Even once you have decided that you are ready for a getaway, sometimes all the decisions can be overwhelming. Here is our solution; a 3-day itinerary to Calaveras County, CA, a location full of wineries, natural wonders, and plenty of dining spots to satisfy your cravings. All you have to do is reserve your room, pack your bags, and choose your favorites from our suggestions of things to do. Call us if there is another adventure on your mind. We are happy to help. And if you want to travel with a larger group, we also have whole-house vacation rentals. Are you ready to start your getaway?
We recommend Murphys as the hub of your 3-day adventure. If you are unfamiliar with this charming town, Muphys is between Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. It is also just a short three-hour drive from San Francisco. Murphys has become an escape from Silicon Valley because of its ideal location above the fog and below the snowline.
Day 1 | Arrival
Spend your first couple of hours after arriving drinking in the combination of old and new in downtown Murphys. Known as the “Queen of the Sierras,” it’s bustling with chic tasting rooms, boutiques, and picturesque remnants of the gold rush period of the 1800s. Stroll down the tree-lined Main Street, and visit some local shops. From kitchen goods to toys, galleries, and collectibles, you will surely find something for yourself or a gift for someone special.
Go and check into your comfortable, thoroughly modern guest room. Enjoy a glass of wine on your private porch or the Dunbar House Inn’s full wraparound front porch. Unpack and take a quick soak in your jacuzzi tub or soaker if you have chosen a room with those amenities.
The only decision you have now is where to go for dinner. We have a list of favorites depending on your mood and degree of hunger.
Day 2 | Options
When you awaken on Day 2, having the entire day ahead of you will feel luxurious. Stoke the furnace for the day with an unforgettable breakfast, either in our dining room or outdoors on the patio, if you choose. Chat with fellow guests and see if they have already explored areas of Calaveras County. Here are two options for your day:
- Calaveras Big Tree State Park: One of our most treasured landmarks is the giant Sequoia trees at Calaveras Big Tree State Park. Take a thrilling 5-mile hike in South Grove, where you can see dozens of enormous trees. You can also find swimming, snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, and fishing at the Park.
- Mercer Caverns: Another thrilling natural attraction is Mercer Caverns, where you can tour this underground wonder. Initially discovered in 1885, explorers found several prehistoric skeletons of ancient Native Americans and the remains of an extinct Sierra Ground Sloth. The tour will take you the length of the cave (3300 feet) and to a depth of almost 200 feet.
- Digging for Gold: A third choice is to visit Angel’s Camp and spend an afternoon digging for gold. There is no guarantee that you will find it, but you will learn quite a bit of history and get a feel for the early gold rush.
- Visit Wineries: If you want a more relaxing day, plan a visit to some of our local wineries and unwind. You can visit several of Main Street’s many tasting rooms or wineries. If you want to try several smaller wineries, we have some suggestions or use our complete guide.
- Check Out the Arts Scene: Spend the day visiting local galleries, starting with Art on Main in Murphys or Quyle Kilns for pottery and maybe a blacksmith demonstration. Then make your way to the Calaveras Arts Council, where you will find art and gifts made by local artists. Finally, finish your adventure at the Petroglyphe Gallery, one of the finest galleries in northern California.
- Hop in your Car: Immerse yourself in the countryside, pick up drinks and snacks, and take a drive. Try some backroads and find fields of wildflowers. Another option is a wine and history loop that will stop at the Angels Camp Museum and drive through ranches and wineries.
Day 3 | Final Fun
After another fantastic breakfast, how should you spend your final day? You can choose one of the options from yesterday that you didn’t have time for, or maybe something totally different! Book a massage, so you leave your getaway glowing and relaxed, or take a leap and set up a lesson to do some rock climbing.
Return for Another Day
After your 3-day itinerary in Calaveras County, CA, it is clear that a return visit is necessary. There is so much more to see and do. Before you forget how much fun you had, start planning now for your next visit. Every season in Murphys, there are new events, holidays, and ways to celebrate each other!