The Sierra Foothills and surrounding mountains in Northern California range from 800 feet to over 9,000 feet. With numerous rivers, lakes, mountains and meadows they are a natural attraction for snow skiers, water skiers, fishermen, kayakers, houseboaters, sailboaters, hikers, mountain bikers, road bikers, and everybody who enjoys the great outdoors, whatever the season. Those who enjoy civilization will find a unique variety. The history and culture of the are are intriguing, the beauty entrancing.
Spring: Expect some rain and showers but also days warming into the high-seventies, with lots of greening and flowers both cultivated and wild. You’ll experience general feelings of optimism and renewal and have the urge to wear cotton garments again, maybe even in pastel colors. High Sierra lumberjack shirts in pastels are not recommended.
Summer: It gets warm to very warm, downright hot at times, but it’s also just what you need to convince yourself to take a day to go to your favorite spot on the Yuba River. Of course gardens grow greatly- tomatoes ripen like eager martyrs and fruit is as sweet as if Norman Rockwell had personally rendered it. Hillside vineyards are turning into what makes a winemaker smile and you will never have to wear a sweater to your Fourth-of-July Picnic (I’m talking to you, coast people). Think sun hats and iced beverages.
Fall: Warm afternoons follow cool mornings where you might catch the scent of cedar smoke as someone lights their fireplace for the first time in months. Stroll around Nevada City and environs for the kind of fall color to get excited about- golden leaves and golden light and maybe even some golden silence- it is calmer now. It may rain but probably not until November, when it’s welcome. “Indian Summer” often comes in October and can be experienced anytime up to Thanksgiving, when it would be too ironic to occur.
Winter: It will snow, but only when you really need it to. This could be for your ski day or a white Christmas or the day you want to not be able to make it in to work. Mostly it will rain to replenish or be cool-to-cold. But not the kind of cold that keeps you from doing things. There are even days in late Winter that masquerade as Spring. Cabin fever is little-known in these parts. Endless gray weather seldom goes unbroken.
Grass Valley has a classic gold rush era downtown, revolving around Main and Mill Streets. Well-kept historic buildings abound, guaranteed to engage anyone from the serious architecture fan to the casual observer. Add in terrific shops and restaurants, the historic Holbrooke Hotel and the visually delightful art deco Del Oro Theatre and you have one of the most memorable small towns anywhere. And with the ambitious calendar of street fairs and public events in Grass Valley, you’d really have to work at it to not have fun here.
Nevada City a town with a lot of character and a lot of characters. Study a little history and it becomes clear that this is not just a recent development. Stroll down Broad Street and it’s easy to imagine how life felt in 1875 or 1925. You won’t find better historic buildings anywhere, including amazing art deco takes on what a court house and city hall should look like. Great restaurants, great shops, great events, great atmosphere- that’s Nevada City. One visit and you’ll find yourself daydreaming about living here.
Can we agree that everyone likes to hear a good story, especially from another time? Comparing your life and times with those of others comes pretty naturally to people; after all, curiosity and language are two of the best things about being human! And the Sierra Nevada's have great human stories to tell. Almost everyone knows at least a bit about the California Gold Rush, which was pivotal in our history, but are you curious to dig deeper? What is this connection to Cornwall, England all about? Or perhaps you are interested in the culture of the first people who lived here, Native Americans known as the Nisenan. Or maybe you are an architecture fan who wants to examine every style from Gold Rush Cabin to Art Deco Commercial to Modern Eco-Home. We have resources for every curiosity and we promise not to judge you if so simply must know the real story about the wicked ways of Lola Montez. Along the way you may even discover a pretty interesting group of people, from world-class chefs and artists to fascinating business innovators, living here today. Isn’t it about time for Nevada County?