Bay Area LIFE: Immerse yourself in California's Gold Rush history

GROVELAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Immerse yourself in California's Gold Rush history and experience the splendors of the past. You can visit charming towns that will make you feel like a forty-niner!


Stop in the town of Groveland on your next trip to Yosemite! Located on Highway 120, Groveland is positioned on the most direct route from the Bay Area to Yosemite. This quaint town possesses the ambience of a former Gold Rush mining locale with history at every turn. Visit the town museum and 1888 Jamestown Jail, play golf at Pine Mountain Lake Golf Course, and enjoy delicious food and drink from numerous restaurant options. Groveland is a popular place for travelers to stay overnight before continuing their journey to Yosemite. Accommodations range from the historic Groveland Hotel to rental cabins, as well as bed and breakfasts. Whether you are spending the night or stopping for lunch, Groveland is one of Tuolumne County's must-see destinations.
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Located in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, the charming City of Sonora possesses a rich history with a modern flair. Also known as the "Queen of the Southern Mines," Sonora embraces its history as a prosperous Gold Rush town while flourishing as the commercial, government, and cultural center for the region. Downtown Sonora is bustling with one-of-a-kind galleries and boutiques, trendy restaurants and drinking establishments, beautiful trails and parks, and fun-filled festivals and community events. In addition, the City of Sonora is conveniently positioned near national and state parks including, Yosemite National Park, Columbia State Historic Park, and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. With activities galore, The City of Sonora is the perfect spot for adventure and amusement.
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Travel back in time to the sights, smells, and sounds of a nineteenth century mining town at Columbia State Historic Park. In the heart of the California Mother Lode, Columbia features the largest collection of gold rush-era structures in California. Discover the history of centuries past with countless period-specific activities. Explore a wide variety of shops with merchants adorned in 1850's attire and boutiques specializing in nineteenth century goods. Indulge in numerous food and drink options including restaurants, ice cream parlors, candy stores, saloons, and more. Pan for gold, ride the stagecoach, and even bowl in an antique bowling alley! Before leaving, visit the portrait studio and dress up for an old time photo to commemorate an extraordinary visit to Columbia State Historic Park.
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Situated in the heart of the Gold Country, Jamestown, California transports visitors back to the late 1800's. The Gold Rush architecture of Main Street in Jamestown houses many shops that include antiques, home décor, clothing, and other locally made items. The historic town boasts a wide variety of eateries to satisfy all food cravings, as well as a plethora of activities including golfing, shopping, gold panning, boating, and skiing. Five blocks from downtown Jamestown is Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, where visitors can enjoy a steam train ride, visit the roundhouse, and tour the grounds. Two hundred movies have been filmed in Jamestown including, Back to the Future Part III and Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven. Don't miss an opportunity to learn about California's film and state history at Jamestown.
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