Welcome to Nevada County’s official tourism website — your guide to one of California’s best kept secrets in the foothills of Northern California.
Established at the height of the Gold Rush in 1851, Nevada County still sparkles. Its colorful past is reflected in the historic towns, rustic buildings and local characters. Even gold still glitters on the banks of its rivers.
The two population centers—the Grass Valley/Nevada City area in the west and the Truckee area in the east—are separated by miles of bucolic ranches and farmlands, emerald lakes, trout-filled streams, the Tahoe National Forest and the 7,000-foot Donner Summit.
Our rural quality of life, diverse cultural, historic and recreational attractions, outstanding schools, lively arts scene, agricultural bounty and incredible beauty have made Nevada County a sought-after destination for residents and visitors alike.
The western slope of Nevada County is the “discovery” side of the County. Steeped in the history of the Gold Rush, explore places like Malakoff Diggins, numerous old hard rock mine sites and miles of creek beds where you can still try your luck panning for gold. Delight in the numerous choices for unique shopping, great dining, arts and culture in Nevada City and Grass Valley.
Then, head off in a westerly path to Penn Valley, home to Bridgeport, the longest single span covered bridge in the United States and the South Yuba River State Park. Be sure to visit some of Nevada County’s many excellent and award-winning wineries, nearly 20 and growing. Or, chat up a local in one of the local watering holes in Rough and Ready, Chicago Park, Washington, or North San Juan for a colorful discussion on politics in Nevada County.
The Eastern County is the “modern adventure” side of Nevada County. I am enthralled at the quality and diversity of skiing, backpacking, fishing and hunting within one hour of my doorstep. There’s also hot air ballooning, gliding, ice skating, and mountain biking.
Transportation is key to Truckee’s history, from the 100-mile long Truckee River, Donner State Park and the Emigrant Trail to the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the old Lincoln Highway and Highway 80. When you’re ready to go to town, Truckee’s unique shops, scrumptious dining and first-rate lodging can compete with any of those fancier destinations at twice the charm.
We hope you’ll plan your next vacation in Nevada County — closer than you think but a world away!