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Exploring Tuolumne County's Gold Country

Austin Banks | 09/01/2018 | Attraction - deleted 5-20-19, Eat & Drink, Exploring Tuolumne County, Farmers' Markets, Gold Panning, History - deleted 6/19/19, State Parks, Wine and Cider Tasting

Tuolumne County has been home to my family for four generations. We spent most of our pastime enjoying the plethora of activities this beautiful rural county has to offer. From paddle boarding at Pinecrest and camping in the vast Emigrant Wilderness to stepping back in time with the multiple historical locations across the county.

My wife Lizzie and I recently spent the weekend perusing the seemingly endless attractions of Tuolumne County; reminiscing of our childhood as well as creating new memories to cherish for years to come. We started the cool morning visiting the Sonora Farmers market before heading to Columbia State Historic Park. Columbia is a fast track back to the 1850s and beyond. The dusty boardwalks and the people dressed in the attire of the time is nostalgic to say the least. At the park we were able to get a sense of what life was like in the adolescence the Gold Rush in California. After some bouldering on the smooth bedrock, exposed from the mining done in the area for decades, Lizzie and I tried our hand at gold panning. From there we strolled on over to the saloon for a sarsaparilla; stopping by the candy store, where candy is made the same way it was 170 years ago. After some suds, my wife and I climbed aboard the stagecoach for ultimate ride back in time. We could have spent hours there, but instead Lizzie and I made the short drive to Jamestown to partake in all the fun that little historical town has to offer.

With hotels that have been in operation since the end of the 17th century, wine tasting rooms and beer gardensJamestown has much to offer visitors and locals alike. After some lunch from one of several restaurants, we decided to catch the famous Sierra No. 3™ train at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park for yet another trip into the past. With a detailed tour of the surrounding area, the picture of what it was like to live in the Gold Country, during its time of great development and culture, became more clear and evoked deep emotion and intrigue. We ended the day with some delicious wine tasting from a few local wineries. Although my Lizzie and I have driven these streets and hiked these trails for twenty plus years, we find new and exciting enjoyment every time we engage with this beautiful and historic county that we call home.

Visit to find lodging, including quaint B&Bs, cabins and more, for your trip to Tuolumne County.

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