Explore Grass Valley

Tucked away in the southernmost tip of Nevada County, Grass Valley is often an overlooked jewel among the foothill’s gold rush towns. Despite a cornucopia of events and attractions, Grass Valley’s main draw may be its low-key profile and unassuming small town charm. While much of the nation has re-embraced small town America and main street revitalizations have soared in recent years, Grass Valley has always simply been there. GoGrassValley.com and City of Grass Valley also are resources.

Arts and Shopping

Grass Valley doesn’t need to tout the local Center for the Arts’ lineup. Locals will line up to see Ani Difranco, Kris Kristofferson, Paula Poundstone, and Jeff Daniels. And residents will peruse the wide selection of used bookstores and funky boutiques before catching a flick at the Del Oro, which anchors the Norman Rockwell-esque Mill Street with its towering Art Deco neon. Grass Valley’s charm is its calling card and everyone’s welcome.

Events and Activities

Whether you’re coming for the mountain biking or mining memorabilia, locals are delighted to share their home. Ask for an ideal spot to soak up the sun on the Yuba River or a fecund fishing hole and you’ll be told no lies. And while many make their way to Grass Valley for the Draft Horse Classic or Cornish Christmas festivals, there’s bound to be something for everyone all year long. South Yuba River State Park offers living history days, interpretive hikes, and gold-panning demonstrations throughout the year.

Wineries and Dining

More than a dozen wineries are peppered throughout Nevada County and several have found their way downtown where shoppers and diners can pop into a boutique tasting room for a quick flight. Restaurants run the gamut from hearty pasties (a miner’s diet staple) to Diego’s Central and South American-inspired, environmentally-friendly menu. Bakeries and down-home cafes are also in abundant supply.


Multi-day visits are a must for outdoor explorers and aspiring gold-miners. If a historic inn isn’t up your alley, there’s the grand Holbrooke Hotel, centrally located Gold Miners Inn and numerous hotels and motels like the Sierra Mountain Inn full of character and authentic small-town hospitality.