On a recent visit to the Gold Rush country in Northern California, I visited a few quaint towns and thought I would share the charm of this historic area.
Murphys is a tiny town being called “the next Napa” due to all the vineyards and wineries that have infiltrated this area.
The quaint main street has become a trendy spot with restaurants offering sophisticated cuisine such as Grounds, unique boutique stores, and of course all of the many wine tasting rooms. On any given weekend, you will find a crowd of people walking up and down the sidewalk enjoying all the town has to offer.
The iconic structure in town is the historic Murphys Hotel, established in 1856. The hotel has been host to many notable guests such as Mark Twain, J.P. Morgan, President Ulysses S. Grant and many more distinguished figures.
The hotel, in my opinion, is in need of some TLC (it’s actually a secret dream of mine to buy a historic hotel like this and turn it into a five star property – I love the juxtaposition of a historic structure with a really high-end interior) but it still holds its own in town and draws a crowd to the bar. Gordon Ramsay featured this hotel on his show Hotel Hell and gave the owners advice on how to improve the property so I hope they bring this beauty back to its full glory.
Angels Camp is the home of the Jumping Frog, the inspiration for Mark Twain’s short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”.
The town is a little larger than Murphys and offers many shops and restaurants. It has also maintained its historic charm, however, it has not become as “trendy” as Murphys.
These two towns are only the tip of the iceberg in this Gold Rush area. There are so many interesting little towns that it could take you a month or more to get around to them all…but it’s a great reason to come back.
For many more images on these two towns and the surrounding area, see the slide show below. Click on any image above to enlarge.