Category Archives: Nevada City

Shh! This is Northern California’s best secret swimming spot

Leave a comment’s Getaways names the Yuba River in Nevada County as “Northern California’s best secret swimming spot.” Of course, we knew that all along!

“Shh! This is Northern California’s best secret swimming spot

“18 August 2015

“Who doesn’t love a good secret swim spot? There’s something extra magical about it: the cool, fresh water, the peace and quiet of the woods, the bubbling waterfalls and smooth pools… plus you don’t have to worry about getting splashed by pesky kids hopped up on sugary Popsicles doing cannonballs into the deep end. It’s how nature intended swimming to be: relaxing and refreshing. You can find them hidden in forests and parks all across America, and one of the country’s coolest is located in South Yuba River State Park.

“Of course, like most good hidden swimming holes, you’ll have to do a little work to get there, but the hike through the river is worth it– and kind of fun in its own right. The stream is strewn with boulders that make the hike an exciting challenge. These boulders and rocks are what make the swimming holes as well. Even though the park is a local favorite, especially as the dog days of summer hit, there are so many secluded spots, nooks, crannies, and coves, that you’ll feel like you discovered the place yourself!

“A few tips for hiking up the river: The best time is summer and early fall– the water will be really high and running very fast in the spring and early summer, making the hike more difficult and potentially more dangerous. Wear sturdy waterproof shoes. You’re going to be trekking through the river and up, down, over, under, and around rocks, and the right footwear can help make the hike more pleasant. You’ll also want to pack water, snacks, and sunblock, since there’s not a ton of shade along the river. And if you’re bringing a picnic, a camera, or anything else you need to keep dry, make sure to bring a waterproof bag. Also, pack as light as possible! You might find yourself regretting bringing along a huge cooler halfway through the hike. And remember to leave yourself plenty of time to hike to a good location, relax a bit, and hike back.

To see more photos and read the full article, click here.

(Source: Anna Hider,; Photos: Suzanne LaGasa/Flickr, Rick Cooper/Flickr)

Wine and food tasting abounds in Nevada County this summer

Leave a comment

For savory eats and award-winning wines, these festivals offer eclectic tastings, hands-on cooking demos with imaginative chefs, and breathtaking venues:


A premier wine tasting experience from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on “roads less traveled” in Nevada and Placer Counties. The trail includes wineries that are relatively near one another, reducing the driving time. The wineries are offering gourmet food pairings to go with their wines and music.

Sierra Vintners are situated between Sacramento and Reno with easy access off I-80.

The wineries on the July 18 wine trail are near Grass Valley and Nevada City: Double Oak Vineyards & Winery, Katoa Cellars, Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery, Nevada City Winery, Smith Vineyard and Solune Winegrowers.

The vintners on the September 26 wine trail are in South Nevada County or North Auburn: Bear River Winery, Fawnridge Winery, Lone Buffalo Vineyards & Winery, Mt. Vernon Winery, Naggiar Vineyards, Sierra Knolls Vineyards & Winery and Viña Castellano Winery.

The wineries are in picturesque settings, where you can see wildflowers, coveys of quail and other wildlife. Sierra Vintners produce a wide variety of vines, with over 45 planted varietals, ranging from Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon to Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Sangiovese and Tempranillo.

For tickets and more information, visit


Uncorked is a walk-about-town style format from 1-4 p.m. that includes 20 venues throughout downtown. Each location, whether it is a retail shop, restaurant, winery or tasting room, will includewine tasting and food sampling.

This year’s event features a farm-to-table theme between the local farmers and participating restaurants and caterers who will transform the fresh products into signature dishes. The wineries will highlight their newest release of the season in celebration of the upcoming harvest.

For tickets and information, visit


Now in its 12th year, The Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop is one of Truckee’s preeminent events. This annual favorite from noon-4 p.m. brings nearly 1,000 locals and tourists to historic downtown Truckee to sip wine, taste food samples and enjoy shopping.

Attendees will receive a commemorative wine glass to sample wine at more than 30 locations, food tickets and a program with a map to all participating locations.

For more information, visit


Nevada City named one of the most beautiful towns on the West Coast

Leave a comment just named Nevada City to its “10 Most Beautiful Towns on the West Coast” list.

“Diverse landscapes and towns brimming with charm can be found throughout the West Coast states. From coastal gems to inland beauties, we’ve put together a list of some of the most beautiful smaller towns waiting to be photographed and explored.

Nevada City

“Brimming with charm, Nevada City is a historical gem and California gold rush town found in the idyllic setting of the Sierra Nevada Mountains’ foothills, which also makes it a great destination for outdoor lovers. Local residents are proud of their town and have taken every step to preserve the century-old Victorian buildings that dot the land. To explore this town’s narrow streets, it’s best to park the car and stroll along by foot to discover all the great finds, including beautiful art, handmade jewelry, clothes, books, other fantastic gifts, plus delicious restaurants. Must-see events take place throughout the year as well, including the Nevada City Bicycle Classic, First Friday Art Walks, and Victorian Christmas to name but a few.

