Visit Nevada County, California
Explore – Connect – Play
California Gold Country, including Nevada City in particular, was listed among the top 10 travel destinations by Lonely Planet. We are rated #2 of best “river cities” in America by Outside magazine. Read about some popular travel itineraries. View a photo gallery of the county’s beauty, including new gold rush photos. The county is dog friendly.
A new welcome letter from County Supervisor Board Chairman Hank Weston, a recreation enthusiast himself, is here, summing up all our County has to offer.
Nevada County is home to three distinct downtown areas – Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee. Each town offers its own unique interpretation of the Sierra Nevada story. From world-class skiing and snowboarding to mountain biking, Truckee offers stellar year-round outdoor fun coupled with historic sites. Nevada City exudes a creative, fun-loving spirit in its downtown shops, restaurants and galleries, with enchanting events such as Mardi Gras. Offering small-town charm incarnate, Grass Valley is the hub for the booming Nevada County wineries and boasts a Center for the Arts. Penn Valley and Rough and Ready also have must-see attractions.
Brimming in history, culture and outdoor recreation, Nevada County tourism offers an authentic California travel experience that is sure to delight and inspire each and every visitor. (Painting: Eileen Blodgett)
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The biggest conundrum that visitors face in this fascinating 978-square mile county is where to start! With a foundation built upon the compelling Gold Rush and immigrant experiences, the entire region is now a cornucopia of recreational opportunities, arts and culture, interesting special events, a growing wine industry and exceptional dining options that will please even the most discerning tastes. Here are some options:
So much to do, so little time — just halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. From fishing, hiking, camping and skiing to events like the Amgen Tour (which served as the 2010 stage one starting point), Nevada County flies under the radar as one of the nation’s ultimate playgrounds, which is just the way we like it.
Nevada County shopping, once experienced, will not soon be forgotten. Antique shops and trendy boutiques, neighborhood used bookstores, eco shops, sporting good stores and galleries. The three historical downtown corridors are teeming with goodies, gifts and gadgets that may just keep you from the slopes, streams, and trails.
Food and Wine
Small town farms and chic urban eateries comprise just a fraction of the menus available in Nevada County. The food is fresh, seasonal, sometimes simple, sometimes riding a creative wave of flavors, and always delectable. Sierra Vintners is located in Nevada County between Sacramento and Reno/Lake Tahoe with easy access off I-80. The wineries and tasting rooms are located throughout the foothills and within Grass Valley and Nevada City. The Sierra Vintners website provides information about the wineries, the wine-growing region, maps and events.
Arts and Culture
Nevada County is the creative pulse of the Sierra Nevada. The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley has become a hub of arts for the community. Click here to buy tickets for events at The Center. The Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City is a living historic treasure serving the county as a cultural arts and community events center. Click here for the Nevada City Box office. Nevada County Arts is designated by the Board of Supervisors as the county’s leadership and coordinating agency on behalf of the county’s arts organizations. Its website has an arts-focused events calendar, feature articles and artists registry.
History, Museums & State Parks
The county was created in 1851 and was named after the mining town of Nevada City, a name originally derived from the term “Sierra Nevada.” Interestingly, this California county adopted the Nevada moniker (which means “snowy” in Spanish) a full 10 years before the neighboring state took ownership of the name. A list of museums and state parks is here.
Sierra Nevada Geotourism
The Sierra Nevada MapGuide, created through a collaborative process, highlights the natural, historic, and cultural assets unique to the area. In this partnership, our region benefits from National Geographic’s considerable map-making expertise. But the project could not work without input from people like you who know what makes this place truly unique and noteworthy.
Photography for this website was generously provided by:
Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, Penn Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, Rough & Ready Chamber of Commerce, Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, Brian Babbitt, Dave Carter, Monica Curtis, Tony Finnerty, Kial James, Deanne Maas, Moonshine Ink, Nevada City Advocate, Dan Senkbeil, Tony Spiker, Gary Swenor, Scott Thompson, Chris Talbot, Erin Thiem, Lynn Wilson, Coyote Moon Golf Course and Sierra FoodWineArt Magazine.