Placerville is one of Californiaa's golden treasures. Less than two hours by car from Sacramento, the scenic, pine-topped hills visible from intimate roads that run through the center of town provide a timeless wooded scent. The fragrance captures the essence of this old-fashioned place where European travelers come with wide eyes and a fascination for America's past.  Hoping to gain a glimpse of the California they've read about and imagined, you can see Danish, Germans and Brits sitting on the porches of coffee houses overlooking  Placerville's Main Street, just soaking in the ambiance.


The seat of government for El Dorado County where the hills become mountains, sits at an elevation of about 2,000 feet. Main Street, the heart of Placerville's downtown is lined with historic buildings that are well preserved with fresh coats of paint and colorful petunias of purple, red and blue. While the Gold Rush and the Old West are the dominant themes in shop window displays, they do not mask modern clothing styles, books and art work from world famous Bennett Gallery and Kinkaide, to name a few. 


In Placerville, modern conveniences such as Starbucks mix with turn-of-the 20th Century Cary House, a bed and breakfast-styled hotel featuring themed rooms, many with antique furnishings. On special evenings, the owners of the property dress in period costume and re-create scenes from the era in which the hotel was constructed. Enjoying rich soil perfect for wine grapes, the B&B rolls out some of its fine local wines for adult guests to sample in the evening. While a visit to El Dorado's wine country and stay at Cary House is more than enough excuse to take a brake, there's a lot more going on.

Easy to access via Sacramento, you can fly into Sacramento and rent a car for an easy drive to the hills where gold was discovered. The City of Placerville owns and operates Gold Bug Mine, the only gold mine in California that is open to visitors. An interesting tour into a cool, damp mine allows you to see and feel what the miners experienced as they worked and toiled hours on end in the search to find gold.


Placerville and El Dorado County are located in the heart of California's Gold Rush country, often called the "Mother Lode."  El Dorado County is approximately 30 miles east of Sacramento, California's State Capitol and 40 miles west of Carson City, Nevada's State Capitol. San Francisco is 125 miles to the west and Reno Airport is 50 miles to the northeast.

While Coloma north of Placerville credited for the discovery of gold over 150 years ago, Placerville grew rapidly out of the rush from gold fever and today, families and descendants of that era still live in town and operate the stores passed down through generations.   Shown in photos above is a woman in front of a store with a newspaper stand. Placerville News Company, 409 Main Street, Placerville, CA 95667 Phone: 530-622-4510. This store is located in an historic 1856 building in downtown Placerville. The Placerville News Company has been in the same location since 1912 and and is one example of a family business passed through the generations. They are open seven days a week.

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