfitters and hospitable innkeepers and vintners. California's Gold Country delivers an historic, yet polished travel experience for visitors to San Francisco or Sacramento who want to move away from metropolitan areas and explore the area.
First time visitors to the Gold Country are delighted to discover that a great deal of the gold rush heritage has been preserved, from resort mining towns to historic hotels and 19th century saloons. There are many places to pan for gold (and keep the nuggets), but so much more to see and do in the Gold Country to stretch a visit into a memorable experience:
- Ride a steam train and a stagecoach
- Take in a fishing expedition with experienced guides
- Go rock climbing, from easy boulders to Yosemite National Park
- Ride horseback into wilderness for overnight camping
- Learn to snowboard on easy slopes
- Taste wine from the barrel with the winemaker
- Go kayaking and whitewater rafting
- Hike with your dog in this dog friendliest region of California
- Walk among Giant Sequoias, the Earth's largest living things
- Pet an Alpaca and visit a Cashmere goat farm
- Tour a sake plant or take a self-guided barn and farm tour
- Sleep in a cabin with no television, Wi-Fi, telephone or cell reception, or stay in historic inns with all the amenities
- Hear your favorite artist in a vineyard concert
- Imagine the riverboat life aboard a slow-churning paddleboat
- Go spelunking or zip-lining
- Harvest apples and visit a daylily farm with 1,000 varieties
- Get the Folsom Prison blues, temporarily, with a tour
- Learn how to mine gemstones
- Discover farm-to-fork dining places
- Golf, hike, spa and shop
The northeast/central California region known as the Gold Country, where gold was discovered in 1849, is an area made up of 12 counties and dozens of historic towns dotting Highway 49. It has been named one of the top ten U.S. travel destinations to see in 2012 by Lonely Planet. www.calgold.org.