Gold Country autumn

Escape into the Sierra foothills for new inns, fine dining, and family-owned wineries

Holly's Hill Vineyards
Photo: Brown Cannon III

In the folded foothills of the Sierra Nevada, California's Gold Country, autumn lingers long into October, offering blue skies, tawny hills, and grapevines tinged fierce red.

Once beautiful but sleepy, this region is now beautiful but sophisticated. Good new restaurants are popping up in unexpected places. Even more strikingly, an influx of creative new winemakers has made the Gold Country one of the most fascinating wine regions in the West. 


Our Gold Country route runs 70 miles from Placerville south to Murphys via State 49 and State 4. For information, visit:


Alchemy Market & Wine Bar. Great soups, sandwiches, nice selection of local wines. $$; open daily; 191 Main St., Murphys; 209/728-0700.

Cafe Luna. In downtown Placerville, a shady retreat for eclectic California cuisine and area wines. $$$; open Wed-Sun; 451 Main St.; 530/642-8669.

Grounds. $$; open daily; 402 Main, Murphys; 209/728-8663.

Taste. $$$; open Thu-Mon; 9402 Main St., Plymouth; 209/245-3463.

Tomei's. Manhattan supper-club feel in downtown Placerville. $$$; open Tue-Sun; 384 Main; 530/626-9766.

V Restaurant and Bar. Ambitious, Mediterranean-influenced cuisine. $$$$; open Wed-Sun; 402 Main, Murphys; 209/728-0107.



  • Gold Country

    Rediscovering Gold Country

    Once beautiful but sleepy, the little towns of the Sierra foothills are growing more sophisticated. Autumn is the perfect time to explore them.

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