Like a Time Machine – California Gold Country Vacation Rentals
California’s Gold Country is a swath of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and foothill country, approximately 50 miles wide, and includes vacation rentals near Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and King's Canyon, cabins in Arnold and more.
The Gold Country is not just a great place for family vacations because of the spectacular geography. Gold country vacation rentals will take you back to the Gold Rush days as you visit places of living history. You can even stay in Gold Country cabins right out of the 19th century, where you can stoke your own fire for breakfast and get a dose of the "pioneer spirit."
In addition to the historic surroundings and old-style accommodations, there are all types of lodging available that are loaded with the modern amenities – many have comfy beds, full kitchens and bathrooms, living rooms, dining areas, wet bars, big screen TVs and more. Some of the rentals even include ski equipment for the winter and swimming gear for the summer.
Although there are hotels in the area to choose from, they don’t offer the vast choices of style and setting that vacation rentals do. One of the best advantages of vacation rentals is the privacy and space that they offer, and some are far from the commercial centers of towns, too, so you can really feel get "back to the land" in them.
The Sierras Offer a World of Activities
Step outside of your Gold Country lodging to discover a virtual playground with a backdrop of giant redwood trees and Mother Nature's finest surroundings. Gold Country lodging offer families a variety of options for extracurricular activities.
Take a trip below the Earth's surface at Mercer Moaning Caverns, just north of Murphys, where you can view giant crystalline stalactites, stalagmites and other amazing rock formations. Or visit the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown, which houses one of the last authentic (and fully functional) railroad roundhouses in America. It's called “The Movie Railroad” as its cars and locomotives have starred in literally hundreds of film and TV productions.
The Gold Country is all about the sporting life, too. Golfers can take to the links at Mountain Springs Golf Club, Greenhorn Creek, Pine Mt. Lake, Forest Meadows and Saddlecreek Golf Resort, spanning the entire region. Tuolomne is great for fishing, while waters sports offer splashing good fun at such local lakes as New Melones, Pinecrest and Lake Don Pedro.
Don't forget the world-class skiing in the winter at Gold Country ski destinations Bear Valley and Dodge Ridge, and plenty of others just around the corner toward Lake Tahoe.
Gold Country Seasons of Fun, in the Snow and the Sun
Any time of the year is a great time to visit the Gold Country. However, the best times of year to visit for touring, exploring and enjoying the great outdoors are spring, summer and fall. Springtime in Gold Country is very agreeable for visitors, and can be quite colorful with the wildflowers in bloom. Summer temperatures can reach well into the high 90s.
Warm summers are great for water fun and paddling down the American River, but if cooler times are more appealing you might want to delay your trip until the fall, which offers breezy days but ever-colder nights as the season progresses.
Winters here are chilly and snowy, with some dark, stormy days. During the winter you will not see may visitors at the Highway 49 attractions, but if you are a fan of skiing, snowboarding or any other snow- or ice-related sport or entertainment, you can travel up to Calaveras and Alpine counties where the snow is perfect for all the winter sports.
Finding Your Way to Historic Gold Country California
From most parts of California you'll end up traveling west-to-east – on Interstate 80 from Sacramento, or Highways 50, 88, 4, 108 or 140 as you move south from San Francisco to Merced – to get to State Highway 49.
Highway 49 will lead you along what were once wagon roads that connected the mining towns along the foot of the Sierra Nevadas. The highway winds its way through the Sierra foothills, grasslands, rocky canyons, pine forests and scrub oaks, offering picturesque views. It leads you through such towns as Dry Diggins, Volcano, Hangtown (Placerville), Sonora, Columbia and Jamestown.
If you are flying into the Gold Country, then the Sacramento International Airport is ready to accommodate you. You can easily rent a vehicle from the airport and travel a short distance to historic Gold Country.