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Sacramento and Gold Country

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Sacramento and Gold Country

I am visiting Sacramento in early June, what are the must sees in Sacramento? I Have 3 extra days and thought about taking a trip from Sacramento to Placerville, and then eventually to Lake Tahoe. Question should I go north to Coloma Auburn Grass valley and Nevada City or south to amador city, sutter Creek. Enjoy history, historical sites, small downtowns. Please give me your opinion of the best route to take. Is Lake Tahoe a good place to visit in June. What are the must sees in Lake Tahoe? Thanks

Lassen National...
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1. Re: Sacramento and Gold Country

Lake Tahoe should be wonderful this June. Most hikes will probably be open. I've planned a visit myself mid-June. I don't think you should miss Nevada City. It's one of the prettiest Gold Rush towns I have seen. If you stay on hwy 49 north, Downiville is very cute. Also take the loop to Gold Lakes region and on to Blairsden and Greyeagle. If you stay in Greyeagle there's a wonderful bakery--the Village Bakery- Blairden (just over the river. Blairsden consists of a hardware store, restaurant, bakery, and maybe one or two more businesses. It's very, very small.) Then head to Truckee on 49/89 and stop there before continuing to Lake Tahoe. You'll pass through some cattle grazing land surrounded by mountains (Sierra Buttes on one side). They are high meadows of about 5'000 feet. There are lots of natural springs (and hot springs somewhere) that keep the grass green. These springs are the headwaters for the Feather River. Some of the area has huge luxury 'cabins' tucked in the trees & later you'll pass old ranch houses where people still live and make a living.

Sacramento...
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2. Re: Sacramento and Gold Country

While in Sacramento you'll want to spend some time in Old Sacramento - home to shops, restaurants, and musuems. It is a beautiful and quaint couple of blocks along the Sacramento River. Here you can take an excursion train ride or tour the river on the Hornblower. You might also consider staying the night on the Delta King Hotel, a former riverboat which is now a first class restaurant, hotel and theater.

Sutter's Fort in Midtown is also a wonderfully historic place to visit, as well as the California Indian Museum right next door.

Of course the State Capitol which offers free tours every hour and it's beautiful surrounding grounds.

The drive up into the foothills and Tahoe is beautiful whichever route you take and you'll most likely enjoy wonderful weather in June. We hope you have a wonderful time in Sacramento and it's surrounding areas!

Sacramento, CA
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3. Re: Sacramento and Gold Country

I would head up to Tahoe on Hwy. 50 stopping at Coloma/ Marshall Gold Discovery Site and Placerville along the way. Sutter Creek could possibly be thrown in with these but it might be a bit out of the way. Another spot to stop that has a decent little restaurant, and is historic since it was once a Pony Express stop, is Strawberry Lodge.

Hwy. 50 takes you to South Lake Tahoe. There is an incredible view of the lake as drop into the Tahoe Basin from this direction. You definitely want to do this drive in the daylight.

South Lake Tahoe is the biggest and busiest town along the Lake. For specific info on Tahoe I would post on the Tahoe Forum. Personally, I like North Lake because it is quieter and more natural and serene. I like the Tahoe Vista area.

You could spend a couple nights there and then head back down I-80. First take a detour at Donner Lake and take the old Lincoln Hwy/ Donner Pass Road. This road runs from Donner Lake back to I-80 through the back side of Soda Springs Ski Resort and offers some spectacular viewpoints of Donner Lake and Donner Pass. It probably only adds about 10 - 15 minutes drive time.

Definitley stop at Nevada City and Grass Valley on the way back down.

Don't miss Old Sac and the Railroad Museum (one of the best in the country) while you are here in town. If you've ever been to San Francisco's Nob Hill then you've probably heard of the Big Four. Stanford, Hopkins, Huntington and Crocker, the Tycoon's of the Central Pacific Railroad and builders of the Transcontinental Railroad, made their fortunes in Old Sacramento. Old Sac was also the western terminous of the Pony Express. Not to mention the center of the Gold Rush.

Edited: 24 April 2012, 05:50
Lassen National...
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4. Re: Sacramento and Gold Country

Actually, you'd want to do any of these drives in the day. All are gorgeous & on dark and windy roads as well,

Corona del Mar, CA
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5. Re: Sacramento and Gold Country

I would skip Lake Tahoe and spend the three extra days all in the Gold Country. Look at the suggested route below. Start in Sonora and work your way back to Hangtown (Placerville).

Spots like Columbia, Murphys, Angels Camp, Mokelumne Hill, Amador, Sutter Creek, Jackson, Plymouth and more are well worth the time and effort.

http://g.co/maps/jkpkb

Sacramento, CA
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6. Re: Sacramento and Gold Country

I respectfully disagree with Scott.

While Columbia is great there is no way I would skip Lake Tahoe to spend time there or in Plymouth, Amador City and Moke Hill. No offence intended Scott, your opinions are valuable. I just simply disagree.

San Francisco
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7. Re: Sacramento and Gold Country

I think this is one of the "chocolate or vanilla" questions. I've enjoyed both -- you just need to decide which suits what you're looking for.

Napa, CA
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8. Re: Sacramento and Gold Country

Hwy 49 will be very hot in early June. Tahoe's weather will probably be perfect. I still would take one of the drives through the gold country though. Maybe drive up to Grass Valley and Nevada City and then take 20 or 49 (if you have more time) up towards Truckee.

Corona del Mar, CA
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9. Re: Sacramento and Gold Country

No offense taken, TJ.

The OP lives in Victoria so return trips are easy enough, I just think the Gold Country deserves more than a few hours. The OP likes "history, historical sites, small downtowns". That screams more time in Gold Country and less time in Lake Tahoe, especially if she is headed to South Lake.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=552

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=484

http://www.murphyshotel.com/history.html

www.historichwy49.com/amador/plymouth.html

http://ci.jackson.ca.us/PDF/visitors/Tour.PDF

calgold.org/pages/gold_country_regions.cgi

Lassen National...
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10. Re: Sacramento and Gold Country

Scottca, did I read the post wrong? I thought the OP has 3 extra days to spend in gold country.