Make Golden Memories Along Historic Highway 49

Discover secret springs, romantic vineyards, and charming towns.

The rolling foothills along this 300-mile route take on an amber glow in the early morning light and at sunset, reminding visitors that they truly are in the Golden State. Much of the historic highway is still composed of a two-lane road that winds leisurely through tiny towns full of reasons to park the car and explore. At the northern portion of the route, bike along forest trails around the town of Downieville, and relax sore muscles at Sierra Hot Springs . The picturesque Gold Rush-era towns of Nevada City and Placerville offer world-class dining and bed & breakfasts. Explore the Amador wine region , and don’t miss Columbia State Historic Park , widely recognized as the state’s best-preserved Gold Rush town. Farther south, thrill seekers can get their fix by rappelling into Moaning Caverns or taking the zipline over the rugged foothills. For a perfect finish, the highway ends in the quaint town of Oakhurst , the gateway to majestic Yosemite.