Nevada City

Nevada City, once known as the Queen City of the Northern Mines, is the most appealing of the northern Mother Lode towns. The iron-shutter brick buildings that line downtown streets contain antiques shops, galleries, boutiques, B&Bs, restaurants, a winery, and some tasting rooms. Gas street lamps and historic structures like the distinctive 1861 Firehouse No. 1, at 241 Main Street, and the still active 1865 Nevada Theatre, at 401 Broad Street, add to the romance. At one point in the 1850s, Nevada City had a population of nearly 10,000—enough to support much cultural activity. Today, about 3,000 people live here, but the visual and performing-arts scenes remain vibrant.

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