Nevada City named one of the top 15 small cities in California

“When thinking of California, many people are familiar with cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The Golden State is also home to many picturesque small towns and villages that will inspire every visitor,” according to “We’ve put together a list of some of the loveliest places to be found in California, from coastal charmers to mountain beauties.

“Frommer’s calls the ‘entire town’ of Nevada City in Nevada County CA a historical landmark. They ranked the town among the nine ‘Best small towns and villages’ in California. In 1856, however, it was actually the third largest city in the state of California. While the name ‘Nevada City’ rings with echoes of Las Vegas glitz and glamour, the town’s foundation was a much more dangerous and high-stakes sort of gambling.

“If you’re a fan of the 49ers, this is where they get their name: Nevada City was established in 1849, when settlers moved to the Old West in search of gold and took their Victorian architecture and design aesthetics along for the ride.

“A town that was once rich with gold is now rich with preserved history, but it’s not limited to gold rush relics. Frommer’s notes that you can even see real-life possessions of the infamous Donner Party in Nevada City; also, that it was along the Nevada City trail that the eight-family wagon party made gruesome history. However, the environment is much more forgiving now.

“Forests and rivers surround Nevada City’s historic downtown streets. Some of these rivers were popular spots for gold panning when, according to The Great Towns of Northern California, Nevada City was a California ‘mother lode’ of gold. Surprisingly, you can actually participate in some gold panning of your own; in 2008, the gold market started booming again, and parts of the river are favorite spots for old-school prospectors.

“Classic saloons, welcoming and romantic bed-and-breakfasts, and old-school movie theaters share space with specialty antique shops that display artifacts from the town’s glory days as a gold hub. You can even spend the night in the record-setting National Hotel, which the Chamber of Commerce says has been in operation since the 1850s, longer than any hotel west of the Rocky Mountains.”

The article and the list of the other towns is here.

(Photo: Dave McLellan)

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