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Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

Laguna Hills...
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Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

We're thinking about taking a quick road trip to gold rush country.

If anyone's been, can you please take a look & see what you think of this plan?

I'm wondering if we should maybe take more time & go farther up 49, maybe to Angel's Camp, or beyond, or if it's just more of the same? We're both interested in history, love beautiful scenery, & enjoy small towns, so I'm thinking this will be a pretty fun trip.

Would also like to know if anyone's been to Moaning Cavern & if so, is it worth a visit?

day 1 drive up to Columbia State Historic Park, stay maybe in Sonora?

day 2 Moaning Cavern, Knights Ferry, Mariposa-CA State Mining & Mineral Museum,

stay in Oakhurst?

day 3 Fresno State Historic Park, Clovis, home

We would be leaving home (Laguna Hills) 5/27, if we decide to do this.

Any advice/suggestions would be most welcome, thank you!

California
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11. Re: Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

The wineries of Amador, El Dorado, and Calavaras County are like what the Napa Valley was years ago. Most are small, family owned wineries that don't charge for tasting unlike Napa/Sonoma.

The wines are exceptionally good with fantastic Zinfidels, Sangiovese, Sarahs, etc. A not so well known fact is that wine growing and production date back to the gold rush era in the gold country.

http://www.sierrawineries.com/ is a good source for our local wineries.

California
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12. Re: Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

Almost forgot one thought. A good base for the wine country touring would be Sutter Creek. Sutter Creek is a lovely old town with elevated sidewalks and many antique shops.and historic buildings.

A wonderful romantic experience is staying at one of the great B & B's in Sutter Creek and going out for the day to the wineries. We have stayed at the Grey Gables Inn and loved it. Also the Sutter Creek Inn is popular and famous in the area. Look at the reviews of Bed and Breakfast Inns on Trip Advisor.

Danville, California
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13. Re: Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

The Gold Rush 49 Highway is absolutely terrific. Not enough visitors include these wonderful sites and towns in their itineraries!

I highly recommend spending a night in Murphy's. Nice restaurants. Take a tour of Ironstone Winery (quite impressive grounds and wine making capability but IMO the wines are not very high-caliber) The town has some tasting rooms among the interesting shops. Calaveras Big Trees is only 15 miles away.

Here is a suggested winery tour in Amador County:

Head north on 49 beyond Plymouth and take a right on Old Sacramento Road then left on Shennadoah Road for a loop series of roads with over 20 wineries to choose from! Checkout amadorwine.com for listings and open times for tasting. Most are all open Thurs through Monday with Tuesday/Wednesday being dark days. This cluster of wineries tend to focus on Zinfandel, Syrah and Italian Reds (Sangiovese, Barbera) which we are really partial too!

Listed are daily open wineries, except for C.G. Di Arie (closed Tues/Wed), in order of suggested visits:

Head up Shenandoah Road, Then the "second" road on horseshoe shaped Steiner Road and then back via Shenandoah School Road

Vino Noceto - Start with Sangiovese and the "campy" Dogie Diner dachshund head!. Also play some Bocce Ball!

Dobra Zemlja (dobra zem-ya) means "Good Earth" We just like this place, for a picnic as well! Bold reds and possibly a Viognier with your picnic.

Deaver Vineyards - Nice setting beside a reservoir with a store to select a commemorative trinket and some good wines.

Renwood Winery - Premium reds and an opportunity to smoke a fine cigar!

C. G. Di Arie Vineyard - Over the top facility with 12,000 sq ft and 2 art galleries.

The Sutter Gold Mine tour is also great. http://www.caverntours.com/sgmt.html

Sutter Creek is also a great place to stay. We too have stayed at the Grey Gables Inn, quite nice.

Enjoy!

Edited: 8:49 pm, May 13, 2011
Pacifica, California
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14. Re: Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

Highway 49 is probably my favorite highway in California.

Oregon Coast
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15. Re: Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

Absolutely worth a trip along Hwy 49! Add more time if you can :-)

Some ideas for stops - the historic town of Jackson:

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g32535-Activitie…

An excellent museum in San Andreas:

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g33006-d2041…

If you are a fan of Mark Twain you'll find a variety of interesting places to see.

Corona del Mar, CA
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16. Re: Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

If you have the time I would drive up the 5 to the 80 and start the trip off in Grass Valley/Nevada City spending the first night there and the subsequent nights in Sutter Creek and Murphys.

If not, then cut off on the 50 and spend your first night in Hangtown (a much more colorful name than the new name of "Placerville").

Sacramento...
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17. Re: Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

I grew up in the gold country, currently live in Sacramento and take day trips to the gold country often. Columbia is historic but so perfectly preserved it feels "theme parkish". I think Sutter Creek is the most adorable of gold country towns--small and picturesque. Placerville's downtown is charminkg and historic and if you take route 49 north from there you'd pass through Coloma, another state park right on the spot where the whole gold rush began. In my opinion Coloma is more informative than Columbia. Nevada City is a lovely arty town at the North End of 49.

Moaning caves is great but, IMO, the real gold country starts a bit farther north on 49.

Laguna Hills...
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18. Re: Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

Wow, thanks for all the great info everyone, I definitely have more research to do! This is going to be a great trip!

Laguna Hills...
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19. Re: Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone! I'm still researching this trip, as I have decided to make it a much longer road trip. There is a lot to see! I'll post my new itinerary when i get it figured out. Thanks again!

Lacey, WA
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20. Re: Highway 49-Gold Rush Country-worth a trip?

DEFINITELY A GREAT ROAD TRIP.!! Not only have I done it, I've lived there. Moaning Caverns definitely worth a stop. Do goldpanning by there just for fun. All of Hwy 49 from beginning to end is small wonderful 2-lane road, up down rolling countryside and small towns, each with their own flavor and fun places just to stop on the spur of the moment when something catches your eye. Get to Sonora as fast as you can. Eat hamburgers at Diamondback. Stay at falling down Gunn House with its history. Get there early enough to browse the stores-they place closes up shop by 7 pm. Get up early and do start Hwy 49..take a good camera. Calaveras big trees is INCREDIBLE. If you like funky antique shops and 2nd hand shops in little mining towns stop as often as you feel like and don't make an itinerary. Eat ice cream cones. Sing on the road. Nevada City half a day shop and browse and eat maybe stay the night. Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway incredible. But it's everywhere all up Hwy 49. There are so many things to see right off Hwy 49 if you had a lot of time you'd do it over and over again if you really researched it. Calaveras has jumping frog contest every summer but I can't remember dates. A must see at least once:) If you are the kind of folk who like just kickin' it with local flavor you will so relax and enjoy it. If you're looking for anything sophisticated, forget it. Not your kind of deal. If you go off into the bushes make sure you now what poison oak looks like. The foothills have it for sure. I could spend a month enjoying Hwy 49. Stop frequently whenever something hits your eye.