Discover The Gold Country History Trail: A Bucket List California Road Trip

Embark on a Gold Country History Road Trail for a fun summer adventure exploring the picturesque and historic towns of El Dorado County! By starting and ending at our luxurious Northern California bed and breakfast, you’ll also enjoy a restorative retreat, complete with private outdoor soaking tubs for each room and a gourmet breakfast delivered to your door. Located in the beautiful countryside, a short drive from downtown Placerville, and surrounded by famous landmarks, we are the perfect setting for a relaxing and immersive historical adventure.

Stop 1: A Trip Back in Time at Placerville Hardware Store

5 miles from Eden Vale Inn

Begin your journey at the Placerville Hardware Store, the oldest hardware store west of the Mississippi. Snap an Instagram-worthy photo in front of this historic landmark before exploring the fascinating artifacts inside.

Stop 2: Old West Stagecoach Ride Experience

Mile 5.1

Experience the Old West with a free Stagecoach ride from the Bell Tower every third Saturday of the month between noon and 3:00pm. Capture the excitement of the Gold Rush with a photo aboard the iconic stagecoach.

Stop 3: Uncover the Secrets of Old Hangtown

Mile 5.2

Discover the rich history of “Old Hangtown” at the Fountain-Tallman Museum or schedule a guided tour. This is a great opportunity to learn about the gold rush era and the pioneers who shaped the region.

Stop 4: Gourmet Picnic Provisions at Dedrick’s Cheese Store

Mile 5.3

Your breakfast at the inn may start wearing off by now. Stop at Dedrick’s Cheese Store and stock up on house-made meats, charcuterie, and picnic provisions for your road trip. Enjoy a delicious outdoor lunch amidst the breathtaking scenery of Gold Country at an establishment one reviewer called “the Placerville Hardware of food.”

Bonus Experience: Wine Tasting in El Dorado Wine Country

Mile 10

While enjoying your gourmet picnic, consider adding a wine-tasting experience to your itinerary. El Dorado County is home to over 50 wineries, many of which offer tastings and picturesque vineyard views. Some popular options include Boeger Winery, Lava Cap Winery, and Miraflores Winery.

Stop 5: Delve into the Depths of Gold Bug Park & Mine

Mile 6

At the Gold Bug Park & Mine, take a self-guided audio tour 352 feet into a real gold mine. This immersive experience offers a rare glimpse into the lives of miners during the gold rush.

panning for gold near Eden Vale Inn

Stop 6: Witness the Birthplace of the Gold Rush in Coloma

Mile 12

Head north on Highway 49 to Coloma, where James Marshall discovered gold on January 24, 1848, sparking the largest gold rush in history. Visit the Marshall Gold State Discovery State Park and learn about the area’s fascinating past or try a gold panning lesson, available most days provided the temperature doesn’t exceed 92 degrees.

Stop 7: Nature’s Beauty at Dave Moore Nature Area

Mile 14

Stretch your legs on the one-mile loop trail at Dave Moore Nature Area, leading to the South Fork of the American River. Take in the stunning natural beauty and snap some Instagram-worthy photos of the picturesque landscape. This destination is also wheelchair accessible in many areas.

Alternative Adventure: Whitewater Rafting

Mile 16

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, consider a whitewater rafting adventure on the South Fork of the American River. Several local outfitters offer guided rafting trips suitable for beginners and experienced rafters alike. This thrilling experience will provide an unforgettable memory of your Gold Country road trip.

Stop 8: A Stroll through Historic Georgetown Main Street

Mile 27

Venture to the town of Georgetown, where the main street looks much as it did during the gold rush era. Take a self-guided stroll, visiting eateries, art galleries, and unique shops filled with trinkets and treasures. Consider grabbing dinner at The Divide Restaurant before heading back to the inn.

Return to Eden Vale Inn

Mile 38

End your Gold Country History Trail road trip back at your Placerville lodging at Eden Vale Inn. Relax in your private soaking tub and reminisce about your unforgettable journey through the historic towns of El Dorado County.

More Innkeeper Tips For Your Trip

Guests often ask us, “When is the best time to visit Gold Country?” To make the most of your Gold Country History Trail road trip, consider planning your visit between April and October. During these months, the weather is typically warm and sunny, perfect for outdoor activities and exploration. If you have the flexibility to come midweek, you can save up to $100 a night compared to the weekends on lodging. We also encourage you to stay informed about local events and festivals happening in the towns you’ll visit on your road trip. Many of these communities host annual events, such as the Coloma Gold Rush Live in October or the Georgetown Founder’s Day in June, which can add an extra layer of excitement and immersion to your Gold Country experience.

End Your Gold Rush Adventure with a Blissful Stay

After a full day of adventure, there’s no better place to unwind and rejuvenate than Eden Vale Inn. Our luxurious Northern California bed and breakfast offers the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure. With private outdoor soaking tubs in each room, gourmet breakfast delivered to your door, and a serene countryside setting, you’ll leave with memories that last a lifetime. Don’t wait to experience this incredible journey through history. Check availability now for your preferred dates and choose your favorite room. This is a bucket list experience that you’ll cherish for years to come!

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