Explore California’s Gold Country

Take a two-week road trip through the golden counties of the Golden State.  From Sacramento to Yosemite, you don’t want to miss a thing! Pay special attention to the pro-tips and sign up for Gold Country newsletters for more!

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  • Insider Pro Tips:

    #1 Don’t miss out on some of the best Nashville-style hot chicken in Sacramento. Be sure to stop by Nash & Proper for some award-winning grub. With a new location downtown, another in South Natomas, and three food trucks, you’ll be sure to catch them all over Sacramento.

  • #2 You’ll have a hard time deciding what to indulge in at Fizz Champagne & Bubbles Bar. Having more than 150 champagnes and sparkling wines by the bottle and another 20 by the glass to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect bubbly. With sparkling wines sourced from all over the world and champagne from the smallest to the largest producers, you’ll be sure to find just the right bottle to pop open for all the celebrations in your life.

Old Sugar Mill

With 14 unique wineries located within the Old Sugar Mill, you will have no problem finding one or two or three that you love, and we won’t judge you if you love them all. While you’re there, enjoy the beautiful grounds and the historic building that was once an operating beet sugar refinery. If you aren’t showing up to this premier destination to enjoy world-class wines with family and friends, then come for the food trucks, which operate on the weekends only.

Sac Brew Boat

Experience the Old Sacramento Waterfront from a different perspective aboard the Sac Brew Boat. Choose to paddle the river or sit back, relax and enjoy a beverage while the captain steers the boat. Did we mention you can bring your own beer, wine and/or cider aboard? Sounds like a perfect summertime activity to us.

River City Queen

Bring the whole family onboard the River City Queen for some sweet treats and a narrative scenic tour of the Sacramento River. Want to leave the kids at home and enjoy a date night with your main squeeze? Book your Twilight Dinner Cruise or a River Cocktail Cruise, sure to make you fall in love all over again.

Rancho Cordova

  • Insider Pro Tips:

    #1 Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Making Brunch the most important meal of the week. Make brunch plans at Mimosa House Rancho Cordova and enjoy locally crafted (and named) mimosas.

  • #2  Are members of your travel pod partial to craft beer or cocktails? Check out the Rancho Cordova Barrel District where you’ll find 6 breweries, 2 distilleries, and a meadery!

Sierra Foothills Wine Passport

When you check in to your Rancho Cordova hotel, be sure to pick up your Sierra Foothill Wine Passport, complimentary! This passport entitles you to tastings for 2 at 5 local wineries in nearby Amador and El Dorado County- less than 45 minutes away!

American River Raft Rentals

No need to pack your floating swan (although, we love to see it!). Make your leisurely float down the American River easy as can be with rentals and transportation through American River Raft Rentals. Tell them Visit Rancho Cordova sent you!

American River Parkway

Cyclists, runners, doggos, and guests of all abilities enjoy the 32 mile stretch of the American River Parkway. The northern border of Rancho Cordova, this parkway reaches from Lake Natoma to east Sacramento.


  • Insider Pro Tips:

    #1 Need a great breakfast before a day on the water? We recommend Karen’s! It’s a local favorite and has great outdoor seating.

  • #2  Love the water but want to spend some time on dry land? Check out SEAquest while at the Palladio shopping and dining district.

Lake Natoma Paddling

Folsom’s water scene is a dream for outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy easy access to lake Natoma with on-site kayak and paddleboard amenities.

Back Bistro

Calling all foodies & wine lovers! Enjoy Folsom’s finest wine bars highlighting the best in our region. From cozy wine bars to a custom wine blending experience at Willmate Wineworks, enjoy a day of wine tasting in Folsom.

Placer County

  • Insider Pro Tips:

    #1 Don’t miss the Placer Wine & Ale Trail – 23 wineries, 15 craft breweries, and 1 distillery!

  • #2 Explore hundreds of miles of breathtaking national forests, parks, and waterway

Water and wine in Placer County

Explore boutique wineries from Roseville to North Lake Tahoe – find your adventure and a favorite new label.  Paddle on numerous lakes; from Clementine to Tahoe and be sure to take a hike or two with a view.

Sierra County

  • Insider Pro Tips:

    #1 Try your luck at gold panning, almost everywhere you turn, you’ll find a rich history of gold discovery.

  • #2 All of these adventures await you along The Yuba River Scenic Byway,  Highway 49, and the Gold Lake Road.  Keep your camera handy!

Pacific Crest Trail and then some!

Visit picturesque, quaint, rural Sierra County where adventure awaits around every corner!  Fishing season on the No. Yuba River and many lakes are now open.  We have many varieties of trout and several areas are stocked.  The river is high – great for kayaking.  We have many miles of hiking & mountain biking trails.  It’s been said that you can’t be in a bad mood when hiking in the forest.  Who doesn’t love a waterfall?  Love Falls (on the Pacific Crest Trail) is spectacular and offers easy access.

El Dorado County

  • Insider Pro Tips:

    #1 Don’t miss the hidden waterfall in the back of the lake!

  • #2 Don’t miss a stop at Marshall Gold to see where that first nugget was picked up!

