Gold Country

California Gold Country Still Sparks the Imagination


South Fork American River

While the gold rush lasted only a few short years, that doesn’t mean California Gold Country isn’t still ripe for discovery!

You can still strike it rich – culturally speaking – by gaining an appreciation of the historical significance of this very special place.


If you’re a history buff like we are, you’ll want to explore the modern-day California Gold Country by driving along the scenic, oak-studded hills of Highway 49. In historic towns along the California Gold Country route, you’ll uncover tantalizing clues about the past mixed in with up-and-coming restaurants, galleries, and boutiques that line old-fashioned main thoroughfares.

Come along with us as we describe the many treasures California Gold Country has in store for you. Then plan your vacation by reading about the …

Top 6 Things to Do in California Gold Country

Put on a Hard Hat and venture deep into some real California gold mines. We’ve been to several, and the kids absolutely love it. You can’t say you’ve really been to California Gold Country until you’ve seen the lengths people will go to extract this precious metal from the ground.

Sample some Hangtown Fry, attend the Jumping Frog Jubilee, shop for antiques, and visit family-owned wineries. All these activities and more await visitors to gold rush towns like Auburn, Nevada City, Placerville, Sutter Creek, Amador City, Angels Camp, and Murphys. These beautiful, quaint California Gold Country communities provide unique glimpses into the past while plying visitors with the best of modern amenities. 

Stroll among the Rubble in California ghost towns while you imagine the lives of their colorful former inhabitants. California Gold Country is full of towns that came and went with the gold rush – and, like a lot of us (present company excluded, of course!) aren’t exactly as spry as they used to be.

Go with a Guide on any one of several California Gold Country tours. Whether you choose to take a walking tour of a historic gold-rush town, sign up to explore a cave, combine rafting and wine tasting, or take a group tour on a rented Harley along Highway 49, we’re sure you’ll find your perfect California Gold Country experience.

Stay the Night in a former mansion, miner’s cabin, or any of a number of other historic buildings – it’ll make your California Gold Country vacation truly memorable. In our opinion, spending the night at any of the numerous historic Gold Country hotels and bed and breakfasts is an essential part of understanding this very special region. Many of our favorite hotels date back to the days of the original ’49ers, so you can bet there’s a fascinating story behind each one — just waiting to be discovered by you!

Grab a Pan or Sluice Box and try your luck at California gold panning. State historic parks in the area offer supplies and lessons at minimal cost, or you can strike out on your own (but be sure to stay within the law). Yes, there’s still gold to be found in them thar hills of California Gold Country!


You’re well on your way to making your own amazing discoveries in California Gold Country. But before you go, don’t forget to orient yourself with a California gold rush map. Getting around can be tricky without one!

Happy prospecting (or antiquing or wine tasting or spelunking – whatever you decide to do) in one of our favorite places on Earth: California Gold Country.

There’s no other place quite like it!

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