● By Megan Wiskus
Itching for a change of scenery? A day away to one of our region’s hidden hamlets may be just the answer. Fill the tank, make a playlist and hit the road to one of these 10 often overlooked but never disappointing destinations.
- Ione. Visit the historic (and haunted!) Preston Castle, take to the links at Castle Oaks or go fish at Lake Camanche.
- Locke Historic District. Built by Chinese immigrants during the early 20th century, don’t miss touring Dai Loy Museum and Locke Chinese School, or dining at Locke Garden Restaurant.
- Jackson. Stroll historic Main Street (download a printable walking tour map at visitjacksonca.com), explore Kennedy Gold Mine or get lucky at Jackson Rancheria.
- Winters. It may be summer, but Winters is calling! Eat and drink your way through the three-block downtown, tour the town’s historic homes or hike Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve.
- Fairfield. Both Anheuser-Busch Brewery and Jelly Belly Candy Co. offer daily tours and tastings aplenty. Cheers to that!
- Nevada City. This picturesque Gold Rush town offers more than just history. Hiking, biking, wine tasting and restaurants galore are all readily accessible.
- Napa Valley. Hop on the Napa Valley Wine Train for a leisurely three-hour journey filled with spectacular scenery, seasonal cuisine and, of course, wine.
- Chico. From touring the Sierra Nevada Brewery to exploring the 3,670-acre Bidwell Park and bustling downtown, there’s an activity for all.
- Angels Camp. Adrenaline junkies will want to follow the signs to Moaning Cavern for a 165-foot rappel down the cave and into the main chamber.
- Auburn. Cool off at Upper Lake Clementine, hike Hidden Falls Regional Park or try Knee Deep Brewing Company’s hop-tastic beers.