Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Site in Coloma-Lotus Valley

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

This state park comprises a fascinating collection of buildings in a bucolic riverside setting at the site of James Marshall's riot-inducing discovery. Buy your ticket at the museum to display on the dashboard, retu…
Top Choice State Park in Nevada County & Northern Gold Country

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park

An otherworldly testament to the mechanical determination of the gold hunt, Malakoff Diggins is a place to get lost on fern-lined trails and take in the raw beauty of a landscape recovering from brutal hydraulic min…
Top Choice Historic Site in Volcano

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

Two miles southwest of Volcano, this sacred area for the local Miwok comprises a museum in a traditional wooden roundhouse, a village site, a limestone outcrop covered with petroglyphs – 363 originals and a few mode…
Top Choice Creole in Nevada City

Ike’s Quarter Cafe

Right out of New Orleans' Garden District, Ike’s serves splendid brunch fare with a sassy charm. Sit outside under the cherry tree or in the cluttered, funky interior. There's eggs Sardou, jambalaya, vegetarian po'b…
Top Choice Cinema in Nevada City

Magic Theatre

This beloved and adorably quirky theater screens a matchless lineup of unusual films and is about a mile south of downtown Nevada City. It serves bowls of fresh popcorn, coffee in real mugs and hot brownies. At the …
Top Choice Cafe in Sonora & Jamestown

Legends Books, Antiques & Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain

The place to sip sarsaparilla, snack on a Polish dog or share a scoop of huckleberry ice cream at a 26ft-long mahogany bar here since 1850. Then browse antiques and books downstairs in the old tunnel miners used to …
Top Choice Arts Center in Nevada City

Miners Foundry

As the name suggests, this was once an industrial building, constructed in 1856 and used to manufacture Pelton wheels. It has been brilliantly converted into an eclectic arts center, hosting music workshops, youth t…
Top Choice Californian in Nevada City

New Moon Cafe

Pure elegance, Peter Selaya’s organic- and local-ingredient menu changes with the seasons. If you visit during spring or summer, go for the line-caught fish or the house-made, moon-shaped fresh ravioli. The wine lis…
Top Choice Mexican in Downieville

La Cocina de Oro Taqueria

Chef-owner Feather Ortiz uses herbs and peppers from her garden and sources everything else from local growers to make the freshest food around. The burritos are the size of Chihuahuas. No credit cards.
Top Choice Californian in Plymouth & Amador City


Book a table at Taste, where excellent Amador County wines are paired with a fine menu of California-style cooking (big on meat and game). There's open seating in the wine bar.