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Rivers, Mines and Wines: Sacramento to Nevada City

Rivers, Mines and Wines: Sacramento to Nevada City
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Head to the sun-burnished Sierra foothills for history and adventure on this appealing tour.

Trip length: 4 days
Total distance: 349mi/561km

SACRAMENTO. Enjoy special children’s workshops at the outstanding Crocker Art Museum . Visit the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento for train rides. Join a Hornblower cruise . INFO Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau ; 800/292-2334

MARIPOSA (152mi/244km; 2hr33min). Fly high at Yosemite Zipline Adventures ; try gold-panning too. INFO Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau ; 209/742-4567

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

MURPHYS (18mi/28km; 31min). Get goofy driving through Rubber Chicken National Forest at Twisted Oak Winery . Descend underground at beautiful Mercer Caverns . INFO Calaveras Visitors Bureau ; 209/736-0049

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

PLACERVILLE (32mi/51km; 47min). Get classy picnic provisions at Dedrick’s Cheese on Main Street. Pick fresh fruit at American River Cherry Company . INFO El Dorado County Visitors Authority ; 800/457-6279

COLOMA (9mi/14km; 19min). See where gold was discovered and try your hand at gold-panning at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park . Take a rollicking Class III raft trip on the American River (best for ages 10 and up). INFO ;

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

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