NY Times Travel Section

  •  It is about an hours drive to Grass Valley and Nevada City, both towns from the 1850s. Best restaurant in the gold country, Tofanellie’s in Grass Valley. go east bout 40 minutes to Sutter Creek, small town on California 49, there is a good ice cream shop on the main street. We like Susans Place for dinner.In the fall you might like Apple Hill out of Placerville. There are several apple orchards with restaurants.Going N/W take I80 to Newcastle. Cross over I80 and follow the road around to the left to Main Street. At the end of Main Street is the Newcastle Produce and Delicatessen. They have some of the local wines, specialty items like mustards, breads, various sodas, and other products. You can eat there in the store or sit outside and watch the trains go by. This area is where the old produce packing sheds are. There is the Cheese Shop where you can get a “Rat Trap Sandwich”, and next door is an Italian restaurant that is getting a good reputation. Take Ophir road (old US 40) from there and it puts you right in the middle of Old Town Auburn, another gold rush community.There is bike riding for every level in and about Sacramento. Folsom has a series of bike trails through and about their wetlands. The American River Trail goes 31 miles from Discovery Park to Beal’s Point above Folsom Dam. The back roads around Newcastle will give you plenty of hills to climb, there is a park and ride at I80 and Ophir Road.Take Taylor Road from Roseville (old US 40) just for the ride and scenery to Newcastle, it becomes Ophir Road at Newcastle. If you are here in November look for Mandrins, they are shipped all over the us from the Penryn/Newcastle area. Usually cost $0.90/$1.00 a pound at the farm. The will keep for several weeks, or you can have them shipped home.Everyday through out the year runners and walkers emerge from their residential streets into D St which flows into McKinley Blvd carrying them west down to McKinley Park where they circle the park – about 1 mile – 1, 2, 3 times then they go back upstream from whence they came. On a warm summer evening there can be a thousand runners, walkers, and picnicers in this East Sacramento park. Best park in the city.Take your bike on the Sacramento light rail east to Folsom and have breakfast on Sutter Street then follow the American River Bike Trail back to Sacramento (about 20 miles downstream).About 30 minutes east of sacramento on I-80 is some of the best shopping in the area at the Roseville Galleria and the Fountains shopping center. You’ll find stores such as Crate and Barrel, Tiffany’s, West Elm and Anthropology.William Land Park Zoo and Fairytale Town, just one mile down Land Park Drive from The Tower Theater and Tower Cafe is our wonderful zoo, Fairytale Town and a great 9 hole golf course! All of this is just minutes from the Capitol and midtown. Patti Martinez Visitors to Sacramento head to the California Museum located close to the State Capitol at 10th and O Streets. It’s eclectic, inspiring and accessible. Check it out at www.californiamuseum.org.About 30 minutes from downtown is the Shenandoah Valley. It has an amzaing variety of wineries. It’s a better visit than Napa or Sonoma.
  • Cosumnes River Preserves, www.cosumnes.org, to saunter slowly on the boardwalk or take either a 1 mile or 3 mile walk along the river or the slough. Birds everywhere, and gorgeous views of nature. Sand hill cranes are here in November through much of the winter.
  • The California Museum, home to California Hall of Fame as well as the history of California! Near the capitol at 1020 O St.