Nevada City, The Victorian Town Still Seems Dusted with Gold

Historic Main Street and Seasonal Events Just Part of Nevada City’s Cultural Appeal


Whether you are ready to stroll a genuine Victorian Main Street, explore trails along Deer Creek or attend one the many events offered in this gem of the Gold Country, Nevada City holds the charm and appeal that continues to land it on a wide range of must-visit lists, from Sunset to Outside magazine with honorable mentions in such noteworthy travel publications as Lonely Planet and Frommer’s.

Settled in 1849 during the California Gold Rush, Nevada City has retained much of its small town color, historic buildings and cultural heritage. With easy access from Sacramento, San Francisco or Reno, Nevada City is at the gateway to the Sierra and provides friendly charm, character and range of options any time of the year.

Start with History and Walking Shoes

Nevada City has many buildings on both California and National Historic Registers in its core Historic District. To get a sense of place, park your car and walk the town. Begin at Ott’s Assay Office, now home to Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, at 132 Main Street. Here you will find history books, walking tour guides and information on local events and suggestions to suit your tastes, time and the season. Public parking lot map here. There is also limited parking on the street, with meters which take coins.

Nevada City’s storied past includes pivotal moments in California’s history, from the weighing in of Comstock Lode silver at Ott’s Assay Office, to the 1895 signing of Pacific Gas & Electric co-founder Eugene De Sabla’s original hydroelectric contracts in the National Hotel (211 Broad Street), or journalist, attorney and  statesman Aaron Augustus Sargent’s efforts in obtaining the vote for women as well authoring the Pacific Railroad Act. (The Sargent House at 449 Broad Street was built in 1856.)

Steeped in Culture, with an Appetite for Fresh Local

Art galleries find a friendly home in Nevada City’s 16 acre Historic District, along with artisan boutiques eateries, bars and brew pubs. Ready for farm fresh? Nevada City is home to many farm to table restaurants featuring seasonal food. Award-winning breweries as well notable wineries and seriously dedicated tap houses make the ultimate pub crawl possible. And yes, you can find festival wear suitable for Burning Man and beyond among a wide range of shops right alongside Hallmark’s movie, “The Christmas Card” scene locations.

The Nevada Theatre (401 Broad Street) is California’s oldest original-use theatre. It opened in September 1865. Where else can you watch a play, hear a concert or take in an independent film where Mark Twain,  Jack London, Emma Nevada and Lotta Crabtree visited or performed regularly?

It’s Happening Out There

Nevada City’s elevation allows for excellent year round hiking with a wide range of trails, from the easiest meander along dogwood-lined historic Cascade Canal, to a trek along the Wild and Scenic Yuba River on Hoyt’s Trail.

Cyclists find an abundance of options for on-road and off road. The second oldest cycling competition in the US, the Nevada City Classic will hold its 59th consecutive race year June 2, 2019.

For a pleasant afternoon, combine a bit of dining, shopping and culture with an easy stroll through town, admiring historical sites alongside heritage trees. Many deciduous trees came West with the Miner’s families, still others were developed by famed nurseryman Felix Gillet.

Mild or Wild Side Adventures

Check out the events below, or if you want to plan a special outing, explore Outlandish Experiences, whose byline, ‘adventure like a local’ holds true with a wide range of hikes, cultural talks and unconventional outings.

Nevada City Seasonal Events

Note: Unless otherwise noted, events are in Downtown Nevada City Historic District

Nevada City Craft Fair Spring 2019

Nevada City Craft Fair is a juried exhibition of makers curated in the aesthetics of the modern rustic lifestyle that NCCF embodies.

Sunday April 28, 2019 10am-5pm

Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA

More Details here

Nevada City Farmer’s Market

Farm fresh is not just a saying—come find what’s in season and meet the folks who help keep restaurants full of flavorful cuisine.

January thru May 1st/3rd Sat 9am-Noon

Union Street, Nevada City, CA

Check summer market times/dates here.

Nevada City Bicycle Classic

Join the second oldest continuously running bicycle race in the country.  The 59th running of the Nevada City Classic brings world-class racers to the scenic streets for a truly challenging course.

Sunday June 2, 2019

Watch for details on the NC Beer Fest as well as race updates here.

Nevada City Summer Nights

The streets come alive with art, music and vendors for this not to be missed experience. Locals come to find neighbors and friends, visitors get to hear and see some of Nevada City’s best talent and offerings.

July 17th, 24 & 31, 2019 (Wednesdays) 6-9:30pm

Learn more here.

Nevada City Film Festival

Indie film lovers can get a look at what’s fresh and enjoy a full array of cultural and outdoor activities, too!  

August 23-30, 2019

Event info and tickets here.

Nevada City Constitution Day Parade & Celebration

Enjoy Broad Street in full historic regalia with plenty of local color!

Sept 14 & 15, 2019

Parade is Sunday 2pm on Broad Street.

Nevada City Halloween

What could be more spooky than a tour of a historic building, stories in a cemetery or perhaps a bit of ghoulish costumes for a night on the town, Nevada City style? Watch for details on this and other October events at Nevada City Chamber of Commerce and

Nevada City Winter Craft Fair

Nevada City Craft Fair is a juried exhibition of makers. The 2018 event featured over 60 of the top local Etsy crafters, designers, and artisans offering handmade home decorator, apparel, bath products, stationary, art, food, drinks and more.

December 15, 2019 10am-5pm (Join early for the best buys!)

Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA

Victorian Christmas

Dec 8, 15 & 22 2019 (Sun) 1:30-6pm

Dec 11 & 18  2019 (Wed) 5-9pm

Always a favorite, it’s hard to beat the combination of cheerful twinkling lights, roasting chestnuts and happy vendors all sprinkled with an array of Victorian costumed attendees and street musicians.

Getting There

Nevada City, CA is located just 60 miles from Sacramento with easy access from Interstate 80, Highway 20 and Highway 49.

Set your GPS for Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, 132 Main Street, Nevada City, CA.

Editors’ Recommendations

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