Top things to do

Top Choice Californian in Nevada City

New Moon Café

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 their house-made, moon-shaped fresh ravioli.
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.
State Park in Nevada County & Northern Gold Country

South Yuba River State Park

Cool off with a dip at South Yuba River State Park, which has popular swimming holes and hiking trails near Bridgeport, the USA’s longest covered wooden bridge (temporarily closed for restoration at the time of rese…
Historic Site in Grass Valley

Empire Mine State Historic Park

Atop 367 miles of mine shafts tunneling almost a vertical mile beneath the surface, Gold Country’s best-preserved gold quartz–mining operation is worth a solid half-day’s exploration. From 1850 to 1956 the miners he…
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. There's eggs Sardou, jambalaya, vegetarian po' boy sandwiches and more. It’s an excellent place to get 'Hangtown Fry’ …
Market in Sierra City & The Lakes Basin

Sierra Country Store

A welcome sight for Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hikers and anyone else needing a laundromat, deli, groceries, ATM and wi-fi.
Museum in Nevada City

Firehouse No. 1 Museum

This small, painstakingly curated museum is run by the Nevada County Historical Society. From stunning Nisenan baskets to preserved Victorian bridal wear, its collections tell the story of the local people. The priz…
Museum in Sierra City & The Lakes Basin

Kentucky Mine

Sierra City’s local museum, the Kentucky Mine, is a worthy stop that introduces the famed ‘Golden Chain Highway’ (California's Hwy 49). Its gold mine and stamp mill are just northeast of town.
State Park in Nevada County & Northern Gold Country

Malakoff Diggins State Park

California's largest hydraulic mine left behind massive gold and crimson cliffs, which were carved from the mountains by mighty streams of water. The forestland has recovered since the legal battles between mine own…
Park in Nevada County & Northern Gold Country

Auburn State Recreation Area

This is a park of deep gorges cut by the rushing waters of the North and Middle Forks of the American River that converge below a bridge on Hwy 49, about 4 miles south of Auburn. In the early spring, when waters are…