Ski Season is here:
For those in the Bay Area, Placerville, 2 – 2 1/2 hours away, is the perfect location for a quick ski weekend. Ski on Saturday and do a little shopping and wine tasting, safely below the snowline on Sunday.
For a fun-filled Winter Wine Weekend in El Dorado, here is a suggested itinerary:
Day 1: Friday Alternative 1-
Start your weekend at Gold Hill Vineyard and Brewery
Head out early on Friday to beat the traffic. This scenic detour adds less than 30 min to your drive and is the first winery you will encounter on your way to Placerville. Located one mile from the famous gold mining town of Coloma and Sutter’s Mill. Their Fireplace Friday’s (5:30 – 7:30) are sure to warm you up. Enjoy live local musicians, food truck fare and Gold Hill’s wines and their own craft brews.
Continue on another 15 min to Placerville and settle into your stay at Coloma Spring Suites.
Ready for dinner? Historic Main Street is a 5 -10 min walk through the Coloma Spring Historic District. For restaurant suggestions see our Restaurants Map,
Day 1: Friday Alternative 2
Go slow and have dinner in your neighborhood. A weekend in the foothill feels world’s away from the Bay Area but is an easy 2 2 1/2 hour drive from Bay Area locations. By the time you are done with dinner ,the traffic has cleared out. You will arrive in Placerville in time for a good nights sleep and wake up ready to start your weekend.
Day 2: Alternative 1 – Skiing?
Sierra at Tahoe is less an hour away. The scenery along the way is spectacular. After a full day of skiing head back to Placerville where you are safely below the snowline. This makes your drive home on Sunday a breeze.
Day 2: Alternative 2 – Main Street Shopping / Wine Tasting / Apple Hill / Christmas Trees
Wine Tasting in El Dorado.
With over 150 years of history steeped in gold and agriculture, the El Dorado region is poised for its newfound resurgence in viticulture. Unique vineyard soils and a high elevation create a superior environment for a vast array of varietals. The region is gaining recognition for its ability to grow quality grapes that exhibit a sense of place. For more information about El Dorado and wines visit ElDoradoWines.org.
A few favorites close by include Nello Olivo. The wine tasting cellar, in the basement of one of the most beautiful Victorian Mansions in Placerville, is a five-minute walk from your suite at Coloma Spring Suites. The Olivos have chosen to grow old-world style grapes—particularly those common to regions of Italy, Nello’s ancestral home—which flourish in the California Sierra Foothills climate. Wine Country possesses a lush array of wineries. Look for dinners/ poetry reading and other events on the Events Calendar. The next closest is Boeger Winery. This is one of the oldest wineries in the region with a tree shaded, creek-side picnic area. Pack a picnic lunch with the sandwiches at The Farm Table on Main Street. To find some of the other 70+ wineries check out ElDoradoWines.org . While visiting the wineries speckled throughout Apple Hill stop by some of the apple farms. Even when the harvesting season is over several farms, including High Hill Ranch – Boa Vista Orchards – Abel’s Apple Acres, stay open all year with freshly made pies / freshly pressed cider and seasonal craft fairs. The region is also home to over 30 choose-and-cut tree farms. Spend some time outside with your family or friends making memories picking out that perfect tree for your home. Main Street offers a unique shopping experience for art/ antiques / clothing and gift items. . Main street merchants stay open late at least once a month for a street fair Visit-ElDorado.com for more information.
Brunch and the Sunday Paper
Wine Cellar Stock-up
Hike the Placerville Trail.
Stock your wine cellar for your holiday parties on Sunday. An abundant wine region, El Dorado has a diverse selection of tasting rooms to explore and discover new gifts. Head to the charming area of Camino during the month of December to take advantage of Magnum Days at Madrona Vineyards with discounts on large format and library bottles for your holiday table. If you agree that wine is bottled poetry then head to Nello Olvio Winery for their monthly Poetry Sunday Live. Enjoy an afternoon of fine wine paired with poetic words in the charming atmosphere of the wine tasting cellar. Take the 20-minute drive through the pine-wooded mountains to acclaimed Skinner Vineyards and Winery; known for their focus on hand-crafted Rhône style wines. Join them for their Second Sundays, an intimate wine and food tasting experience hosted in the cellar tasting room. Explore the flavors of the holidays and how to perfectly pair them with Skinner wines. Stretch your legs with a hike along the Placerville Trail, part of the Rails-to-Trails movement. It’s features include a railway tunnel and the Weber Creek railway bridge that soars high above the creek. The trail extends from Camino to Diamond Springs, passing through Smith Flat and downtown Placerville. For more hikes and other Outdoor activities see our map Placerville – “Old Hangtown” was founded in the gold rush.
Today it has echoes of the gold rush in its buildings on and around Main Street. Today’s residents and
visitors have found gold in a unique refuge from city life. Vineyards, Apple and Christmas tree farms dot the countryside. There is spectacular scenery for hiking, biking, and white water rafting.
Placerville’s Main Street is a center for fine dining. The largest Casino in the foothills, Red Hawk Casino, is located within the city limits – 10 min from Main Street. For more details consult our custom Google maps
Placerville Paths is a great resource for hiking in the region.
If you need a place to stay while visiting the area, consider Coloma Spring Suites, a pleasant 5-10 min walk from Old Town Placerville, Coloma Spring Suites‘ location provides you with the amenities of shops, services, entertainment and restaurants to make your stay more pleasant. Premier wineries, Apple Hill ranches, historic Coloma, the American River – for swimming and rafting, and the Eldorado National Forest – for hiking – are all located within minutes of Main Street Placerville and Coloma Spring Suites.
This region boasts views of the majestic Sierra Range. Plan a picnic in the scenic picnic areas on the farms and wineries. This area of the Sierra is ideal for boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, or just relaxing. For lake fishing and boating, Sly Park Lake is 20 minutes west.
Pollock Pines and Camino are located just east of Placerville on US Highway 50. In these two towns, you’ll find magnificent forests of pine, cedar and oak, rushing mountain streams, deer and other wildlife in their natural setting. Camino offers the pastoral farm and orchard scenes known as “Apple Hill”.
In the fall, the Apple Hill Farms open and activities expand to include some old-fashioned fun. In addition to fresh-picked apples, apple pies and fresh pressed cider, there are crafts fairs, fishing holes, hay mazes, pony, train, hay rides, and more.
In winter, snow sports are nearby at popular ski areas and show parks.
The Coloma/ Lotus Valley is located 15 min north on a winding, bucolic stretch of State Highway 49. Summer in the valley is a time for cooling off in the river. Visitors come for the great rafting and kayaking that the clear, swift waters of the South Fork of the American River offer.