Here’s an example of the popular itineraries you can find at GoNevadaCounty.com, the official tourism site of Nevada County. More are here.
Day 1: Grass Valley
Check into the Swan-Levine House, a quaint B&B in Grass Valley. Before the house was purchased by the current inn keepers, the home functioned as a hospital. The Swan-Levine House has four guest rooms each with private baths with claw foot tub/shower combinations. The guest rooms are aptly named the Hospital Room 1 & 2, the Surgery Room and the Green Room. Swan Levine House is a short walk from downtown Grass Valley’s unique shops, restaurants, and the historic art deco Del Oro movie theatre.
2 p.m. Explore the Countryside: Visit the beautiful South Fork of the Yuba River (don’t forget your camera!). This 20-mile portion of the South Yuba River canyon stretches from Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park to Bridgeport covered bridge. The area includes the longest single-span covered bridge in the world, the steep rugged canyon of the South Yuba River, and the Independence Trail – the first identified wheelchair-accessible wilderness trail in the country.
Be sure to stop by the historic land site of the Bridgeport bridge and hike up the Independence Trail to reveal breathtaking scenic vistas. Visitors can view swiftly moving water pouring over massive granite ledges in the spring and warm slow moving emerald swimming holes during the late summer.
4 p.m. Wine Tasting at Pilot Peak Winery: Come sit under the trees, view the northern Sierra foothills on tiered-stone terraces and enjoy sipping wine at Pilot Peak Winery. Pilot Peak Winery is located in Penn Valley, just a stone’s throw from Grass Valley and Nevada City.
6 p.m. Dinner at Cirino’s at Main Street: After a day of hiking the South Yuba River and tasting some wonderful wines, head back to downtown Grass Valley and dine at Cirino’s at Main Street. Nestled in the heart of Grass Valley, Cirino’s at Main Street offers award-winning Mediterranean style cuisine and outstanding service in a warm, friendly atmosphere.
8 p.m. End the night with a romantic stroll down historic Main Street in Grass Valley: Before retiring for the evening take a quick stroll down Main Street in Grass Valley. Art galleries, clothing stores, shoe stores, book stores, coffee shops, and music shops line the streets and make for great window shopping!
Day 2: Nevada City
9 a.m. Breakfast at South Pine Café: Make the short drive from Grass Valley into downtown Nevada City and stop at this delicious breakfast and lunch stop. South Pine Café is dedicated to serving freshly prepared and healthy dining options. Whenever possible they support local farmers and vendors. South Pine Café strives to please every type of hunger- from the biscuit and gravy connoisseur to the vegan, and everyone in between. In the 10 years of operation the café has tested, adjusted and tweaked an eclectic menu that is sure to satisfy hungry locals and visitors.
10:30 a.m. Check into the National Hotel: If you enjoy old-fashioned comfort and luxury, visit the National Hotel, the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Rocky Mountains. When guests arrive, they step back into the Victorian era. The sumptuous suites are furnished with antiques from the Gold Rush Days. The National Hotel is a registered historical landmark #899.
11 a.m. Art, Art, and More Art: From the Fur Traders to the Mowen Solinsky Gallery, downtown Nevada City is packed full of interesting galleries and shops that are a must see!
Lilly Vigil Gallery: In business for 25 years, Vigil’s collection includes a wide variety of fine art, hand made jewelry, weavings, pottery and artifacts. The gallery specializes in Native American art, and is proud that 99 percent of everything they carry is handmade by U.S. artists.
Mowen Solinsky Gallery: This exceptional contemporary art gallery is a showcase for career artists and talented craftspeople. In addition to the large Nevada County clientele, the gallery also attracts business and notoriety from international and national collectors. Set within a spacious historic Nevada City building built in the 1870s, the clean, well-lit interior has become a Northern California landmark and is recognized as an outstanding example in the field of galleries across the country.