Gold Country California Visitor Information

Gold Country Museums

No Visit to a California destination would be complete without visiting one of the many museums.

California has a reputation as a haven for people with creative minds, and you can see this in its multifaceted cultural offerings. Arts abound here in four main formats: large-scale, world-class organizations; smaller, quirkier museums, often showcasing the Golden State’s history and its abundant idiosyncratic subcultures (think surfers, Silicon Valley techno-wizards, and Peanuts aficionados).

When the weather hinders traditional camping activities (or not) stretch your mind with a visit to one of California’s museums. Need more encouragement? Check out 10 Reasons to visit a museum!

Placer County Museum – Auburn is located on Maple Street off Interstate 80, east of Sacramento. Housed in the original courthouse building, this historic 1889 building features colonial architecture with a bell tower, dome and classic columns. The original jail, treasurer’s office and courthouse are now museum displays of the county’s gold mining history, Indian artifacts, an original stagecoach and gift shop. Visit Placer County Museum

Ironstone Vineyards Museum – Murphys is located off Highway 4 just outside of the historic town of Murphys. This museum features a 44-pound gold nugget that was discovered by the local Sonora Mining Company on Christmas Day, in 1992. The grounds at Ironstone Vineyards are a beautiful place to visit and should not be missed. A restaurant, tasting room, amphitheater and more are open to the public. Gold panning with lessons is offered at the creek that runs through the property. Visit www.ironstonevineyards.com

Mariposa Museum & History Center – Mariposa is located off Highway 49 just north of the Highway 140 junction. Situated in downtown Mariposa, this history museum showcases the history of Mariposa County. Along with historic items on display, the museum also features several historic structures including gold stamp mills, a newspaper office, working blacksmith shop and broom making shop. Try your luck at gold panning with a volunteer that will show you how. Visit mariposamuseum.com

Children’s Museum of the Sierra – Oakhurst is located south of Yosemite off Highway 41. This children’s museum is full of activities to occupy the hands and minds of children of all ages. Exhibits include The Medical Area, Good Cents Bank, Emergency Services, The Dig, The Stage, Pizza Restaurant and more.   Read more>

Editorial information provided in part by CaliforniaRevealed.com, a collection of native Californians and travelers who spend their time exploring California and sharing their discoveries.

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Top Attractions in the Gold Country Area

Black Chasm Cavern, Volcano
California Cavern, Mountain Ranch
Children’s Museum of the Sierras
Columbia State Historic Park, Columbia
Daffodil Hill, Sutter Creek
Empire Mine State Historic Park, Grass Valley

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