Whitewater Rafting

Fun, safe, more than 20 professional outfitters for the perfect trip ages 7 to 70, raft 5 days a week this year from Memorial Day to Labor Day; the South Fork of the American River is a fantastic adventure.  Looking for more ways to get on the water? Try kayaking at Jenkinson Lake!

Wine Tasting

Nearly 70 wineries, uncrowded, family-owned, intimate tasting experiences, and amazing wine; what more could you ask for?

Amador County

  • Insider Pro Tips:

    #1 Visit Silver Lake in the Amador high country with breathtaking views, boating, camping, and cabin rentals throughout the summer.

  • #2 Find local flora and fauna at the Amador Flower Farm during the summer and come back in the fall for the pumpkin patch.

Adventure in Amador

Come for the wine and stay for the Adventure! In Amador County, you will find fishing, boating, rafting, water sports, and your next adventure! With 40+ unique wineries and great places to stay, Amador Wine Country is a great addition to your summer road trip itinerary.

Calaveras County

  • Insider Pro Tips:

    #1 Don’t miss out on seeing the 44-pound gold nugget in the vault at Ironstone Vineyard. It’s the largest of its kind in the world and its value is priceless.

  • #2 Don’t miss out on seeing one of the largest and best-kept Carriage Houses in the nation at the Angels Camp Museum.

Visit Moaning Cavern

Want to get out of the heat? Come visit the single largest chamber cavern in California to cool off. The chamber is large enough to fit the Statue of Liberty inside!

Visit Calaveras’ Lakes

From the Tri-lake area in the Western part of the county to Lake Melones and up the Highway 4 corridor to our mountain lakes. Calaveras has everything you need for your summer water fun.

Visit Murphys Wine Country

There are over 25 tasting rooms in Murphys and local vineyards with tasting rooms and tours.

Tuolumne County

  • Insider Pro Tips:

    #1 On a sunny day, from Gianelli Vineyards you can spot Half Dome in Yosemite National Park!

  • #2 Inner Sanctum Cellars Basecamp has live music on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons! You won’t want to miss it!


Summer is best spent on the water! Find peace of mind kayaking on Pinecrest Lake. Photo, above, by: @nicoka_cola_ on IG

Go chasing waterfalls!

Wapama Falls at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park is a sight to behold! Photo, above, by: @logic_irl on IG

Wine Time in Tuolumne

Take a weekend getaway and visit Inner Sanctum Cellars Basecamp for award-winning wine in a beautiful newly redesigned outdoor tasting space.

Thrills in Tuolumne

Whitewater rafting on the Tuolumne River is nothing but thrilling! Let one of Tuolumne County’s highly rated guide companies take you on an adventure of a lifetime.

Mariposa County

  • Insider Pro Tips:

    #1 Don’t miss whitewater rafting season on the Merced River – now through June are your best bet for thrilling rides! The Merced is fed by melting snow in the High Sierra.

  • #2 Make sure to take a picnic with you on your visit to Butterfly Creek Winery. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while you sip on some of the vineyard’s delights.

Merced River Rafter

Take a walk on the wild side with whitewater rafting down the Merced River just outside of Yosemite!

Swimming Holes

Cooldown during the summer months by visiting some amazing swimming holes in Yosemite Mariposa County.

Butterfly Creek Winery

Sample the “Cab Sav”, Zinfandel, or Merlot from Butterfly Creek Winery, located less than an hour from Yosemite National Park.

Madera County

  • Insider Pro Tips:

    #1 At Idle Hour Winery, the property is so dreamy and relaxing that you may never want to leave – and you can stay! Ask about the 12-room Queen’s Inn on the property.

  • #2 Remember to leave only footsteps, take only photos. ‘Leave No Trace’ means packing up picnics, even the crumbs, and leaving the outdoors pristine or cleaner than you found it.

Toca Winery

Wine Country in the heart of California’s Central Valley? You’d better believe it. The Madera Viticulture Area is one of the oldest in the state. On the Madera Wine Trail, Toca Madera Winery has varietals (and views) that will stop you in your tracks. Madera County has so much more than you expected. Birdstone Winery located is next door! Discover another oasis of fine wine nearby in this laid-back farmland.

Idle Hour Winery

Find yourself on the Yosemite Sierra Wine Road with a glass of red in your hand, strolling near the Fresno River under the towering oaks. Idle Hour Winery and Kitchen is a boutique winery with a library of award-winning vintages. Patrons enjoy farm-to-table lunches, bubbly brunch bites, and evening entertainment.

Lewis Creek Red Rock

California has epic waterfalls. Watery wonders, large and small dazzle travelers in the National Parks, but did you know there are many waterfalls in the Sierra National Forest and Madera County? Red Rock Falls on Lewis Creek is a beautiful example, and it is located only 20 minutes from Yosemite’s south entrance.

Wake Surfing

The secret is out; Bass Lake is the hideaway you’ve been missing. Venture further on a paddleboard, canoe, or speedboat. Watch the kids “hang ten” in the mountains. With multiple resorts, restaurants, campsites, and cabins in the region, your lake house heaven awaits.  Reach new heights by discovering miles of world-class mountain bike trails surrounding this alpine gem.