Gold Country

The Bay Area is a scenic treasure trove, but if you want to discover historic California, you just may have to get out of town! In California’s Gold Country — the foothills of the Sierra — California history runs as deeply as the ore veins the area is named for, with a goldmine of sports and activities. It’s a fun getaway no matter how old you are!

Columbia‘s airport is within walking distance of its historic downtown area, which has been preserved as it was during the Gold Rush in the 1850s. You can ride a real stagecoach, check out an old-fashioned red fire engine, listen to music in the saloon, even pan for gold. This is a wonderful destination if you’re entertaining kids, and a trip to Columbia is a great way to make California history come alive. Columbia has been a State Historic Park since 1945.

Murphys Main Street is another Gold Rush-era town that has preserved much of its history. It’s also the gateway to the famous California foothills vineyards, like Stevenot and Ironstone.

Arnold and Calaveras Big Trees State Park, home of the giant sequoias native only to California, is great for a day hike and a picnic lunch.

What to do once you’re there: Visit historic Columbia’s downtown, pan for gold, hike among the giant sequoias in Big Trees, go wine tasting in Murphys with a tour of Ironstone’s historic limestone caves.

Seasonal and special activities:
2011 Ironstone Summer Concert Series
River-rafting on the American River (through September)
Columbia’s 26th Annual Harvest Festifall Oct 8-9, 2011