Nevada City is a hidden gem for nature lovers, history buffs, and foodies. Its historic downtown boasts impeccable 19th-century buildings that are home to restaurants, gift shops, and wine tasting rooms.
Tourist Attractions And Visit In Nevada City CA
If you’re looking to explore a unique town full of history, wine, and thriving gardens, there are plenty of things to do in Nevada City. This Gold Country hamlet, situated 60 miles northeast of Sacramento, is a true gem and one of the best places to stay in Nevada.
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The Kit Carson Trail (also known as the Blue Line Trail) is a 2.5-mile loop that showcases more than 60 historic sites and buildings. This trail is perfect for a stroll as you pass the state’s capital, Brewery Arts Center, and other important landmarks.
Also, you can hike to the top of Kit Carson Peak and see a view of the city’s skyline! The trail is open year-round, but the summer months are particularly popular because of its scenic views.
During your trip, you can also try your hand at the narrow-gauge train at the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum! The museum is a great spot for rail enthusiasts of all ages to learn more about the area’s heritage.
There are also several hiking trails in the area that lead to stunning views of Scotts Flat Lake and the surrounding forest. This place is also a great spot to watch wildlife, especially deer and bears!
You can also check out the state’s atomic testing history at the National Atomic Testing Museum. The museum features artifacts from the nuclear testing era, and it’s a great destination for families. It also hosts special events and educational tours throughout the year.
It’s also known for its eponymous river. Its rushing waters are a sight to behold and a must-visit for all those seeking postcard-perfect vistas.
Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum #1
The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum is located in Nevada City, California and is dedicated to the preservation of local transportation history. It offers a docent-led historical tour of the museum, rail yard and restoration shop.
The museum is home to many pieces of locomotives and rolling stock, including Engine 5, the first steam automobile in Nevada County, and displays of local aviation history. It also features a gift shop with a variety of railroad-related items.
Visiting the museum will help you learn more about Nevada County’s railroad history and see how its residents became famous for their transportation innovations. You can even get on board a train for a short ride through the rail yard.
It’s not a surprise that there are many dedicated aficionados of the railroad, and they put a lot of work into preserving their beloved machines. That dedication is evident in the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, where volunteers tirelessly repair and restore locomotives and rolling stock, keeping their romance alive.
|Address||5 Kidder Ct, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA|
|Opening Hours||10 am–4 pm|
Deer Creek Tribute Trail #2
The Deer Creek Tribute Trail is an easy-to-moderate hike located near Nevada City. It begins behind the Foundry and leads to a beautiful river with huge rocks and trees. It is a great place to take in nature and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
This scenic route includes a suspension bridge that memorializes the early contributions of native Nisenan and Chinese people to the history of this area. It is one of several new developments to this popular trail.
As a watershed, Deer Creek has multiple stakeholders involved in fire reduction projects. Private landowners, the Bureau of Land Management, the Nevada Irrigation District, and PG&E have all made investments to improve fire safety. But more funding is needed to amplify the scope and pace of these efforts.
Nevada City Chamber of Commerce #3
The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce is a top-notch organization that works to advance the welfare and vitality of Nevada City businesses. They do it by facilitating collaboration, education, marketing and providing sustainable business solutions.
The Chamber is also the home of the Doris Foley Library for Historical Research, which was built in the early 1930s and is considered to be one of the best Carnegie libraries in the world.
It is also the location of a small museum dedicated to the town’s twinning with Penzance, a seaside town in Cornwall, UK, and St Just, a nearby tin mining community. Nevada City is a charming Victorian town with lots of great places to stay, shop and dine.
It is also a good base from which to explore the surrounding Sierra foothills, where you can find a variety of relics from the Gold Rush era including ghost towns and rural communities to explore. The area also offers a myriad of fun and interesting activities from music and art festivals to fairs and a Fourth of July parade.
|Address||132 Main St, Nevada City, CA 95959, United States|
|Opening Hours||11 am–2 pm|
Crystal Hermitage Gardens #4
Every April, the spiritual and wellness-based community of Ananda Village opens its Crystal Hermitage Gardens to the public as 17,000 tulips bloom. They’re a stunning display that pulls thousands of visitors from all over the world.
The tulips aren’t the only thing to admire in this spectacular garden: deep reds, vibrant blues and fiery oranges are abound throughout this two-acre garden. Plus, the cliffside gardens overlook Tahoe National Forest and the Yuba River Canyon.
A visit to the garden is an excellent opportunity for you and your family to experience some of the finest flowers in all of California. You can chat with lead gardeners, visit the museum and spend time just enjoying the beauty of nature.
