View Map

Overview

History comes alive in the Gold Country, at the foot of the Sierras about 150 miles east of San Francisco. Highway 49 traverses the rolling region, linking historic towns that recall the Gold Rush era. The gold is gone but the past lives on in settlements still lined with boarded sidewalks, cluttered antique stores, and gingerbread mansions - many turned into exquisite bed and breakfast hotels. It all started in 1848 when James Marshall discovered a sparkling nugget at Coloma, preserved within Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. The past really comes alive in Columbia: the entire town is a historical park, restored to its original ...

History comes alive in the Gold Country, at the foot of the Sierras about 150 miles east of San Francisco. Highway 49 traverses the rolling region, linking historic towns that recall the Gold Rush era. The gold is gone but the past lives on in settlements still lined with boarded sidewalks, cluttered antique stores, and gingerbread mansions - many turned into exquisite bed and breakfast hotels. It all started in 1848 when James Marshall discovered a sparkling nugget at Coloma, preserved within Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. The past really comes alive in Columbia: the entire town is a historical park, restored to its original appearance, right down to townsfolk in period costume. You can even tour a mine at Empire Mine Historic Park preserves. The giant sequoias of Calaveras Big Trees State Park will leave you awe-struck. In summer, rafting the American River provides the ultimate combination of beauty and thrill. In May, visitors hop on down to Angels Camp for the annual frog jumping contest at the place where Mark twain dreamed up his first story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." And any time of year is good for sampling the wines of Amador County.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

view full overview

Christopher Baker for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A region of Northern California, generally considered to lie along the route of State Route 49, stretching from Mariposa County in the south, to Sierra County in the north.
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time of year. Summer is warm and sunny.