Top things to do

State Park in Calaveras County & South Gold Country

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Home to giant sequoia trees that reach as high as 250ft with trunk diameters of over 25ft, these leftovers from the Mesozoic era are thought to weigh upwards of 2000 tons, or close to 10 blue whales. The giants are …
State Park in Sonora & Jamestown

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

Five blocks east of Jamestown’s Main St, this 26-acre, state-operated collection of trains and railroad equipment is the photogenic sister to Sacramento's rail museum. It's served as backdrop for countless films and…
Historic Site in Columbia State Historic Park

Columbia State Historic Park

The so-called ‘Gem of the Southern Mines’ is like a miniature Gold-Rush Disneyland, but with more authenticity and heart. Four blocks of town have been preserved, where volunteers perambulate in 19th-century dress a…
Cave in Calaveras County & South Gold Country

California Cavern State Historic Landmark

California Caverns has the mother lode’s most extensive system of natural underground caverns. Regular tours take 60 to 80 minutes, or get a group together and reserve ahead for a three- to five-hour ‘Middle Earth E…
Fair in Angels Camp

Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee

This 19th-century mining town makes the most of its Twain connection by hosting a Jumping Frog Jubilee during the Calaveras County Fair on the third weekend in May. You could win $5000 if your frog beats the world-r…
American in Sonora & Jamestown

Diamondback Grill

With exposed brick and modern fixtures, the fresh menu and contemporary details at this cafe and wine bar are a reprieve from occasionally overbearing Victorian frill. Sandwiches dominate the menu (the salmon and eg…
Modern American in Murphys

Grounds

Casually elegant cafe does everything competently – expert breakfast foods, a roster of light lunch mains and weekend dinners of steaks and fresh fish. Iced herbal tea and fresh vegetarian options are key when tempe…
Winery in Murphys

Newsome-Harlow

This family-run winery pours the juicy red varietals that made them famous in their lively tasting lounge. At times, this place feels like the community social club. There's an onsite chef, fire pit, movie night, an…
Californian in Murphys

Alchemy Market & Cafe

The stellar cafe menu has a long wine list and many dishes, from parsley truffle fries to iron-skillet mussels, all great for sharing on the patio.
American in Murphys

Firewood

A rarity in a town with so much historical frill, Firewood’s exposed-concrete walls and corrugated metal offer a minimalist respite. When the weather’s nice, they open the front wall for al-fresco dining. There are …