Visit Nevada City: Home to the South Yuba River


SPRING IS A GLORIOUS TIME to visit the Gold Rush towns in the foothills, and few are more picturesque and enjoyable than Nevada City. Wildflowers are in full bloom on surrounding hillsides and along the wild and scenic South Yuba River.

The 59th annual Nevada City Bicycle Classic is June 1-2. It is one of the premier sporting events in the foothills, and the largest and oldest bike race on the West Coast. The weekend also includes a running race and a brewfest, featuring local beer from Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co. and ol’ Republic Brewery, among others.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Nevada City area — bordering the Tahoe National Forest and Yuba River — offers walking, hiking and mountain biking trails for every taste, age and ability.

If a stroll around an historic downtown is more to a visitor’s liking, Nevada City is home to a diverse mix of galleries, artisan boutiques, retail shops, wine tasting rooms and restaurants. New businesses abound, such as the City Council coffee house on Broad Street.

At the Golden Era lounge, handcrafted cocktails are served under a gold-tin ceiling surrounded by red roses, a handsome wooden bar and a cozy fireplace. Live jazz and blues music is performed on Friday and Saturday nights.

Up the street, KVMR 89.5 Community Radio and the Nevada Theatre Commission collaborated to build an 8,000 sq.-ft. building behind the historic theater at the corner of Bridge and Spring streets in Nevada City. It also added needed backstage space to California’s oldest theater.

The new radio station building, combined with the Nevada Theatre and Miners Foundry, has helped create a performing arts district in the historic downtown.

Spring Street also is home to Nevada City Winery, Nevada County’s largest and oldest winery. The tasting room, at 321 Spring St., has been updated, and its hours have been expanded to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. An art gallery within the tasting room hosts a different local artist each month.

Along with the Nevada City Winery, the National Hotel is one of the town’s oldest businesses. Like the historic Holbrooke in Grass Valley, the National is undergoing renovation to return it to its former glory. “Both projects are making great progress,” said Sherry Villanueva, co-owner and managing partner at Acme Hospitality, which is leading the effort.

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