Day Trips & Nearby

Spend the day exploring Placer Valley and beyond.

Top Seven Day Trips

Auburn - Discover small town charm with the many boutique shops that line the streets of Old Town Auburn. You can explore several historic spots around town such as the Old Town Firehouse, the Bernhard Museum or Gold Rush Museum. Hidden Valley Regional Park is a perfect spot to hike or bike as it offers a variety of trails and loops that take you to a beautiful waterfall. Drive time to Auburn is about 30 minutes from Placer Valley.

Folsom/Folsom Lake - This little city is worth the trip as you can explore the old town area that has charming antique shops, delicious dining options and the Folsom History Museum. The Folsom City Zoo is a must for children and all animal lovers as it is a not a traditional zoo but a sanctuary with rescued wild animals and offers rides on a darling little steam train that circles around the facility. Folsom Lake State Recreation Area at the Beals Point or Granite Beach are both wonderful spots to enjoy a sunny day at the beach, hiking the trails, fishing or boating. Drive time to Folsom is about 30 minutes.

Empire Mine State Historic Park - This beautiful state park is a true gem with close to 850 acres that include miles of scenic trails for hiking, biking, running, dog walking and horseback riding. Enjoy a memorable day at one of the oldest, largest and most prosperous gold mines in North American history where you can take guided tours and learn all about this mine that was in use from 1850 until 1956 and produced nearly 6 million ounces of gold. Drive time from Placer Valley is about one hour.

Placerville - Considered one of the original Gold Rush towns, Placerville was known as Hangtown in its earlier days. One historic landmark that you will definitely want to see is the Bell Tower on the town’s Main Street. There are also plenty of boutiques and cafes in the town to enjoy. Drive time to Placerville is about 50 minutes from Placer Valley.

Coloma - Home of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park, this charming, tiny town is a must-do day trip for history lovers when visiting Placer Valley. This gorgeous state park is one of the most significant historic sites in the nation as it preserves a living portrait of the story that unfolded into “Yellow Fever” and is credited for putting California on the map. Located along the historic Highway 49 and the South Fork of the American River the drive time to Coloma is just under an hour from Placer Valley.

South Yuba River State Park - Whether you enjoy swimming, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching or gold panning this state park has a little something for everyone. The area includes the longest single-span covered bridge in the world (currently closed for restoration), the steep rugged canyon of the South Yuba River and the Independence Trail - the first identified wheelchair-accessible wilderness trail in the country and is a perfect outing for the outdoor enthusiast. Drive time to the South Yuba River State Park is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes from Placer Valley.

Old Town Sacramento - Old Sacramento is a unique 28-acre National Historic Landmark District and State Historic Park that celebrates California's rich history with the Gold Rush of 1849. The district is located along the beautiful Sacramento River and is bustling with activity that includes shopping, dining, entertainment, historical attractions and world-renowned museums. Must-sees are the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, California State Railroad Museum and California Automobile Museum. Drive time to Old Town Sacramento from Placer Valley is only about 30 minutes.