CALIFORNIA’S GOLD COUNTRY
About the Gold Country
California’s Gold Country, home to the Gold Rush in 1849, combines history, nature, authentic American West small towns, festivals, a sensational culinary scene, wine, microbreweries, and majestic scenery in a captivating way that no other California region rivals. Download a detailed map of Gold Country here.
From rail history to real history, visitors may experience clip-clop of horses striding through town, with Victorian homes on hillsides and the timelessness of Mother Nature’s hills in the distance. It’s easy to get lost in the relaxed vibe and inviting trails, towns, and country roads.
Spanning from Madera County in the south to Sierra County in the north, Highway 49 offers the quintessential road trip. Truly, it’s one of America’s best drives. Dotted with charming small towns along the route, winding open roads offer views of bucolic countryside, tasty dining spots, antique stores, and plenty of locally crafted goods.
Be sure to catch the serenity of the sun casting a golden glow through peaceful forests in places like Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Of course, no trip would be complete without taking in the awe-inspiring Yosemite National Park. Lesser-known spots, like swimming holes along the Yuba River, deserve exploration as well.
From rolling hills to rugged mountains, a bevy of mountain bikers, road cyclists, runners, and climbers call this area home. Pan for gold, skip a stone across a river, take a dip in a freshwater lake, go whitewater rafting, or float a calm section of a river. Go horseback riding, take a train ride, visit a gold mine – the choices are nearly endless. During every season, you’ll find room to breathe. Over 200 wineries – the perfect sipping side trip – can be found in Gold Country.
For those looking for more urban adventure, Sacramento, the Farm-to-Fork Capital of the world, offers a vibrant downtown with innovative restaurants, cozy cafes, breweries, galleries, museums, and big-time attractions like the Golden 1 Center, where the NBA Kings play, and internationally acclaimed artists perform concerts. Of course, Sacramento has a historic old town too.
Access is easy through Sacramento International Airport (SMF), Stockton Airport (SCK), and Fresno Airport (FAT). Oakland International Airport (OAK) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) are approximately two-hour drives from Gold Country.
By car, bus, horse, or by train, you are invited to explore the many destinations of California’s Gold Country. It’s time to find your gold.