Fodor's Expert Review Columbia State Historic Park
Columbia, whose mines yielded $87 million in gold, is both a functioning community and a historically preserved town. Usually you can ride a stagecoach, pan for gold, and watch a blacksmith working at an anvil. Street musicians perform in summer. Restored or reconstructed buildings include a Wells Fargo Express office, a Masonic temple, an old-fashioned candy store, saloons, a firehouse, churches, a school, and a newspaper office. At times, all are staffed to simulate a working 1850s town. Also in the park is the Fallon House Theater, a gorgeous Victorian structure that sometimes hosts plays and live music. The town's two reasonably priced, historic lodgings, the Fallon Hotel and City Hotel, perch you in the past; reserve a room or cottage at www.reservecalifornia.com.