Nevada City, CA, USA

To read the full article, click here. To learn more about Nevada City, click here.

(Source:; Photo: Ken Lund/Flickr)

Nevada County ranks #28 of 3,111 counties nationally

Leave a comment

The Washington Post published an article that ranks every county in America by scenery and climate, and Nevada County ranked #28 out of the 3,111 counties.

“Nevada County, CA: This county has extremely high natural amenities. Rank: 28 out of 3,111 counties.

“In the late 1990s the federal government devised a measure of the best and worst places to live in America, from the standpoint of scenery and climate,” the article said. “The ‘natural amenities index’ is intended as ‘a measure of the physical characteristics of a county area that enhance the location as a place to live.’

“The index combines ‘six measures of climate, topography, and water area that reflect environmental qualities most people prefer.’ Those qualities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, include mild, sunny winters, temperate summers, low humidity, topographic variation, and access to a body of water.

“These ‘natural aspects of attractiveness,’ as the USDA describes them, are intended to be constant and relatively immutable. They’re not expected to change much over time, so the USDA hasn’t updated its data beyond the initial 1999 scoring. “Natural amenities pertain to the physical rather than the social or economic environment,” the USDA writes. Things like plants, animals or the human environment are excluded by definition.

“We can measure the basic ingredients, not how these ingredients have been shaped by nature and man.” I stumbled on these numbers after reading about a recent study linking natural amenities to religiosity. (U.S. counties with nicer weather and surroundings tend to have less religious residents.)

“I’ve mapped all the counties above according to where they rank on the natural amenities index — mouse over to check out how desirable (or not) your own county is.

“You’ll see that Sun Belt counties fare pretty well — especially ones in California and Colorado. In fact, every single one of the 10 highest-ranked counties is located in California. After Ventura County, Humboldt, Santa Barbara, Mendocino and Del Norte counties round out the top five.”

To read the full article and view the maps, click here.

(Source: Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post; Photo: Michael Weissenborn)

Hiking trails in Nevada County CA

Leave a comment

Nevada County is ranked #47 in the nation for America’s 50 best counties for outdoor activities, and ranked #6 for California’s best counties in outdoor activities, according to a 2015 survey by Niche. We have hiking trails for all levels of abilities and interests.

Choose your trail from more than 50 trails listed on our updated Hiking page, including Sugarloaf Mountain Trail, Condon Park Trails, and Penn Valley Bike Trail. Grab your hiking boots and check them out!

The Bear Yuba Land Trust is also a great resource for all things hiking including photos from all of their listed trails.

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt magazine)

2015 Summer Fairs, Festivals & Concerts in Nevada County

Leave a comment

Summer is the perfect time to visit Nevada County and enjoy one of the many fairs and festivals that are happening throughout the season. From California WorldFest to the Sierra Storytelling Festival to the annual Nevada County Fair, there is some type of fair, festival or gathering almost every weekend to delight all ages and interests. A few of the festivals are featured below.

California WorldFest
July 16-19, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
The Center for the Arts presents California WorldFest featuring eight stages of music from around the world. Visitors can also enjoy camping, workshops, international food, fine crafts and children’s programming. This year’s line-up includes diverse music such as King Sunny Ade and his African Beats, Lucinda Williams, Buffy Saint-Marie, Emisunshine, Birds of Chicago, and much more.

30th Annual Sierra Storytelling Festival
July 17-19, 2015 – North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
Set among the towering pines, sloping lawns and historic one-room schoolhouse on Columbia Hill, the Sierra Storytelling Festival is now in its 30th year. Known as “The Queen of Storytelling Festivals,” it brings a line-up of internationally recognized storytellers to the Schoolhouse stages.

Nevada County Fair
August 12-16, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
Enjoy five days of entertainment and fun for fair-goers of all ages at the Nevada County Fair. The Fair presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy live entertainment, delicious food, carnival rides, animals and exhibits – at the “most beautiful fairgrounds in California.” This is affordable fun for the whole family.

15th Annual Nevada City Film Festival
September 10-13, 2015 – Historic Downtown Nevada City
The Nevada City Film Festival brings award-winning shorts and feature films from around the world to the historic venues of Nevada City. A four-day celebration of art, music, and independent film-making, NCFF includes screenings, workshops, special performances, parties and a live comedy show.

To view all events in Nevada County, click here.

(Source: Nevada County Tourism)

SFist names Nevada City to its “9 Best Outdoor Getaways In And Around The Bay Area”

Leave a comment

Nevada City is named as one of “The 9 Best Outdoor Getaways In And Around The Bay Area,” in a July 1, 2015 online article on SFist.

“It’s summer, officially, and and thus vacation season, but a lot of us have either not found the money to take a real vacation this year like we deserve, or we haven’t had the time or bandwidth to plan one. So, we bring you some best bets for quick and easy trips out of town that won’t kill your wallet, or require a passport.

