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Pairing Food with Adventure in Tuolumne County

Mackenzie Rodgers | 12/14/2018 | Eat & Drink, Exploring Tuolumne County, History - deleted 6/19/19

When the holidays are over, fill the void in your empty stomach with delicious foods in Yosemite, Gold Country, and High Sierra. January is California’s Restaurant Month and we’re going ALL OUT to eat in Tuolumne County. With endless opportunities for adventure, we have come up with FIVE itineraries that revolve around some favorite local restaurants:

High Sierra

Where To Eat: Twain Harte is a little mountain town along Highway 108 in Tuolumne County’s High Sierra. Surrounded by this quaint cabin community is where Cibo Famiglia thrives. With locally sourced ingredients and a wine list you will fall in love with, Cibo will be your new favorite dine find. Salute. More places to eat.

What to Do: Explore the fairly flat, Sugar Pine Rail Trail that leads to Lyons Reservoir from Twain Harte. This 10 mile trail is perfect for novice bike riders looking for true woodland beauty that leads to mountain lake views.

Where to Stay: The McCaffrey House Bed and Breakfast Inn is a beautifully authentic cabin escape hidden in the forest of Twain Harte. Take a break from the bustle of everyday life and get immersed in the mountains of Northern California’s High Sierra at this incredibly kept and awarded B&B. More places to stay.

Yosemite Area

Where to Eat: Rush Creek Lodge is a newly built lodge located on the edge of Yosemite National Park. The on-site Restaurant is a gem for local and seasonal sourced menu specials in addition to an authentic ambiance that incorporates indigenous furnishings iconic to the Yosemite region. Top your meal off with complimentary s’mores ‘round the fire. More places to eat.

What to Do: Take a hike to Wapama Falls at Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Begin your journey at the O'Shaughnessy Dam, and bask in the views of the vast reservoir, the primary source of water for the San Francisco Bay Area. Walk along the water’s edge for this 5-mile out and back trail to Wapama Falls.

Where to Stay: Rush Creek Lodge is where classic Yosemite lodge meets environment conscious modern minimalist. Room with a view? They’ve got plenty. Room with a TV? Won’t find one here. Unplug from busy distractions and take full advantage of this National Park vacation. More places to stay.

Historic Jamestown

Where to Eat: The Wild West lives on in Tuolumne County’s Gold Country. Dine like a 49er at The Service Station in Historic Downtown Jamestown. Pull up a stool at their historic bar, or take things out back to their newly added beer garden, equipped with games and twinkle lights. Order a glass of local wine or craft beer and get a sense of the modern Gold Country culture. More places to eat.

What to Do: Hitch a ride back in time on the Sierra Railway at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. Roundhouse tours are a MUST. There, you’ll learn about the challenges and rewards of what it was like to work on the Sierra Railway throughout history.

Where to Stay: Located on Main Street in Jamestown, The National Hotel is an authentic Gold Country hotel that has a real Bed and Breakfast feel. Enjoy their many seasonal special offerings and proximity to shopping and wine tasting. More places to stay.

The Town of Tuolumne

Where to Eat: Dine fine in Tuolumne at ’s Seven Sisters. Get ready to elevate your taste buds at this premier establishment named to honor the matriarchs of The Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians. Try special dishes like the Butter Poached Lobster Risotto or the Pumpkin Ravioli. More places to eat.

What to Do: Experience the great outdoors of Tuolumne’s foothills along the 9.9-mile out and back Westside Trail. Follow the old rail trail along the river canyon of the North Fork Tuolumne River. Take in the incredible natural beauty the whole way and learn about the region's past with the descriptive markers that explain the railway’s history.

Where to Stay: Rest easy at Black Oak Casino Resort in the town of Tuolumne. Enjoy amenities such as a year-round heated salt water pool, weekly entertainment at the Willow Creek Lounge, and a family floor with a bowling alley and arcade. More places to stay.

Historic Columbia

Where to Eat: When it comes to pizza in Gold Country, The St. Charles Saloon is a local favorite in Columbia State Historic Park. The family-friendly “Charlie,” as locals call it, has a wide variety of unique pizza options like “Pickle Pizza” or “The Chuck.” Stop in on a Monday night for “Open Mic Night and sip locally made Columbia Soda Works Sarsaparilla. More places to eat.

What to Do: Columbia State Historic Park is known for having the largest collection of Gold Rush-era brick buildings in California. With accessible buildings and a variety of authentic locally owned and operated businesses open daily, this State Historic Park is a playground for visitors. Take a ride on a stagecoach, try your luck at gold panning, or see a show at the old Fallon House Theatre.

Where to Stay: Centrally located in Columbia State Historic Park, the City Hotel is a historic gem full of Gold Rush-era artifacts and Northern California charm. If you’re looking for Gold Country authenticity, look no further. This hotel was built in the heyday of 1856. Have a drink at their What Cheer Saloon and ask about the local legends of the old town.


Where to Eat: is our definition of wine and dine on the main strip of Historic Downtown Sonora. Specializing in wood fired foods made beautifully in a mosaic firewood oven, the pizza is a MUST. Order a glass of local wine and people watch by the window for a relaxing evening. Feeling adventurous? Opt for a unique off the menu item and try the Fondue Burger. More places to eat.

What to Do: Take a scenic stroll in the foothills of Historic Downtown Sonora on the recently expanded Dragoon Gulch Trail. The trail provides over 3.1 miles of natural hiking areas. The trails travel along a scenic creek up to the vista that provides a spectacular view of the City and its surrounding mountain ranges.

Where to Stay: The Inn on Knowles Hill Bed and Breakfast was built in 1927 and this Big House, as they call it, truly captures everything there is to love about the roaring twenties. Carefully designed so that each room was one with a view, guests can get the best perspectives of charming Historic Downtown Sonora from any window of this hilltop paradise. More places to stay.Emberz

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

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Visit Tuolumne County
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