The garden also offers tours and a museum that contains spiritual relics from Paramhansa Yogananda and his line of yoga masters. You can also enjoy an Ananda Yoga class, yoga postures and meditation in the serene setting of this Ananda community.
|Address||Ananda Village, 14618 Tyler Foote Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959, US|
|Opening Hours||10 am–5 pm|
Bourn House #5
Bourn House is a historical home that was built by William Bourn, one of California’s wealthiest men. This is the perfect place to spend a few hours strolling around and learning about the rich history of Nevada City.
You can also take a self-guided tour of the town and stop by a few of its quaint stores and restaurants. You can purchase souvenirs such as jewelry, wine, and artifacts from local artists. Another great thing to do while in Nevada City is to visit the farmers market.
This is a great place to get some fresh fruits and vegetables, and you can even find some amazing artisanal foods here, like loaves of bread, organic pancake mix, gourmet rainbow popcorn, and delicate crystal necklaces.
There are also some great hiking trails to check out when you’re visiting Nevada City. You can hike to Hirschman’s Pond, which is a 5-mile round-trip trail that takes you through tranquil scenery. This pond was once a mining site and is now a renowned California historical landmark.
|Address||10791 E Empire St, Nevada City, CA|
The Nevada Theatre #6
The Nevada Theatre, located downtown in the former Gold Mining town of Nevada City, is California’s oldest original theatre. Having opened September 9, 1865, it has been the home to a long line of actors and actresses.
Some of the greats who have starred on its stage include Mark Twain, Jack London and Emma Nevada. Today only four early California theatres remain extant. The three oldest are the Merced, Monterey and Nevada Theatres.
Early theatres faced a number of challenges, ranging from fire to changing audience tastes. They often outgrew their usefulness and were replaced by larger facilities that made more money.
Today, The Nevada Theatre is owned by the community and operated by a local arts commission. It serves as a venue for musical, performing and visual arts, film, comedy, youth art education and literature.
|Address||401 Broad St, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA|
|Added to NRHP||14 March 1973|
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park #7
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and offers visitors a chance to explore the rich history of the California Gold Rush. Hike through the hills on the 20-mile network of hiking trails or visit the museum to learn more about this historic site.
Whether you’re interested in hiking, camping, or fishing, this Northern California state park has a little something for everyone. The park features a museum, a 30-site campground, and three rustic cabins that can be rented by visitors.
There are several trails to choose from, including the Diggins Loop Trail that circles the eroded walls of the Pit and the Rim Trail that provides elevation views. You’ll also find a swimming area and Blair Lake, a pond that dates back to the mining era.
During the Gold Rush, people used hydraulic mining methods that involved pressurizing water through canons and destroying the mountainous landscape in order to extract gold. This practice left a huge impact on the environment and caused the Yuba River to drain. Thankfully, the mining process was eventually stopped and the state passed an environmental injunction.
|Address||23579 N Bloomfield Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA|
|Opening Hours||7 am–8 pm|
|Added to NRHP||11 April 1973|
|NRHP Reference Number||73000418|
Firehouse Museum #8
The Firehouse Museum is a unique hidden gem that you should not miss. It houses a large collection of historical fire department memorabilia that will appeal to anyone who has ever been a firefighter or who has a passion for history.
Visitors can tour the Firehouse Museum’s exhibits, which feature a variety of historic firefighting equipment dating back to the 1800s. There’s also a fire safety education program that lets kids learn about different types of fire hazards and how to escape them.
Another fascinating part of the museum is the Romance of Firefighting exhibit. This demonstrates how firefighting started out as a volunteer service before becoming a career profession.
A separate memorial exhibit pays tribute to the 343 members of the FDNY who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. This display includes a black marble memorial, a WTC Memorial Statue, tools used in the recovery of the World Trade Center site, and other artifacts.
|Located in||Main Street Kids|
|Address||214 Main St, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA|
|Opening Hours||1–4 pm|
FAQs about Nevada City CA
Why move to Nevada City CA?
Nevada City, CA is a charming historic town nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills, offering a relaxed lifestyle and beautiful natural surroundings. It boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene, a strong sense of community, and proximity to outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and fishing.
What is the life like in Nevada City?
Life in Nevada City is laid-back and community-oriented, with a strong focus on arts, culture, and nature. Residents enjoy a slower pace of life, with access to outdoor recreation such as hiking and skiing, as well as local events and festivals. The town is known for its historic charm, friendly locals, and small-town vibe.