Welcome to Placerville


Placerville has always been a travelers’ town: it was originally a destination for fortune hunters who reached California by following the South Fork of the American River. In 1857 the first stagecoach to cross the Sierra Nevada linked Placerville to Nevada’s Carson Valley, which eventually became part of the nation’s first transcontinental stagecoach route.


Top experiences in Placerville

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Placerville activities

$75 Food, Wine & Nightlife

El Dorado Wine Country Tour from South Lake Tahoe

Depart South Lake Tahoe by comfortable coach or minibus and head southwest on Highway 50 with your guide. Your destination is the wine region around the historic town of Placerville, a central hub during the California Gold Rush, which started in 1848. You’ll visit a total of six wineries in the El Dorado AVA (American Viticultural Area), a wine appellation in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, about 1.5 hours from South Lake Tahoe. Overlapping the wine region is Apple Hill, a region of apple orchards and other fruit farms. Together, these two areas provide a fantastic agricultural experience in the beautiful Lake Tahoe region.The exact six wineries you visit vary each tour; possible wineries include friendly Boeger Winery, where 40 acres (16 hectares) of vineyards produce varietals like merlot, chardonnay and pinot noir, and Jodar Vineyards & Winery, where you can sample petite sirah, zinfandel or sangiovese in a tasting room with a view of Blakeley Lake. Your wine tastings at the first three wineries are included, after which you’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in a lovely outdoor winery setting. Lunch changes daily but typically includes fine cheeses, bread, sliced meats, veggies, hummus, fruit and dressings, from which you can put together your own sandwich or salad. Then continue to the last three wineries, where the tasting fees are at your own expense, if you wish to participate (fees are often waived with purchase of a bottle). You’ll also visit Boa Vista Orchard, known for its preserves, apple cider and freshly made baked goods. After your fun-filled immersion into Sierra Nevada wine country, your tour ends with the drive back to South Lake Tahoe.

$137 Water Sports

South Fork American River: Chili Bar (Class III Whitewater)

Action awaits on this historical trip through one of California’s most popular waterways! Beginning just outside of the town of Placerville, this run offers 9 miles of whitewater excitement. Travel through the golden foot hills of the Western Sierra Nevada mountains as warm sun rays envelope your senses. Splashes of cool mountain water invigorate and awaken as you float through one of California’s most historical areas. In 1848 the South Fork of the American River changed the world when gold was first discovered in the stream bed. The California Gold Rush was born creating the largest human migration for a single purpose since the crusades. Today folks are still attracted to the region, not for its gold but for its whitewater. This trip starts off with one of the biggest rapids, “Meat Grinder” in an exciting introduction. Fun filled class II’s and III’s continue throughout the day with something new around each bend. Halfway down our guides prepare a rejuvenating lunch allowing time to relax and sun bath on shore as the sound of the river fills the canyon. Rapids continue after lunch leading to an exciting Class III drop, “Trouble Maker” near the end of your trip. Here your guides will entertain you with stories as the boats float by the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. Join us on an extraordinary adventure for all on our South Fork American- Chili Bar run. With beautiful foothill scenery, fun splashy rapids, all in an area rich in history, this river is the perfect escape on a hot summer day.