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10 Best Things To Do In Placerville, California

Melanie
Updated Oct 30, 2018

For a small city, Placerville has a lot of attractions – and history – to offer to its visitors. Its roots can be traced back to the Gold Rush, when it was still known as Hangtown, by virtue of the fact that it was one of the first places that meted out justice through a hemp rope. Nowadays, it has put its grim past behind it, although its heritage can still be seen in the town’s architecture. Follow our guide for the best things to do during your visit.

1. Stroll across Main Street

Looking for something to do today? How about some arts and crafts on Main Street in Placerville? Main Street is closed today (Sunday, 8/14) for our annual Craft Faire from 8am-3pm. Check it out!

Posted by Placerville Downtown Association on Sunday, 14 August 2016

What better way to get a feel of the history of Placerville than by walking downtown, where the streets are lined with nineteenth century architecture? The buildings themselves are well-preserved by the city and its residents, so you need not worry about getting rundown buildings in your photos.

One of the most notable structures you will see there is the Bell Tower. Back during the Gold Rush era, mining camps were prone to catch fire because these were constructed of flammable materials. The Bell Tower was constructed in 1898 so that the citizens could quickly call the volunteer firemen in case of fire. Today, it serves as the gathering place for Placerville’s events, such as parades and celebrations.

Main Street

Address: Placerville, CA

Website: Main Street

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2. Explore the artifacts at El Dorado County Historical Museum

The El Dorado County Museum gives people a peek at how life was back in the Gold Rush era. It also provides some information about the Native American tribes, such as the Miwok, the Washoe, and the Maidu, living in the vicinity.

El Dorado County Historical Museum

Address: 100 Placerville Dr, Placerville, CA

Opening Hours: 10 am – 4 pm, Wednesdays to Saturdays; 12 nn – 4 pm, Sundays

Duration: around 2 hours required

Access: The museum is located off Highway 50, and is next to the El Dorado County Fair Grounds

Contact: +1 5306215865

Website: El Dorado County Historical Museum

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3. Find out more about the Gold Rush at the Gold Bug Park and Mine

VOLUNTEERS WANTED -- BIG REWARDS You can work in a REAL gold mine at Gold Bug Park! We're looking for tour guides,...

Posted by Gold Bug Park & Mine on Friday, 22 January 2016

If you are still not over the gold fever, you can visit one of the old gold mines in Placerville. Gold Bug Park and Mine is the only gold mine in California that welcomes visitors. The self-guided audio tour is narrated by a California Gold Rush miner, who talks about the tools of his trade, and how he uses these to mine for gold. Once you are done with your tour, you can have a picnic there. Outdoor lovers can also go hiking and explore the grounds of the park.

Gold Bug Park and Mine

Address: 2635 Gold Bug Ln, Placerville, CA

Opening Hours: April to October: 10 am - 4 pm daily; November to March: 12 nn - 4 pm weekends only

Duration: 1-2 hours

Access: Gold Bug Park and Mine can be found along the El Dorado Freeway 50, near the Gold Country Highway 49

Website: Gold Bug Park and Mine

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4. Try your luck at Red Hawk Casino

If you want to make like yesteryear’s gold hunters and seek your own fortune, try your luck at the Red Hawk Casino, which is owned by the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. Red Hawk Casino is not just known for the gaming experience it provides visitors. It also offers gourmet food, being the home of five in-house restaurants. Also part of the casino is a sports bar, a stage bar, an indoor playground, a club, a video game arcade, and a gymnasium.

Red Hawk Casino

Address: 1 Red Hawk Parkway, Placerville, CA

Contact: +1 8885733495

Website: Red Hawk Casino

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5. Go on a wine tasting tour

Source: Pixabay

The El Dorado County, including Placerville, is known for its many wineries. There are tour groups that bring people on a wine tasting tour across the area. If you only have time to visit one winery, a good choice would be Boeger Winery, Boa Vista, Holly’s Hill Vineyard, and Chateau Rodin, as all four have wine tasting rooms for guests to sample their various vintages.

