Sacramento and the Gold Country

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The Gold Country is one of California's less expensive and more sublime destinations, a region of the Sierra Nevada foothills that’s filled with natural and cultural pleasures. Visitors come for the boomtowns and ghost towns; to explore art galleries and shop for antiques; to savor "farm-to-fork" restaurants and delicious wine; and to rest at friendly, atmospheric inns.

Spring brings wildflowers, and in fall the hills are colored by bright red berries and changing leaves. Because it offers plenty of outdoor diversions, the Gold Country is a great place to take kids. Sacramento is an ethnically diverse city, with sizable Mexican, Hmong, and Ukrainian populations, among many others. Many present-day immigrants are relatively recent arrivals, but the capital city has absorbed several waves of newcomers since 1848, when James Marshall turned up a gold nugget in the American River. At the time, Mexico and the United States were still wrestling for ownership of what would become the Golden State. Marshall's discovery provided the incentive for the United States to tighten its grip on the region, and prospectors from all over the world soon came to seek their fortunes in the Mother Lode.

As gold fever seized the nation, California's population of 15,000 swelled to 265,000 within three years. The mostly young, male adventurers who arrived in search of gold—the '49ers—became part of a culture that discarded many of the button-down conventions of the eastern states. It was also a violent time. Yankee prospectors chased Mexican miners off their claims, and California's leaders initiated a plan to exterminate the local Native American population. Bounties were paid, and private militias were hired to wipe out the Native Americans or sell them into slavery. California was to be dominated by the Anglo.

The gold-rush boom lasted scarcely 20 years, but it changed California forever, producing 546 mining towns, of which fewer than 250 remain. The hills of the Gold Country were alive, not only with prospecting and mining but also with business, the arts, gambling, and a fair share of crime. Opera houses went up alongside brothels, and the California State Capitol, in Sacramento, was built partly with the gold dug out of the hills.

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Language

English

Nearby Airports

SMF, SAC

Electrical Outlets

120 V/60Hz; Type A plugs have two flat prongs. Type B plugs have the same two flat prongs with a third round prong; together the three form a triangular shape.

Currency

US Dollar

Language

English

Electrical Outlets

120 V/60Hz; Type A plugs have two flat prongs. Type B plugs have the same two flat prongs with a third round prong; together the three form a triangular shape.

Currency

US Dollar

Nearby Airports

SMF, SAC

The Gold Country is most pleasant in spring, when the wildflowers are in bloom, and in fall. Summers can be hot: temperatures of 100ºF are fairly...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Sacramento and the Gold Country with curated recommendations from our editors.

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The Gold Country is most pleasant in spring, when the wildflowers are in bloom, and in fall. Summers can be hot: temperatures of 100ºF are fairly...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Sacramento and the Gold Country with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

The Gold Country is most pleasant in spring, when the wildflowers are in bloom, and in fall. Summers can be hot: temperatures of 100ºF are fairly...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Sacramento and the Gold Country with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

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