Placerville, California

The city of Placerville, California grew out of the iconic days of the California 1840s goldrush when people came to make their fortunes in the “placer” mines that existed in the area. These shallow, surface mines were near water sources where the running current eroded away other materials, exposing the gold flecks and nuggets. The discovery of gold in nearby Coloma brought thousands of hopeful miners to the California's Gold Country, and the town became an important supply center for them. Early in its history, the town was known by a number of names, including “Dry Diggins” and “Hangtown” because it was frequently the site of frontier justice. The town got its current name in 1854 when it was incorporated. The city features a number of historic buildings from its early days, including the belltower, a monument to the city’s early volunteer firefighters.
Placerville, Eldorado County, California
Placerville is the birthplace of a food dish associated with the goldrush days called “Hangtown Fry.” This dish is a combination of eggs, bacon and oysters that provided a hearty meal in town for miners that often lived for weeks on canned beans. A number of variations on this dish are found, such as with green peppers, mushrooms, onions and other ingredients. Placerville and nearby cities still serve Hangtown Fry to the current day.

Placerville is the county seat of El Dorado County in California, 45 miles northeast of Sacramento. The city has a population of 10,389 as of 2010. The population is made up of 80% whites, 18% Hispanic or Latino, 1.6% African-American and a small number of other groups. Its current economy includes gold mining, lumber, lime, slate, agricultural products, ranching, wines and Christmas trees.

The climate of Placerville reflects its location in the center of the state. Winters are mild, with temperatures that range between 33 and 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers range between the mid-50s to the mid-90s. Rain falls on an average of 66 days per year. Generally, Placerville usually only gets a dusting of snow, but some years, as much as 6 inches of snow can accumulate. An unusual year can bring as much as 30 inches of snow, as in 2009.


Sacramento, California

Sacramento, California is a city rich in history. It began in 1839 when the Mexican government ceded 48,000 acres of land to Johann Augustus Sutter. Little did they know that the land they gave away was so valuable. In 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill and the infamous California Gold Rush began. In 1854, the city, now named Sacramento City, was selected to be the state capital.

During the Gold Rush, Sacramento saw a boom in population and activity. It was the westernmost destination for the Pony Express and the First Transcontinental Railroad. Stagecoaches, wagon trains and riverboats all stopped in Sacramento. The city became a major center for both business and agriculture in California's Gold Country.Sacramento California

A city with such historical importance offers much of interest to visitors. There are dozens of museums in Sacramento with many that highlight the history of the area. Visit the California State Military Museum or the California State Indian Museum. The Governor's Mansion State Historic Park, home to 13 of the past state governors, offers tours year round. The State Capitol Building is open and free to visitors, as well.

Along with all the museums for history buffs, there are plenty of activities to appeal to those with different interests. The Sacramento Zoo is home to more than 140 species of animals, including rare and endangered ones. There are many science museums and theaters that offer a wide variety of programs and exhibits.

Sacramento is an easy city to explore. The downtown area has a grid configuration that makes navigating city streets simple. Both Segway Tours and walking tours beckon travelers to explore the area at a leisurely pace. The historic Old Sacramento district is filled with interesting shops and restaurants, all set against a backdrop reminiscent of the Gold Rush era.

Located at the intersection of the Sacramento and American Rivers, Sacramento boasts plenty of sporting opportunities for river enthusiasts. Kayaking, rafting and boating are all available here. Don't miss the chance to ride the Delta King, a paddlewheel steamboat, for a real taste of boating history.

Sacramento, located in northern California, has more a more varied climate than its sister cities to the south. The coldest month is December, when the average temperature can fall into the 40s. Summers are warm, and July's highs can reach into the low 90s. The rainiest months are November through March, but from April through October the weather is warm, sunny and perfect for sightseeing. A delta breeze comes from the San Francisco Bay in the summer and often cools even the hottest summer days.


Gold Country, California

The area around Sacramento and Placerville is called The Gold Country, California as the discovery of gold in Coloma, California in 1848 began what became known as The Gold Rush. As the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, present day Gold County, Is a California Region that is beautiful, exciting, fun and historic. Head northeast from Sacramento on I-80, and you will be in Gold Country.

Visit Old Town in Sacramento, then head out for your Gold Country adventure.
Sardine Lake, Gold Country, California
Placer County
From the suburbs of Sacramento to the countryside, a hint of bygone California days beckons as you visit this county which stretches to Lake Tahoe. Winter sports, including downhill skiing and cross country, are found above the lake. The Placer County Museum is the place to see in Auburn, settled in 1848 at the time of the gold discovery. Art and Antiques can also be found in Auburn today. For excitement and mystery, and only in dry warm weather, visit the Ghost Town of Iowa Hill and its cemeteries. Auburn State Recreation Area is the place to pan for gold.


El Dorado County
Filled with history, including historic Placerville, as well as outdoor adventures, El Dorado County is reached by Hwy.50; wine tasting, rafting, unique shopping, charm and wonderful restaurants can be enjoyed.

Nevada County
Grass Valley's Empire Mine Historic State Park will give you an picture of a thriving mine and a surrounding mansion, as well as a blooming rose garden. Head northeast to Nevada City, a preserved gold rush town with Victorian architecture that is one of the popular places to visit. Explore the homes and stores, and experience the period of the later 1800s. While in Nevada County, visit the South Yuba River. South Yuba River State Park allows panning for gold.

Mariposa County
The southernmost county of Gold Country, it is the largest and the place to visit the Mariposa and Coulterville Museums, with exhibits that give a rare view on how the miners lived during the Gold Rush. Historic buildings can be found in some of the towns; Coulterville has many homes on the National Register of Historic Places and is compelling to see. Majestic scenery abounds, and history, a diverse population, and panning for gold all make an exciting visit. Mariposa county also offers skiing, camping, fishing, boating, bicycling, hiking and more. Nearby Yosemite might also be a destination.