5 Favorite Things to do in Gold Country

Posted By on April 16, 2014

5 Favorite Things to Do in Gold Country

Gold Country is aptly named for the large amounts of gold discovered there in the mid-19th century. Running, approximately, from Sierra County in the north down to Toulumne County in the south, Gold Country is mostly well know for the large amount of historical towns and remnants of of gold mining. It does, however, have quite a few other interesting things to do and below are my five current favorites.

As always, clicking the title for each will take you to my original review.

5. Brawling with Godzilla at Jackson Ranchiera

Jackson Rancheria is one of the biggest and best well known casinos in the Gold Country. It’s also really well situated outside of Jackson, which makes it a pretty tempting stop coming back from a lot of places. Their buffet is pretty decent and the Godzilla vs Military machine was pretty nice to me the first time I was there.


Sutter’s Fort Trader’s Fair

Posted By on April 13, 2014

Sutter’s Fort Trader’s Fair


Admission: $8

Sutter’s Fort, built in 1839, was the first non-native community in the Central Valley and was well known as a place of community and safety. Not long after gold was discovered in the foothills the fort was abandoned and soon fell to disrepair. It has since been rebuilt and is now a State Historic Park.

While Sutter’s Fort is open daily, once a year it puts on a Trader’s Fair, with vendors selling wares and demonstrations about pioneer life are given.


Historic Downtown Nevada City

Posted By on April 9, 2014

Historic Downtown Nevada City


Nevada City, located in the northern part of California’s Gold Country was founded in 1849. As with most of the cities in the area, it is heavily associated with the gold rush and its historic downtown area was designated a US Historic District in 1985. Nevada City is the county seat of Nevada County and seems to have something of a BFF relationship with it’s next door neighbor, Grass Valley.

I was first introduced to this adorable historic district when I was up there last January for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival and I was excited to come back and give a more thorough visit.

As befitting an historic Gold Country town, there’s plenty of historic bits and doodads scattered about.


Empire Mine SHP

Posted By on April 6, 2014

Empire Mine SHP


Admission: $7

The Empire Mine was one of the oldest and largest gold mines in California and since 1975 has been a State Historic Park. During it’s run, more than 5.8 million ounces of gold were pulled out of the mine and much of the equipment and buildings are still on site.

Pretty, and not faded, signage is all over the park. Always a good thing.

Inside the visitor’s center.


Twisted Terror Convention

Posted By on March 30, 2014

Twisted Terror Convention


Admission: $30 per day


The Twisted Terror Convention held it’s first event at the Sacramento Double Tree Hotel on the last weekend of March. Featuring all things horror including special guests, vendors, and films.

Excellent height on the Predator cosplayer.

Kinda a small room, I was able to circle it twice in under ten minutes.


Graton Casino

Posted By on March 29, 2014

Graton Casino


Graton Resort and Casino is one of the newest casinos in Northern California having opened in November of 2013 just south of Santa Rosa in Rohnert Park. The Casino is operated by Station Casinos and is owned by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria which is made up mostly of Coastal Miwok and Southern Pomo Indians.

It is a very large casino.

Seriously large. Not Vegas big, but Reno/Tahoe big. Bigger than any other California casino I’ve been in.


Charles M. Schultz Museum

Posted By on March 26, 2014

Charles M.Schultz Museum


Admission: $10

Charles M. Schultz is, of coarse, the iconic creator of the Peanuts comic strip. He spent a large part of his latter years living in Santa Rosa and in August of 2002, the Charles M. Schultz museum was opened there.

It’s a pretty, but rather sedate looking building.


Jack London SHP

Posted By on March 23, 2014

Jack London SHP


Admission: $10 per car with an addition $4 if you go to the cottage.

For those that didn’t have to read Call of the Wild (or white Fang) in school, Jack London was a prolific writer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most famously writing about the Yukon Gold Rush.

He spent a great deal of his life in Northern California (obviously a man of great taste) specifically in the San Francisco Bay Area and later up in Sonoma where he and his wife, Charmian, had an active ranch and a whole ton of land. After Jack’s (and later, his wife’s) death, the land was donated to the state to become the current Jack London SHP.

In 2011, during the state’s budget crisis, the park was taken over by the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association, who currently run the park on an all volunteer basis, and do a rather impressive job of it.

Always good to know when there are critters about that can kill me.

The House of Happy Walls Museum. Formerly Charmian’s house after Jack’s death, currently the Jack London Museum.


5 Favorite Things to do in the Sacramento Area

Posted By on March 19, 2014

Sacramento, despite being the capital of the most populous state in the nation, tends to get ignored, or even derided in favor of the bigger, and more well known, cities. “It’s a cow town”, “it’s nothing but politics”, and “there’s nothing to do there”, can get thrown around pretty frequently. But being a native daughter of Sacramento, I can tell you that those are all wrong. While you can dig through my 99 blog posts tagged “Sacramento Area” (100, including this one) but to make it easier on you, below are my top five favorite things to do in the Sacramento Area.

As usual, you can go directly to my full review of each place by clicking on the header.

Explore Native History at the Maidu Museum

Gold rush history can easily be found all over Northern California, but if you want to go further back in time, the Roseville Maidu Museum is the place to do it. Pretty much anything you want to know about the local Maidu people’s history, culture and lifestyle can be found here. There are also trails out back where you can check out historic grinding rocks, as well as petroglyphs that date back at least 5,000 years. The museum also hosts events like Yomen and regularly participates in Roseville’s Second Saturday Art Walk.


Folsom Powerhouse SHP

Posted By on March 16, 2014

Folsom Powerhouse SHP


Admission: Free (parking is $10)

Built in 1895, the Folsom Powerhouse was one of the oldest hydroelectric facilities in the world. After it was shut down in 1952 (when the new dam was completed), PG&E donated the powerhouse to the state for preservation. Many of the buildings and much of the equipment are still on site in their original forms and are open to the public.

I’ve driven by this sign numerous times, and I don’t think I’ve ever even noticed it before.

Inside the visitor’s center. Some rather nifty display’s in there.


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