“Nevada City

“An old gold rush town that looks like it without being hokey, Nevada City is home to charming shops and cafés, not to mention the Treats and their amazing ice cream. If a great a cone doesn’t justify the more than three hours spent in the car from San Francisco, it will all be worth it when you’re soaking in the cool waters of the South Yuba River. For that, Mountain Dog is a favorite swimming hole, written up in SacMag here. Yes, this getaway is a great overnight mission given the distance, so let me recommend the beautiful Chute Hill Campground for a night under the stars (weather permitting). — Caleb Pershan”

To read the full SFist article, click here.

(Source: Jay Barmann/; Photo: Amy Lenzo via Flickr)

AFAR travel magazine promotes Purdon Crossing swimming hole

Leave a comment

AFAR travel magazine mentions Purdon Crossing in their new “Swimming Holes!” list.

“Swimming holes are, by nature, off the beaten path. Often accessible only on foot, these natural pools afford beautiful views and refreshing swims well worth the hike (and far from the tourists). We have curated our favorite places to take a dip, from Croatia to Nevada City, shown to us by locals. Jump in!

Wonderful place to relax on a warm summer day” by Greg Sullivan, originally published 7/10/12.

7. Purdon Road South
Yuba River

19684-20198 Purdon Rd.
Nevada City, California

“I just spent the weekend following the 4th of July up near Nevada City. It got over 90 degrees during the day, so we headed to the river. Although lots of people had similar ideas, I was with a local who directed us to this spot and we had it to ourselves. You park near the bridge and hike along the ridge above the river (about 10 minutes – wish I’d had some tennies instead of just flip flops), but it was well worth it. The water was fantastic and the scenery was beautiful. The rocks in the canyon are unusually rounded/smooth.”

Read the full article, here.

(Source: Greg Sullivan and Davina Baum, AFAR)

Concerts, parades for Fourth of July in Nevada County

Leave a comment

Nevada County Fairgrounds
Music in the Mountains presents Happy Birthday USA!
Friday, July 3
, 8 p.m.
Constantine Kitsopoulos, Conductor

Celebrating Broadway, Disney, and the Good Ol’ US of A. The Best Fourth of July Party is with the MIM Chorus and Orchestra, a picnic at the fairgrounds, and all your favorite patriotic tunes.

A perfect family event, with special events and activities planned for young people.

Music in the Mountains

Grass Valley
A colorful parade through historic downtown Grass Valley and the Sierra foothills’ largest aerial fireworks display top the 2015 Fourth of July celebration in Nevada County.

The parade will be Saturday, July 4th at 11 a.m. The festive parade winds through downtown Grass Valley.  Parade-goers are advised to bring lawn chairs and arrive early to find a good vantage point.

The Nevada County Concert Band performs a curbside pre-parade concert an hour prior to the parade, and continues to provide intermittent music throughout the parade.

Touchdown Productions will be broadcasting “Live” the parade locally and internationally on NCTV Channel 11 and NCTV So. County Channel 16 as well as

Following the parade is a traditional family celebration under the pines at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Live music and entertainment, food and refreshments are offered. The fireworks spectacular blasts off at 9:30 p.m.

Fairgrounds gates open at 3 p.m. and entertainment begins at 4 p.m. Admission rates:  $10 adv/$15 gate
No alcohol, glass, pets, barbecues or personal fireworks may be brought onto the fairgrounds.

Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce

Plans are underway for another exciting 4th of July parade — the quintessential display of small-town Americana. This festive and fun-filled event is always a favorite and a true Truckee tradition.

Truckee’s July 4th parade begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of 89S and Donner Pass Road, and progresses 1-1/4 miles down Donner Pass Road into historic Truckee, ending at the corner of Bridge and Church Street around noon.

This year’s parade theme of “Live-Work-Play Truckee!” celebrates everyone in our community that enjoys life in the mountains every day or when visiting.

The Parade is produced by the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Town of Truckee with logistical support by Big Blue Adventure, LLC.


(Photo: Joe Anderson)

Nevada City named in Best Towns Wild-Card Round: Honorable Mentions

Leave a comment

Outside magazine names Nevada City to their Best Towns Wild-Card Round: Honorable Mentions

“Over 6,000 votes for 108 towns were entered into our first Best Towns Wild-Card contest—so many that it took us days to sort through them all. As we did, we had a realization: there were far more deserving towns than we had space for in our bracket. These 12 got us the most excited.

“Best Towns Wild-Card Round: Honorable Mentions

“Nevada City

“It’s usually a pit stop on road trips between the Bay area and Tahoe National Forest, but it’s worth more than meal at Three Forks or ol’ Republic. Cycle Champion Mine Road or hike up Deer Creek right from town. Plenty of crafts, boutiques, and a slew of artsy theaters keep it sophisticated, and it’s also got a few wineries. Or, skip town and just go wander the nearby Sierra.”

To read the full article, click here.

Watch new Ishaan Reyna Lights music video filmed entirely in Nevada City:

(Source:; Photo: OutsideInn/Instagram; Video: Ishaan Reyna and Owen Miles)