Visit Nevada City for an endless summer

NEVADA CITY IS AN “ENDLESS SUMMER” destination. Located at 2,500-foot elevation, the days and evenings are cooler than in the Sacramento Valley. The Gold Rush-era town is home to the South Yuba River, known for its pristine swimming holes; Scotts Flat Reservoir, named one of the nation’s top spots for paddle boarding; and it is a gateway to the spectacular Tahoe National Forest, an 850,000-acre playground.

The picturesque town also holds popular summertime gatherings. On July 4, it hosts a festive Fourth of July parade. The parade makes its way down Broad Street in downtown Nevada City. The Nevada County Concert Band performs a pre-parade concert, along with its summer “Pops Concerts” at Pioneer Park (July 24 and August 28).

Nevada City’s other events include the annual Summer Nights outdoor festival of art and music (July 13, 20 and 27); the Nevada City Uncorked wine walk; the Nevada City Film Festival (September 8-11); and the Constitution Day parade, “Marching Presidents” and Revolutionary War living history activities in Pioneer Park (September 10-11).

This summer, the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum is offering rail-bus excursions each Saturday. Passengers may board at the Museum or the Northern Queen Inn.

The town is a popular base camp for summertime activities, and its shops and stores are well equipped for outdoor adventure needs. One of them is SPD Market at 735 Zion St. A third generation of owners now run the market, which carries grocery items, sporting goods, camping gear and clothing. Visitors can pick up a fishing license, fishing tackle and night crawlers, along with food and beverages needed for an outing.

The historic downtown also offers imaginative shops for “pre-camping” activities or a break from the uniformity of shopping malls. The Grey Goose, at 230 Broad Street in the historic downtown, is an eclectic collection of gifts, cards, jewelry and collectible items. The Grey Goose is a dog-friendly shop. Spirithouse Imports at 320 Broad Street features arts and crafts from Southeast Asia. The items include clothing, jewelry, home decor and museum quality collectibles. Owner Janah Campbell travels to Asia twice each year to find goods for her popular store. “I literally have a story for every single item that I sell,” she says.”

The Bonanza Gift Shop, at 321A Broad Street, specializes in unique Chinese figurines, dishes, toys, tea sets, wind chimes, hand-painted fans, paper lanterns, vases, wooden stands and other items. Longtime residents Sintao and Eugene Heung own the gift shop. The Heungs make regular trips to Hong Kong and enjoy sharing their knowledge of Chinese culture with visitors.

Though a small town, Nevada City offers a wide range of shopping experiences. One of the most popular—for locals and visitors—is the Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe at 236 Broad St. The store sells handmade ice cream bars, drumsticks, handmade chocolates and candies, coffee drinks, smoothies, milkshakes and toys. Bite into a homemade caramel apple that is cloaked in chocolate or M&Ms.

Nevada City’s proximity to the Sacramento Valley makes it popular with day trippers, but it also makes an ideal weekend getaway. The area’s lodging runs the gamut, including inns, hotels, motels and B&Bs.

Piety Hill Cottages, Motel and B&B. at 523 Sacramento Street, is a converted 1933 motor court inn. It is less than 1/2 mile walk to downtown Nevada City. The accommodations include nine cottages, with features such as kitchenettes, coffee makers, TVs and refrigerators.

Other motels in the area include the Holiday Lodge at 1221 E Main St. in Grass Valley, which includes a complimentary continental breakfast, coffee makers, mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi, and a swimming pool.

After repeat trips to Nevada City, some visitors decide to stay. Realtors include Recreation Realty/Nevada Co. Properties, at 18848 Hwy. 20 and 432 Broad Street in the historic downtown, which are experts in the region.

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