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Historic Nevada City

Appealing Downtown Area

Welcome to one of the Sierra Nevada's friendliest and liveliest Gold Rush towns!

Nevada City is a colorful town that has prepared for its future by preserving its past. Nevada City is among the most interesting of California Gold Rush towns, attracting visitors from far and wide. The entire downtown district is a national historic landmark where guests enjoy quality restaurants, comfortable lodgings and a variety of fine shops, boutiques, galleries and museums, all flavored with old-fashioned Nevada City hospitality.

Today, Nevada City has a population of just 2,800- but it wasn't always so peaceful. During the height of the Gold Rush in the1850's, there were 10,000 boisterous souls living here. In the general election of 1856, the 2,082 ballots cast in Nevada City were exceeded in the State only by Sacramento and San Francisco. It is considered to be among the best-preserved towns of the West.

When you visit, stay in the National Hotel, an original elegant Victorian hotel of the Wild West. Just up the main street enjoy a play, musical event or Sunday night movie at the Nevada Theater, one of the oldest continually running theaters in the Sierra. More entertainment can be found at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Off Broad Street and other venues. Explore our downtown artist's galleries that are full of local original works of photography, textiles, woodworking, paintings, jewelry and much more.

Check the Chamber of Commerce's annual Calendar of Events at the website link; it lists more than 200 activities, including some of our biggest events such as the Mardi Gras party and parade, July 4th events, the fall Constitution Day parade and Civil War reenactments in nearby Pioneer Park, the famous Nevada City Bicycle Classic, as well as the Summer Nights and Victorian Christmas street fairs.

At the gateway to the Tahoe National Forest, ringed by deep green hillsides, Nevada City is located just minutes from sparkling Sierra Nevada lakes and rivers and forested trail systems perfect for hiking and biking. World class skiing and snowboarding are within an hour's drive. Don't miss the Wild & Scenic South Yuba River or Empire Mine State Historic Park in nearby Grass Valley.

Stop by the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center for brochures, books and guides which describe such attractions as the downtown walking tour, where to find the best fall colors, colorful history and stories, hiking, mountain biking trails, road biking routes, golf, winery tours and more.

Getting Here and Getting Around

By Road: Nevada City is located on the western slope of the Northern Sierra Nevada midway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. It is located at State Routes 49, “The Golden Chain Highway,” and SR 20, a state scenic highway.

From Sacramento, take eastbound Interstate 80 to Auburn and SR 49 north to Nevada City. It's 60 miles from the state capitol.

From Reno, Tahoe and Truckee, take westbound Interstate 80 to westbound Scenic SR 20. Nevada City is 80 miles from Reno, 60 miles from North Lake Tahoe and 50 miles from Truckee.

From the Northern Sacramento Valley, take eastbound SR 20 from the Marysville/Yuba City area. Nevada City is 35 miles from Marysville.

By Rail and Bus: There is no railroad service in Nevada City but daily access is available via connecting Amtrak train and bus service, from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento and bus service from Reno. Trains stop in nearby Colfax (12 miles) but connecting transportation is not available. Brochures on train and bus service are available at the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

By Air Nevada City is located about 75 minutes driving time from both the Sacramento and Reno/Tahoe international airports. Rental vehicles are available at both airports; an on-call shuttle is available from Sacramento. A small local airport, the Nevada County Air Park (watch video), serves small aircraft but offers no regular commercial service.

Stop by the Chamber of Commerce at the bottom of Coyote Street for maps, or visit the website at:

Nearby Places