Holidays in Gold Country

posted in: North California | 24


It is always a great time to take a trip to California’s gold country. Especially during the holiday season. Come Fall and Winter season we tend to want to stay indoors making less time for outdoor play. Being outside is so healthy for us. I actually don’t like the cold and often times I’m intimated to go outside but every time we go outside our mood improves, we sleep better, our Vitamin D level increases, we have more energy, we feel so free and find inspiration by simply spending an hour outdoors. Did you know there are some amazing town trails you can take which are free? These small Gold country towns have a special charm to them because it is like you stepped back in time to where everyone is a little more friendlier and the pace of life is a little less busier. Here all the shop owners greet you and ask you where your from. They will happily tell you what events they have going on throughout the year and as you walk an occasional stranger will wish you a Merry Christmas.

Below are five of our favorite gold country destinations and walking routes.


Walk through Auburn


Did you know that Auburn has a trail for treasured trees? How cool is that! There are 33 treasured trees to look at and learn about here. You’ll want to start at the “Welcome to Historic Auburn” sign which is next to the fire station on Lincoln Way. You can print out a map at . If you follow this trail you can do a fun study on the trees and the leaves you might have collected along the way. This trail also takes you to beautiful community parks. You will also pass by historic churches and on the way back to the parking lot, you can stop by the Placer County Museum where you can see gold nuggets and an old prison cell.



Sutter Creek


What is there not to love about window shopping? Sutter Creek has some of the cutest antique shops. My favorites are the Romancin’ the Range, Tomorrow’s Heirlooms, and EPCO Emporium. These shops carry some romantic accessories and clothing that you would not find most other places. During the season Unique Boutique for U offers cookies and hot apple cinder. The special thing about these shops is that each business owner picks every single special item that they sell so no two shops sell the same items. These shops have a special charm to each of them and it is hard to not find something that you or someone you love might like.



Nevada City


Nevada City has an old fashioned Christmas market that you can enjoy. The great thing is that you have a few days to choose from. This year (2017) You could stroll the festive streets on two of the Wednesdays in December between 5:00 pm through 9:00 pm or on Sundays between 1:30 pm until 6:00 pm. This historic town is filled with booths where you can do some unique holiday shopping for your loved ones while supporting those who have handcrafted some unique items. You can meet Santa, try some roasted chestnuts, do some chocolate tasting, warm up by trying warm mulled wine, marvel at women and men dressed up in Victorian clothing, and simply have a wonderful time. You’ll want to come early because parking is very limited and hard to find.




Scottish Christmas Walk


If ever there are walks and candles, sign me up. Am I right?  For this special Christmas walk all you need to do is show up at Armory Hall at 5pm on the first Saturday of December. You can experience the Scottish per session that’s lead by pipers, flag barers, sword carrier, and other men wearing kilts. You get to walk down to the church with no street lights except the candles lighting your way. When you arrive to St. Bernard’s Catholic Church the priest speaks a blessing over the congregassion in both English and Scot’s Gaelic. We loved being led by pipers in the singing of amazing grace. It is such a beautiful sight to see so many different people holding candles and praising God. This tradition was started in 1982.

Located at Armory Hall : Consolation Street Volcano, Ca.



Historic Angels Camp :


Have you ever walked down frogs hall of fame? Not sure if you knew such a thing excited but frogs are celebrated in Angels Camp. They have frog jumping competitions which last four days on the third weekend in May. The Fog Jumping Competition has been around since 1928. Did you know that if your frog can jump higher than Rosie the Ribeter then you could win $5,000. Since 1986 not one frog has beat this record. Rosie Ribeter plaque is located right infront of the visitors center. Angels camp is a fun destination. You don’t want to pass Stories in Stone because here you can purchase stones, fossils, shells, and unique items which are perfect for a naturalist lover. The entire town is really charming during the Christmas season with its unique decorated store front windows, Christmas wreaths hanging across main street, and a mini santa almost as tall as our six year old.




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24 Responses

  1. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! The pictures look great and frog hall of fame…. hahaha interesting. How cool being able to do the walk with so much tradition.

  2. I love the frog jumping competition! Next up you should visit the Camel Races in Virginia City, Nevada. 🙂 This looks like such a nice trip.

  3. What lovely pictures. I think they capture the appreciation you extol for the great outdoors!
    Did I miss it or were you ever able to capture a shot with all six of you in it!

  4. Those towns were so cute. It is so nice to find these quaint places with old fashioned charm. It is nice to spend the holiday there.

  5. What a beautiful, old fashioned place to enjoy the holidays together! You find the very best little places to go!

  6. I’m always looking for the latest and greatest things to do when I visit a new town. These little blurbs were awesome and I hope that I can visit one or two of them, heck even all of them! The pictures made me feel like I was right there!

  7. robin rue

    I have never experienced Christmas in anyplace that had warm weather. This sounds like a lovely place to visit at Christmas time – or anytime.

  8. I love that Auburn has a trail for treasured trees. It is a great way to pay homage to the beauty of nature.

  9. I find it so hard to go out in the winter but I do go out everydaya! Love finding little boutiques that have unique stuff in them! Christmas markets are my favorite way to spend December Saturdays!

  10. These towns all look like great places to visit. Is it crazy that I live in California and didn’t know there was such a thing as gold country? Ah, but it’s such a big state.

  11. Wow, this looks like such a great time your family was able to experience. I always love things that help create memories to look back on, and this is definitely a time you have done this.

  12. Homegrown Adventures

    Yes we have been to the Camel Races many years ago. So fun. 🙂

  13. So many cool things! I wish I had known about some of these when we lived in Northern California! Definitely would have checked them out. 🙂

  14. It looks like you had a fun time! I love window shopping in small towns at the local stores.

  15. Loving the Nevada City stop! I’m a huge fan of Colonial Williamsburg because of the dedication of the reenactors, so that Victorian Christmas looks AMAZING!!

  16. I love your photos. It looks like you hade a nice time exploring these places. I like towns that have such a unique look and vibe.

  17. All of these walks sound like fun. I think it would be fun on the tree walk to learn about the trees. The Scottish procession sounds like it would be cool, too. I think my kids would kill me if I tried to take them into antique stores, though! LOL

  18. These look like some great places to visit! That Christmas walk sounds lovely, as do those shops! Hope you had a great Christmas.

  19. This looks like such a fun time. I love doing small activities with the kids similar to this.

  20. Angela

    This looks like a lovely place to spend the holidays! We had a huge snow storm in Maine Christmas Day!!

  21. Angela Ricardo Bethea

    Oh!! That is such an awesome place to visit this Holiday season. It looks like you had a wonderful time there. Merry Christmas to you and to your family!!!

  22. Brittany Giles

    What a magical experience! You guys look like you had an amazing time! I will def add this to my bucket list!

  23. We’ve never visited here but it looks wonderful! I’m sure my daughters would enjoy an adventure like this and I love that you are always making such great memories together.

  24. What a wonderful way to spend the holidays with the family! I’ve never been to Nevada City but I can see it would be a fun visit.

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