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Twain Harte, California is a cozy little town tucked up in the hills of the Mother Lode. In the summer, the elevation (4200 ft.) is above the heat and smog of the San Joaquin Valley. In the winter, this is usually just where the snow starts. There are several cabin-rental companies in the area, as well as a few motels and B&Bs . Several restaurants are within walking distance of downtown: 2 Mexican, 1 Chinese, a nice dinner-house type, some sandwich places, pizza (of course!), a pub with many beers on tap, a coffee house. There are many, many more restaurants within driving distance in other communities, including a top-flight restaurant at the local Black Oak Casino.
Things to do here include a public pool, a public golf course, and a mini-golf course -- but relaxing is the main event. There are miles of trails for hiking, as well as the whole Sierra mountain range just "up the hill." Head 1/2 hour east to Pinecrest for boating & fishing, or skiing and snowboarding at Dodge Ridge in the winter (their lessons for kids are especially worthwhile). Go the other direction 1/2 hour west to Columbia for gold-panning, a stage coach ride, and a walk through a real Old West town. Or head to Jamestown for a ride on a famous old steam locomotive from the movies and TV (anybody remember "Petticoat Junction"?). Local museums and art galleries are very nice and might surprise you with their collections. And if the weather just doesn't suit you, Black Oak Casino is about 10 minutes away with gambling, arcade games, a bowling alley (they really welcome kids!), and several types of restaurants. Stop at Cover's Apple Ranch on the way back from the Casino for some of the best apple pie ever.
This is a small town, and there is no public transportation. You will need a car, both to get here and to get around. Sidewalks are not a common amenity, except in the downtown area. Shockingly - for some folks - cell phone reception is rather spotty. There's one gas station, a few banks with ATMs, video rental store, used-book store, car repair, liquor store, a hardware store. Twain Harte does have a fabulous grocery store that includes a sushi bar, cheese bar with really nice stuff, extensive wines, and more organic products and produce than most big city stores. Plus really nice people. Forget something when you packed? The local Pharmacy is an old-fashioned 5&10 with everything you might need: seasonal merchandise (snow boots & shovels, bathing suits), clothing, toys, crafts, gifts, kitchen items, office supplies. Check there first for anything. And for sewers and quilters, they have the best fabric selection in the county.
Twain Harte is a quiet, beautiful place to relax and enjoy the mountains.