Insider’s Guide to California Gold Country | 3-Day Itinerary

Experience all the best California Gold Country has to offer with a welcome escape in Sutter Creek. We know that life can get busy sometimes, so we’ve put together a 3-day itinerary packed with exciting activities, that way you can spend less time planning and more time having fun! Taste delicious wines, see the surrounding area, and enjoy fewer crowds if you stay midweek, the perfect time for a peaceful getaway in California Gold Country.


Bartender pouring red wine for a couple at the bar at Hotel Sutter

Day One – Settle In to Our Small Town

Arrive at your cozy room and relax, you’re on vacation now! Our historic Gold Country hotel has everything you need for a great stay with plush king and queen beds, flat-screen TVs, private baths, and coffee makers for those early starts. We also have multiple types of rooms to suit any stay, from single travelers all the way up to larger groups. Once you’re all settled in, stop by The Lobby Bar for craft cocktails, delicious dishes, and a classy atmosphere with plenty of local charm right here on Main Street.


Couple drinking red wine in a California vineyard - Gold Country Winery

Day Two – Savor the Best Area Attractions

The nearby Shenandoah Valley has a plethora of excellent wineries with memorable experiences to be had around every corner, and we wanted to list some of our favorites to get you started. Iron Hub Winery is a father-son operation dedicated to carefully cultivated winemaking with a modern touch. Sip wine on their spacious patio and take in gorgeous views of the Sierra. Jeff Runquist Wines offers a diverse selection of wines that highlight the unique growers and winemakers of the region. Voted 2021 Winery of the Year in Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition, we highly recommend a visit to this esteemed winemaker. There are many other great places to go wine tasting in California Gold Country, and you can check out a more comprehensive list with additional information on our site.

Checking into a hotel in California Gold CountryInterested in learning more about the history of Gold Country? Kennedy Gold Mine is a step back into the past at one of the deepest gold mines in the world. Delve deep into the fascinating history of the California Gold Rush on one of their guided tours, which includes an exclusive look at footage of the mine in operation from 1914. To keep you fueled up for all these and other area adventures, you can stop by Sutter Creek Cheese Shoppe and pack a delicious picnic lunch with artisanal cheeses, buttery crackers, fresh fruit, and much more. It’s a fantastic accompaniment to wherever the day takes you!


Couple toasting glasses of red wine at The Sutter Restaurant in Gold Country

Day Three – Slow Down & Step Back in Time

After a long day out in wine country, you can keep it local with a more relaxed itinerary and have an authentic California Gold Country experience, all within walking distance of the hotel! Start your day off right with coffee and pastries at Choc-O-Latte, or have a hearty breakfast at Sina’s Backroads Cafe. Discover a historic landmark at Knight Foundry and see America’s only remaining water-powered foundry and machine shop. First established in 1873, it was in continuous operation for over 123 years and only stopped production in 1996. Today it stands as an excellently preserved example of a 19th-century industrial-age workplace and is a must-see for history buffs or anyone interested in the cultural legacy of its place here in Sutter Creek.

Take a stroll down Main Street and browse artisan wares like the stunning glassware of Chaos Glassworks and antique treasures at Tigby Hill Vintage. Wander down side streets and spend the afternoon exploring Sutter Creek, there’s so much waiting to be discovered! Dinner at The Sutter Restaurant is a great way to cap off a day out on the town. You can sit out on the balcony and have a romantic meal in the gently fading light, all while dining with a lovely view of Main Street below. Choose from a diverse menu full of tantalizing flavors, mouthwatering desserts, and an extensive drink menu with cocktails, craft beers, and a selection of wines. Whatever you’re in the mood for, The Sutter Restaurant is the place to go for both lunch and dinner!


Queen Room with warm red wall at Hotel Sutter in CaliforniaWe hope that this guide has helped you plan out the perfect getaway to California Gold Country and showcased the wide variety of interesting things to do here. Pack your bags for a serene vacation amongst the rolling vineyards and green hills of Amador County, and we hope to see you there!

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