Sacramento, the state capital, is a highlight of a visit to California's Gold Country
Sacramento, Calif. // (c) 2012 Wayne Hsieh /
Sacramento, the state capital, is a highlight of a visit to California's Gold Country
Sacramento, Calif. // (c) 2012 Wayne Hsieh /

California’s Gold Country has attracted adventurers for more than 150 years. Fortune seekers known as the 49ers first flocked here in the mid-1800s, looking to stake their claim on California’s seemingly endless veins of gold.

The region is home to Sacramento, the state’s capital, as well as an endless lineup of charming towns retaining their gold rush-era feel.

While it is true that most gold seekers did not discover great veins of gold, plenty of fortunes were made and lost in this part of the state. Enterprising businesses created support systems for California’s earliest tourists and today the region continues to welcome visitors with open arms.

Visitors can still pan for gold along the rivers that wind their way through the region, but the more intrepid visitors can enjoy high-speed whitewater rafting along the American River. The waterways also support fishing, kayaking and soft-adventure rafting.

California’s Gold Country also fronts the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and serves as one of the gateways to Yosemite National Park. And although the state of California boasts just more than 10 percent of the entire nation’s population, the 3,200-some people who reside in Gold Country’s Sierra County are proud of the fact that not even one stoplight graces their roadways. The area, however, is rich in outdoor activities, sporting more than 100 lakes and ponds and a crisscrossing networking of hilly trails.


* Sacramento International Airport


* Sacramento: California’s Capital
* River Rafting on the American River
* Historic Highway 49
* Marshall Gold Discovery State Park


* Auburn
* Folsom
* Grass Valley
* Marysville
* Placerville
* Sacramento
* Sierra City
* Sonora
* Sutter Creek

California’s Gold Country on Flickr
View the California Glitter: California Gold Country gallery on Flickr.

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Monica Poling, the editor of Travel Glitter, is a Starbucks-addicted, video-game obsessed travel writer with a weakness for hotel rooms with a view, luxury spas, and sometimes Hello Kitty. Her dream trips include ice fishing in Ohio's Put-In Bay, driving Highway 50, the "Loneliest Road," across Nevada and sailing around the horn of South America.