Don’t let the variable smoky conditions stop you from exploring the ins and outs of Tuolumne County’s historic Gold Country, where an exciting variety of indoor adventures await.
1.Shopping Back in Time: Wander collectible, antique shops, or browse for the perfect treasure in one of the many unique boutiques. Explore the inside of Sonora’s iconic historic buildings that date back to the late 1800’s. Legend’s has a cozy underground cave-like book store that is perfect for a midday escape from the smoke with a peek at an actual gold mine.
2. Strike, Spare, Clean Air: Nestled in the hills of the town of Tuolumne, Black Oak Casino Resort has an excellent family floor that showcases a 24-lane Brunswick Bowling Center. It is open daily, and don’t miss their local renowned Cosmic Bowling Friday and Saturday nights. Make the experience complete with a try at some of the many games at their newly renovated arcade and an all-American meal at their Mill Sports Grill.
3. Gallery Wanderings: Get a good look at this Northern California culture, from the local artists’ point of view, by touring through the art galleries of Historic Downtown Sonora and Historic Downtown Jamestown. Meet the masterminds themselves in celebration of the traditional year-round 2nd Saturday Art Night on Washington Street where live music, small shops, and artists of all sorts make their debut.
4. Sip Sip Hooray: Put something warm in your belly and challenge the spirits at Indigeny Reserve. Try their organic hard cider and spirits in a welcoming tasting room surrounded by organic apple orchards. Go for wine tasting on Main Street in Jamestown and sip local indoors at Inner Sanctum Cellars and Gianelli Vineyards.
If you prefer coffee or tea, get comfortable and enjoy a warm beverage and fun conversation in the warm parlor at Mountain Sage Cafe and Nursery in Groveland.
5. Live it up at a Live Theatre Performance: Indoor entertainment in a theatre that dates back to 1859? Only in Columbia State Historic Park, at the Fallon House. The Sierra Repertory Theatre produces superior musicals, comedies, and dramas year-round. Just sit back and say, “Break a leg!”
6. Discover Gold Rush History: Tuolumne County is rich with history and there’s no better place to get informed about the Wild West than from experts themselves. The extensive and fascinating Tuolumne County Museum and History Center is located in the old jail of Downtown Sonora and the nearby Firehouse Museum and Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum, or the Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum will leave you feeling educated and motivated to explore more of Tuolumne County.
7. De-stress Downtown: Refresh your body at Amala Detox and Tea Lounge. Enjoy hot or iced tea and a nice foot soak at this centrally located lounge in Downtown Sonora. Take some time to treat yourself at D&D Nails, a spa fit for any afternoon. Relax in the cleanliness of their locally owned salon and engage in the banter of small town gossip. These locations welcome drop-ins and will make for a relaxing afternoon on the town.
8. Take a Break & Take a Chance: Spend some time indoors and try your luck at one of two casinos in Tuolumne County. Black Oak Casino Resort in the town of Tuolumne will help you make the most of your great indoor experience, and Chicken Ranch Casino, with slots and Bingo, is conveniently located just off of Highway 108 in Jamestown.
9. There’s Always Pie: Along with ranch tours, a petting zoo, family-owned Cover’s Apple Ranch has a restaurant that is locally loved for their generous portions of comfort food like biscuits and gravy, French toast, soups, salads and wonderful sandwiches. Wash it down with their hand pressed cider and save room for a piece of “Mile-High Apple Pie” made in their bakery for dessert.
10. Adventure Down Under: Discover a different side of California’s Gold Country in an underground tour of the Moaning Caverns. Located nearby, in Vallecito, walk beneath the earth’s surface to view geologic formations in one of several caves.