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What to see & do alone in/near Grass Valley/Nevada City, CA?

What to see & do alone in/near Grass Valley/Nevada City, CA?

Old May 8th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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What to see & do alone in/near Grass Valley/Nevada City, CA?

In mid-May, I will have 4 days in the Grass Valley/Nevada City, CA area to do some sightseeing on my own while my husband is there on business. I am in my early 60's, fit, and eager to enjoy myself, but have little experience touring/traveling on my own. I am not sure where to start in looking for ideas, so I thought I would turn to my fellow travelers who have been so much help in planning other trips. I would love to hear your recommendations about things to see and do in the area. I will have a rental car and don't mind driving to see the sights. I enjoy just about anything but am not a big shopper. Thanks for any help you can give me.
B_and_B is offline  
Old May 8th, 2011, 05:10 PM
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Empire Mine Historic State Park is fun (www.empiremine.org/visitor.html). There are some wineries between Grass Valley and Auburn. Fawnridge and Vina Castellano are my favorites. Nevada City is cute, but not too much to do but shop and eat. If you want to drive about an hour, you could visit Sacramento. The State Capitol building has a tour. Sutter's Fort is an interesting look at like back in the mid 1800's. There is also Old Sacramento with the Railroad Museum.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 05:14 PM
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With 8 hours from Grass Valley, I would make a loop all the way around Lake Tahoe. East on 20 to get on I-80 E. Get off at Truckee which is an interesting town. Continue through Incline Village Nevada on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Take the highway down the east side of the lake and end up at South Lake Tahoe California. Spend some time there. Take US 50 west back to Placerville. Turn onto CA 49 up through the gold country.
Stop to see the Marshall gold discovery spot. Continue on 49 through Auburn which has a beautiful courthouse all the way back to Grass Valley. This loop is 214 miles and 5 hours of driving time and 2.5 to 3 hours of stops.
I have done this trip starting in Sacramento with a side trip into Carson City so I know it is a good day.
Another day head into Sacramento and see the capitol building/grounds, Old town Sacramento and possibly the California Railroad Museum.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 06:04 PM
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Here is the link to Empire mine http://www.empiremine.org/visitor.html (the <red</red> messed up BarbAnn's link)

You definitely do not want to drive all the way to and around Lake Tahoe and back on hwy 50. TomFuller's route would take HOURS especially since Hwy 50 will be partially closed and there will be a huge detour. The drive route alone would easily take 8 hours --and that is w/o any stops. So let's just forget about that one. . . .

Here is a link to things to see/do in Grass Valley http://www.downtowngrassvalley.com/

And here is a link to the Placer County vineyards. Not as extensive as Amador county or even El Dorado County but a few really good wineries.


You could drive up to Truckee and North Lake Tahoe (but as I said NOT around the lake and back on hwy 50) GV > Truckee > Kings Beach > Tahoe City > to GV is about 3 hours total driving.

You can easily spend several hours in Nevada City - art galleries, cafes, shops, pubs, wine bars.
janisj is offline  
Old May 8th, 2011, 11:04 PM
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Thanks janisj for correcting my messed up link to Empire Mine. I have been to the Empire Mine several times. It really is a great place to visit.

I agree that traveling around Lake Tahoe is too long for a day trip. Personally, I think Nevada City is more interesting than Truckee...but that's just my opinion.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 11:37 AM
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I guess I should have clarified when I said I don't mind driving to sight-see - a couple of hours, sure, but when the driving far outweighs the sight-seeing that is too much for me. Since I'll have the rental car, I will be dropping hubby off at work and picking him up, so my days will be shorter.

Has anyone been on one of the big paddlewheel boats on Lake Tahoe? Wonder if that might be fun for lunch one day.

I will definitely look into the mine and the wineries, and a day of shopping if the stores have really interesting, creative stuff would be fun - just not a big shopper of touristy stuff.

Are there any areas I should be concerned about being alone? Not sure I would go off hiking alone, for example.

For those who might not have notice my other posting, hubby and I are going to Yosemite at the end of his business so we will have Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning there. So the intent of this posting is to find things to amuse me while he is working.

Any other thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks again for your help!
B_and_B is offline  
Old May 10th, 2011, 01:25 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Totally OK traveling around on your own.

The Paddlewheel boats are on the SE side of Lake Tahoe so a pretty long way to go for lunch. Close to a 5 hour round trip plus stops/boat ride. Truckee would be easier - less than 90minutes each way.

There are some really good restaurants in Auburn for lunch. Latitudes is good w/ a rotating international menu.

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Old May 10th, 2011, 01:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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If you enjoy art, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento is a very nice museum. Check out http://crockerartmuseum.org/. I go to downtown Sacramento alone all the time (during the day) and have no problems.

Have fun!
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Old May 10th, 2011, 02:56 PM
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If you enjoy covered bridges, there is one at Bridgeport, which isn't far away. Head west on Hwy 20, then a right on Pleasant Valley Rd. There is a small park there - not much to it, but definitely worth a little detour. On the way (along Hwy 20) you will pass the town of Rough and Ready, which is it's own country.

Malakoff Diggins state historic park is also neat - take North Bloomfield Rd out of Nevada City. They did a lot of hydraulic mining up there.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 07:41 AM
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Thanks for the advice. You can tell I don't know my geography and distances very well. I need to study a map of the area!
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