Located at the southern end of California’s Gold Country, California’s capital city is perfectly positioned for quick access to all sorts of beautiful fall destinations. Here are some suggestions for some quick trips for weekend days.
Apple Hill – Located in Camino, California, Apple Hill is a quick trip up US Highway 50. Opening on the first day of autumn, Apple Hill is much more than a collection of apple orchards – it is the biggest art and craft fair ever! The area sprawls from Camino to Placerville and Pollock Pines, and every grower hosts artists and crafters of every sort. The smells of barbecue smoke and apple fritters fill the air, and the fresh pressed apple juice will slake visitors’ thirst. Maps are available on the Apple Hill Growers website and at any of the numerous tourist destinations on Apple Hill.
Lake Tahoe – The jewel of the Sierra-Nevada, Lake Tahoe is a beautiful destination throughout the year. In the autumn, the crisp mountain air makes this region all the more appealing. If you are not a skier, autumn day-trips are a terrific alternative here, because, before the snow falls, the crowds are far lighter than after the ski-season starts. The numerous towns that surround Lake Tahoe offer it all! There is fine and casual dining, night-life and, on the Nevada side of the border, lots of exciting gambling destinations.
Napa Valley – Another short drive from Sacramento is the beautiful Napa Valley, California’s seminal and premier wine region. Fall is the perfect time to visit the Napa region as the vineyards turn to a blaze of autumnal colors, painting the hills with reds, yellows and browns. Visit wineries for tastings and to purchase exquisite wines, dine in the endless gourmet eateries from old-time grocery stores to Michelin rated three-star restaurants. Be sure to schedule time in a day spa or schedule a round of golf in the stunning Napa countryside.
Marin County – Iconic of 80s era hippy wealth, Marin County remains one of the most lovely regions in Northern California. Visit quaint towns like Mill Valley and Sausalito, or head out to Stinson Beach for a walk in the sand under a blustery sky. Stop by the Pelican Inn in Muir Beach on the way home for a hot toddy!
Nevada City/Grass Valley – These two adjacent towns are the ideal Gold Country destinations. There is a variety of touring, dining and shopping to be done in quaint, old-timey settings. Crafts and old-time hardware stores are next to antique shops and book vendors. These are places not to be missed.
Sutter Creek – The quintessential Gold Country town, Sutter Creek has a wealth of history in its streets. Visit Sutter’s Mill in nearby Coloma and the numerous mining history sites in the area.
Sacramento is truly in the prime location in the heart of California. The San Francisco Bay Area is a mere two hours to the west, and a similar drive to the east takes you to Reno. There is an endless supply of day-trip destinations to be found, and these are but a sampling.