Below the ski belt: Satellite ski towns

“Unless you have a family inheritance, or somehow snagged one of the few affordable rentals, living in a traditional ski town is a less viable option than ever,” observes Powder Magazine. “Unable to afford the old ones, young, adventurous people are making new ones.” Though a little farther from the ski slopes, so-called satellite ski […]

Gold Rush towns: Pairing food and wine with winter sports

THOUGH MOUNTAIN RESORTS ARE appealing, some people would rather stay out of the deep snow and take easy day-trips to the slopes. In Colorado, Après Ski Denver now has a following. Here’s a locals’ secret in the Sierra foothills—historic towns such as Nevada City, Grass Valley, Auburn, Sutter Creek and Plymouth are all less congested […]

Cooking classes abound at Tess’, BriarPatch and Wheyward Girl

“No one is born a great cook. One learns by doing.”—JULIA CHILD Winter is an ideal time to sign up for a cooking class in the foothills. We’re indoors more, thanks to the wintry weather, and a cooking class helps you master new recipes, perhaps with the kitchenware you received for the holidays—French cookware, a […]

Tasting notes: Andretti, Andis, Bent Metal, Smith and Sierra Starr

INDY 500 WINNING TEAM INTO CALIFORNIA WINE Nevada City native Alexander Rossi won the 100th Indianapolis 500 for Andretti Autosport this summer. He was the first Californian to win the race since 1955. As it turns out, the winning Indy 500 team is into California wine, not just race cars. Andretti Winery in Napa was […]

The Sierra and its surrounding foothills: A model for sustainability

“Of all the mountain ranges I have climbed, I like the Sierra Nevada the best,” John Muir wrote in The Atlantic magazine in 1899. “Its marvelous beauty, displayed in striking and alluring forms, woes the admiring visitor.” Writings by Muir and Mark Twain, and photos by Ansel Adams have introduced multiple generations to Yosemite, Lake […]

Bar Art: Gold Rush-era Craftsmanship

MANY OF THE RESTAURANTS AND BARS in the foothills are steeped in history. They are located in handsome Gold Rush-era buildings. Inside are carved wooden back bars—“elaborate and ornate made of rich woods, flawless mirrors and stained glass,” as the most famous producer Brunswick explains. The bars continue to be a focal point of these […]

Restaurants booming in the Sierra foothills

WARNINGS OF ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY isn’t stopping restaurants from expanding. Sixty-four percent of restaurateurs told the National Restaurant Association they recently made a capital expenditure, and 62 percent said they plan to spend more in coming months. Sales of food services are double the pace of retail sales. And employment at restaurants and watering holes has […]

Art Works Gallery epitomizes art boom in Grass Valley

“THE CENTER FOR THE ARTS is the focal point of the new arts movement—one that can be traced from the emigration of hipsters and hippies to the high country in the 1960s and ’70s,” the San Francisco Examiner wrote in 1999, in an article titled “The arts boom in Grass Valley.” Nevada County is no […]

InConcert Sierra presents Vienna Boys Choir

INCONCERT SIERRA BEGAN AS THE TWIN Cities Concert Association 70 years ago, making it the oldest established performing arts organization in the foothills. The first concert, at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building in October 1946, featured Charles Kullman, tenor of the San Francisco Metropolitan Opera. “It is a delight to have an audience like […]

‘Tis the Season: Holiday events in the foothills

Cornish Christmas Fridays, Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23; 6-9 p.m. Recapture the spirit of Christmas past in historic downtown Grass Valley during the annual Cornish Christmas Celebration. Started in 1967 to preserve Grass Valley’s Cornish heritage and holiday traditions, Cornish Christmas remains one of the region’s most popular events. Mill and West Main […]

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