Nevada City, California, is a perfect destination if you want to add a little history to your next road trip. With a population of just over 3,000, the town has hardly grown in the past 100 years. This should by no means lead you to believe Nevada City is not worth a visit.
Nevada City got its start during the gold rush and is rich in history from that time. Several sites are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Some of these sites include Firehouse No. 2 and the National Hotel, which is the oldest, still-functioning hotel, west of the Rockies. Nevada City boasts three museums that will educate and entertain.
One of the most unique is the Nevada County Railroad Museum, located in the Seven Hills Business District. This narrow-gauge railroad is a sight to behold for model railroad fans.
It’s well maintained by volunteers who strive to preserve the history of the rail in this area. See a fantastic display of rolling stock, tunnels, buildings, and more as you watch the train travel all about the tracks inside the museum.
If you want something more relaxing and less active during your visit to Nevada City, check out their collection of little shops and restaurants. Broad Street has many small shops and eateries, so if you desire a meal or a snack, and then you are in the right place.
If you want something unique to remind you of your time spent here, you will find it on Broad Street. Shops sell souvenirs, apparel, sweet treats, outdoor gear, and more.
Another asset to Broad Street is the family of merchants who sincerely appreciate the fact that you enjoy their little town. Friendly and full of information, they can give you inside information that only locals know.
Depending on the time of year you visit Nevada City, you may enjoy one of the city’s annual events. In January, there is the Wild & Scenic Film Fest. June Nevada City celebrates Gold Rush Days. In July there is a storytelling Festival and the 4th of July Parade.
Nearby Nevada City
Not far from Nevada City in the Tahoe National Forest, the South Yuba River, and the High Sierras. Nevada City is only 45 minutes from the Donner Summit, named after the ill-fated Donner Party and a short 60-90 drive from Lake Tahoe Ski areas.
Surrounding towns, such as Grass Valley, which are just a few miles away, offer similar quaintness and relaxing business and entertainment opportunities.
Still close by and worth fitting into your day are the towns of Truckee and Auburn. These towns are more pieces to the quilt, which make up the Gold Rush Part of California’s History.
Another way to enjoy this area of California is a walk or hike on Independence Trail. Much of this walk is wheelchair accessible, and the vegetation along the South Yuba River is gorgeous.
Getting to Nevada City
Finding Nevada City is easy enough. Travel east on Interstate 80 past Sacramento to Hwy 49, Take Hwy 49 north to Hwy 20. Where 49 and 20 meet you, come to Grass Valley.
Whether you choose Nevada City as your only destination for the day or part of a tour of the area, you will surely enjoy this part of California’s history.