Gold Country

In 1848, gold was discovered on the American River, and everything changed. People rushed to California and mining towns sprang up overnight. The gold mines are long gone but Highway 49 is dotted with old West towns.

Northern Gold Country

Old Sacramento
Nevada City
Grass Valley
Marshall Gold Discovery
Apple Hill
Southern Gold Country

Murphys & Vallecito
Angels Camp
Columbia Historic Park
Fun food
Strike it rich at old-time ice cream parlours or "confectionery" candy stores as you travel Highway 49. This is our list of favorites: Sweet Delights on Highway 49
Go rafting – On hot summer days, one of our favorite things to do in the Sierra foothills is rafting on the American River. Choose from South Fork two hour family float trips (kids 4 and up), to half day trips (7 and up), Middle Fork rafting trips with rapids for thrill-seeking teens, or two daytrips overnight.
Guides, lifejackets, paddles, helmets, rafts, are provided, just wear lots of sunscreen, water shoes or sandals (no flip flops), and be prepared to get wet. Rafting companies are located on Highway 49 around Coloma.
Family Hotels

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels, all styles and price ranges, convenient to fun things to do with kids in the Gold Country:

Gold Country family hotels

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