Murphys is the Gold Country's most compact, most orderly town, with enough shops and restaurants to keep families busy for at least a half-day, and more than 20 tasting rooms within walking distance. A well-preserved town of white-picket fences, Victorian houses, and interesting shops, it exhibits an upscale vibe. Horatio Alger and Ulysses S. Grant came through here, staying at what's now called the Murphys Historic Hotel & Lodge when they, along with many other 19th-century tourists, came to investigate the giant sequoia groves in nearby Calaveras Big Trees State Park.


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