Special mention goes to Boa Vista, which does not just feature a winery, it also has its own bakery and farmers’ market, allowing visitors to buy fresh produce from them daily. It also offers crisp apple ciders and different fruit wines.

Boeger Winery

Address: 1709 Carson Rd, Placerville, CA

Website: Boeger Winery

Boa Vista

Address: 2952 Carson Road, Placerville, CA

Website: Boa Vista

Holly’s Hill Vineyard

Address: 3680 Leisure Ln, Placerville, CA

Website: Holly’s Hill Vineyard

Chateau Rodin

Address: 4771 Greenhills Rd, Placerville, CA

Website: Chateau Rodin

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6. Explore El Dorado National Forest

#WeekendGetaway South Fork of Silver Creek, El Dorado National Forest Photo courtesy of 3datadesign.com

Posted by Bay Area FasTrak on Saturday, 15 April 2017

Those who love camping or picnicking can visit El Dorado National Forest, which is home to 80 camp grounds and picnic sites. Several picturesque lakes can also be found there, as well as streams and rivers. Those who like hiking can take one of the trails there to see the various flora and fauna endemic to the park.

El Dorado National Forest

Address: 100 Forni Rd, Placerville, CA

Opening Hours: 8 am – 430 pm.

Contact: +1 916-622-5061

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7. Watch one of the races at Placerville Speedway

Five-time Placerville champion Andy Forsberg is one of the many in position and eligible to take home $4,500 if he can...

Posted by Placerville Speedway on Friday, 14 April 2017

Placerville Speedway holds races every Saturday night, with fans from all over the county trooping there to watch the competition. It is considered as one of the oldest racing venues in California, as well as a favorite among dirt track racing fans.

Placerville Speedway

Address: 100 Placerville Dr, Placerville, CA

Opening Hours: Ticket sales open at 3 pm. Racing starts at 6 pm

Website: Placerville Speedway

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8. Get vintage treasures as souvenirs at Fox and Forage

I'm so excited to make these into signs. Exclusively in store only. I offer custom if you want it to say something special for a holiday gift. These should be in the shop soon!

Posted by Fox and Forage on Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Fox and Forage is a store along Main Street that sells vintage items, from jewelry to furniture. This is a great place to come and hunt for unique souvenirs and gifts to bring home to your loved ones.

Fox and Forage

Address: Main Street, Placerville, CA

Website: Fox and Forage

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9. Checkout the Hangman’s Tree Saloon

Made it to Placerville. The statue with the stretched neck was kidnapped last year but found and reconditioned. The bar below is being rebuild.

Posted by Danny Perkins Sr. on Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Hangman’s Tree Saloon recalls the grim history of Placerville, not only for displaying an effigy of a man hanging from a rope on its second floor, but also because it marks the actual spot where the hangings took place in the 1800s. Those who like getting scared may also want to ask the diners or the barmen there about the ghosts that are rumored to haunt the place.

Hangman’s Tree Saloon

Address: Main Street, Placerville, CA

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10. Go hiking or biking at the Rubicon Trail System

Posted by Jeep Jamboree on Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The Rubicon Trail System is a good destination of choice for those who seek outdoor adventure, be it hiking, biking or even riding an ATV. The trail was originally made as a trading route, and then it evolved into a stagecoach route. Those who love taking four-wheel drives across the county can always go through here as well.

Rubicon Trail System

Address: Placerville, CA

Website: Rubicon Trail System

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Golden attraction

Placerville may no longer be visited today by gold seekers, but it nonetheless offers something equal to its visitors: memories of a wonderful visit to a historic town. Experience having a memorable trip worth its weight in gold in Placerville.

This article was originally published on May 19, 2017

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Melanie Sison was bitten by the travel bug when she was younger. She was able to go around her home country as a development worker. She considers freelancing for Trip 101 to be a combination of...Read more

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