5 Ways to Fall in love with Fall in Nevada County

Nevada County is beautiful year round, but autumn is just breathtaking.  Compared by many to the foliage on the east coast, our towns, highways, and byways boast views around every corner that rival anything you can find in Maine…and it’s all right here!  In fact,  On August 17, 2019, Via, AAA’s official travel magazine, published an article titled Fall Weekend in Gold Country, Grass Valley, California. The article highlights the beautiful fall foliage found in the town, along with different activity and dining suggestions.

Also, Fox 40 News in Sacramento just did a segment on Where to Find the Best Fall Foliage, and highlighted Nevada City as one of the best places to do so in the region.

So, how to best enjoy the most beautiful season in Nevada County?  Here’s five ideas to get you started:

1. Take the self-guided fall colors tour

Photo courtesy of Nevada City Chamber of Commerce

Take the Nevada City and Grass Valley Fall Colors Tour while enjoying all of the great things our towns have to offer.  You can download fall foliage map here.

2. Enjoy some local art

To really get a feel for the beauty of the area while enjoying some of the wonderful art our communities have to offer, The Center for the Arts presents the Nevada County West Open Studios Tour on the weekends of October 12-13 and 19-20.  Open Studios is a free, self-guided art tour of the studios and galleries of dozens of these fine artists. Beyond an art sale, Open Studios is a chance to experience firsthand how, where, and why art is created.

In Eastern Nevada County, Truckee invites you to Fall Into Art in celebration of Truckee’s California Cultural District designation.  Several events honoring art in in the Truckee area are taking place through the end of October and include a wide range of artistic and cultural events including visual, performance, written, culinary and musical work, historical tours, talks and tributes, and recreational opportunities that honor the mountain lifestyle.

3. Take a Drive

Meander through the Victorian neighborhoods stemming from the historical hamlets near and around Pioneer and Memorial Parks. The Truckee River and Martis Valley also come alive with deep oranges, yellows and reds – you can pass through Martis Valley to get to the popular picturesque shack encompassed with aspens on Highway 267.

4. Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Pick a Pumpkin at Bierwagen’s Pumpkin Patch.  Photo by Valerie Costa

Bierwagen’s Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Festival is always a family favorite.  The Bierwagen Family Farm has been in existence since 1902 and has been family-owned and operated for the last 115 years. The pumpkin patch has been going for the last 25 years and has become a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Be sure to have some of their homemade cider, take a wagon ride and get yourself a pumpkin. Admission is free and the pumpkin patch is open every day in October from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and you can even take a hay ride tour of the farm every weekend!

McCourtney Road Pumpkins is another great option for a fun family day.  In addition to pumpkins, there are free hay rides and family-friendly games such as sack races and a bean bag toss; there is even a wooden train for the kids to play on. Parking and admission are free and the pumpkin patch is open on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 27th from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. In addition, McCourtney Road Pumpkins will be having story time every Saturday and Sunday at noon and 3 p.m. and they will have craft time at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sunday as well.

5. Attend a Fall Festival

Adults and children alike can participate in the costume contest at the Tahoe Donner Fall Festival.  Photo submitted by Derek Moore, Tahoe Donner.

The Penn Valley Hometown Fall Festival takes place on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and includes a pumpkin patch, kids games, scarecrow contest, mutton bustin’, live music, local wine and beer, food vendors, and more.

The Autumn Shindig is a celebration of fall, community and simpler times that takes place at the North Columbia Schoolhouse in North San Juan on Sunday, Oct. 6, from 11 a.m.-dusk. The event is nostalgic in every way, from being set on the lovely lawn next to the historic schoolhouse, to the hand made children’s games and the hearty stew made from local ingredients. There is live music and the vendors all have hand made artisan wares. It’s a chance to relax and enjoy a beautiful fall Sunday with good friends, lively music, yummy food and fun games!

Mountain Bounty Farm will  host a Pig Roast Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 2:30-7:30 p.m.  The local farm be roasting a locally raised pig and serving up fresh baked John’s sourdough bread with lots of delicious veggie sides fresh from the farm. There will be yard games, music, good company, and plenty to eat well into the evening for the first 150 guests. Please bring your own plates and utensils. Extra picnic blankets and camp chairs encouraged! This will be a great opportunity to come out and visit the farm, mingle with our community of farmers and CSA members, and celebrate the change in seasons.

Up in Truckee, Tahoe Donner will host its annual Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Northwoods Clubhouse. Now in its tenth consecutive year, Fall Festival is fun for all ages featuring a full day of harvest-themed activities, food and entertainment for the North Lake Tahoe community to celebrate the autumn season.

Looking for a place to stay?  A lodging guide is here.