Discovered by miners in 1851, this vertical chamber near Angels Camp is so massive it is the largest public cavern in California—big enough to hold the entire Statue of Liberty. Early visitors would climb into a large bucket and then be slowly lowered to the chamber’s floor. Nowadays, a spiral staircase provides easy access or, if you prefer to get in touch with your inner Spider-Man, consider abseilling the 165 feet from the top of the chamber to the bottom. For intrepid explorers (prepare to crawl), a 2½-hour adventure tour delves into the cave’s deepest burrows, roughly 280 feet below the floor of the main chamber, through narrow passageways with names like Meat Grinder, Pancake Squeeze and Birth Canal.
If that has not boosted your adrenaline enough, strap yourself in for a thrilling ride on a 1,500-foot-long zip line. Check the website for a schedule of Concerts in the Cave, when the natural acoustics and sound of water dripping into the cave system (the so-called moaning that gives this site its name) is accompanied by live music and a light show or a singing choir.
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 pioneer, 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,...