Gold is not the only treasure hidden underground in this part of the world. Natural caves are another remarkable find in the region. Children love scrambling down into an unseen world of strange formations and, when you switch off the torches, total darkness. Naturally cool caves can also be an inviting escape from the region’s hot summer days.
This National Natural Landmark, a little more than an hour’s drive east of Sacramento, offers a children friendly 50 minute Walk Tour, letting you see varied rock formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and rare delicate helictite crystals. Do your children have energy to burn? Children ages 8 and up can join you in a 3 hour, above ground Labyrinth Tour. Children must wear hard hats and safety goggles, then they can scramble, slide, climb, and slither through rock formations uncovered by hydraulic mining in the 19th century.
For tamer discoveries, try gemstone mining, using screen bottomed boxes to sift for treasures, and gold panning, also offered on site.
Bumping up against the west side of the Sierra Nevada Range, on California’s eastern side, the Sierra foothills that make up the Gold Country are California Classics.
Discovery of gold in 1848 sparked the largest mass migration in U.S. history, with more than 300,000 pioneers heading west.
Here, the state’s past, present, and future merge into one unforgettable destination. Pan for gold like a 49er, bike through meadow-and-oak countryside, and raft a rapid-filled river, then explore historic towns with Old West architecture and a new generation of pioneers, opening up outstanding wineries, farm-to-table restaurants, inviting shops, and charming B&Bs.
Pluck a bit of gold from a riverbed scoured by the original ’49ers. Descend deep into the earth to check out unusual rock formations. Get your heart racing with a ride down whitewater rapids. For...
Elegant estates at the end of country roads lined with vineyards? Check. Low-key wineries housed in converted barns? Check again. Urban wine trails with hip in-town tasting rooms? Yup,...