Tag Archives: Gold Rush

Gold Rush history lives on in ghost town gems along the Mother Lode, CA Hwy. 49

A replica of Sutter's Mill stands at the site of California's gold discovery in January, 1848.

Discovering ghost town gems along the Gold Rush Highway, CA Hwy. 49 Recent rains have cast our Sierra foothills in a verdant shade of green, perfect for exploring our state’s gold rush legacy. I always suggest starting in the place of gold’s discovery, just 80 miles northeast of Stockton, at the tiny town of Coloma [...]

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12 must-visits in California; freshen your travel bucket list!

Wildflowere bloom after winter rains in Death Valley National Park; photo taken in February, 2016.

Freshen your California travel bucket list with 12 months of suggestions! As we enter the new year, take time to tune-up your travel bucket list. Let’s start with 12 ultimate destinations in California, with suggested month by month schedule (next week we’ll bring you suggestions for the western US). Here are California’s best, as well [...]

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Gold Rush cruisin’; gold’s discovery in Coloma and nearby Gold Rush history!

Sutter's Mill, site of gold discovery, in Marshall Gold Discovery State Park.

Gold’s discovery in Coloma and nearby Gold Rush history… With the extended Thanksgiving holiday fast-approaching and family/guests in town, take a day’s tour of California’s Gold Rush history. Your exploration should include Sutter’s Mill in Coloma’s James Marshall Gold Discovery Park, just 80 miles from Stockton, and a scenic tour down Highway 49 through a handful of [...]

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Murphys, Ironstone Vineyards and Columbia…footprints in history

Murphys Hotel, in operation since 1856, anchors historic Main Street in Murphys.

Our daytrip was to feature a tour of the historic town and famous wine-making region, in and around the town of Murphys, California. With leaves in the foothills starting to change to their autumn colors, the one hour drive provided marvelous scenery. One of our party suggested starting with a tour of Ironstone Vineyards. We [...]

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Fall Northern California destinations, far from the maddening crowds!

The Point Arena Lighthouse is one of the attractions on the rugged California coast, above Jenner and Ft. Ross.

If you are like many Californians, you’ve visited the California ocean shore or one of our national parks in the summer and faced monster crowds to reach the beach or the park’s attractions, to find a place to eat and found hotel fees in the stratosphere. Depending on our forecasted El Niño, Northern California often [...]

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Sierra foothills cruisin’; late summer/early fall foothills destinations in Gold Country

The Wells Fargo stagecoach takes kids and families right through the heart of old Columbia!

With kids back in school and the summer crush of tourists waning, it’s time for a weekend getaway in the nearby Sierra foothills.  Highway 49 is just an hour away, so take a day or weekend tour of Gold Country and sample history, quaint towns and scenic attractions along the route! Start your tour at [...]

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Eastern Sierra; Bodie, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes and Devil’s Postpiles, all along Hwy 395

John Muir, speaking of the strange and scenic land just east of Yosemite National Park,  described it in 1864: “a country of wonderful contrasts, hot deserts bordered by snow laden mountains, cinders and ashes scattered on the glacier-polished pavement, frost and fire working in the making of beauty”. I had long thought of this area [...]

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East Bay-trip offers stunning scenery, closeups of Mount Diablo and the Blackhawk Auto Museum!

1933 Packard Super 8 Model 1004 was the height of American luxury cars of the time.

            With a bit of rain recently settling the dust in the Easy Bay hills and helping clear the air – it’s a marvelous time for doing creative family exploring between Stockton and the East Bay area. Part of the fun of such a trip is to take the scenic [...]

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Northern California summer travel destinations – leave the crowds behind!

Bixby Bridge, circa 1932, is typical of Big Sur scenery on Highway 1.

  Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Appellation map. Main Street in Sutter Creek, a Gold Rush gem, taken from Hotel Sutter balcony. Bixby Bridge, circa 1932, is typical of Big Sur scenery on Highway 1. Hearst Castle’s outdoor pool looks out over the Santa Lucia Mountains! In my last post, I noted five summer travel destinations (three California [...]

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Northern California: Five summer travel destinations, far from the maddening crowd

    With summertime almost upon us, families, particularly those with kids, are targeting some of the most popular travel destinations in N. California. These include Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, to name a few.  That can mean maddening crowds, traffic snarls and impossibilities in book campgrounds or lodging nearby. Close [...]

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    Tim Viall

    Viall is a local travel writer who retired in 2012 after 10 years as executive director of Stockton, CA's, Emergency Food Bank and six years with the Downtown Stockton Alliance. Previously, a 21-year career in daily newspapers helped shape his ... Read Full
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