Head to the sun-burnished Sierra foothills for history and adventure on this appealing tour.
Trip length: 4 days
JAMESTOWN (52mi/84km; 1hr11min). Take a ride on a steam-powered train at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park . Walk the town’s main drag to find souvenirs in folksy shops. INFO Tuolomne County Visitors Bureau ; 800/446-1333
SONORA (4mi/6km; 7min). Browse antiques stores, then head to nearby Columbia State Historic Park to ride in a stagecoach and explore preserved 19th-century Gold Rush buildings. INFO Tuolomne County Visitors Bureau ; 800/446-1333
JACKSON (36mi/57km; 46min). Learn about original 49ers at Kennedy Gold Mine (weekends, holidays; May to Oct). Enjoy treats and trains at Wierschem’s Train Town Candies & Ice Cream Parlor. INFO Amador Council of Tourism ; 877/868-7262
AUBURN (18mi/29km; 31min). Splash in the American River in Auburn State Recreation Area . Wed and Sat, sample artisanal foods at Foothill Farmers’ Market . INFO Placer County Visitors Bureau ; 866/752-2371
NEVADA CITY (28mi/45km; 35min). Hear lively music at Miners Foundry Cultural Center . Time your visit to enjoy Summer Nights (Jul 17, 24, and 31)—free live music and children’s events. INFO Nevada City Chamber of Commerce ; 800/655-6569