You could say that the town of Murphys got its second start because of a swimming pool. More than 50 years ago, Barden Stevenot, then age 11, visited a ranch near the Calaveras County town. "My family took me out there and they had this old concrete pool," Stevenot recalls. "I had never seen a pool before. I sort of wished on it, and I ended up getting it."
That is, 22 years later, Stevenot ended up buying the entire ranch, pool and all. Then he did what any good Californian would do with 156 acres of fertile land: He planted vineyards.
Today, Murphys―between Yosemite and Lake Tahoe―is home to half a dozen wineries of note. Add to that a growing number of sophisticated but casual restaurants, the town's historical charm, and the spring scenery of the surrounding Sierra foothills, and you have every reason to visit this month.