A Day in Nevada City, California — San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 17, 2016
Just 5 miles east of Grass Valley, in Nevada City the wealthier of 19th and early 20th century mine owners clustered their Victorian cottages along Deer Creek. Nowadays the town now still appeals to innovators, but the residents and many visitors strolling the pretty streets are thinking more often of contemporary themes — hippie, artist, techie — instead of gold.
Grab coffee and a bagel to go at Broad Street Bistro, and walk two blocks to the start of the Deer Creek Tribute Trail, which takes off behind the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. From a dirt road, the trail turns left onto a footpath leading into a wooded ravine, where the creek winds among monolithic boulders. A quarter mile in, you’ll cross a 150-foot suspension bridge over the water that lifts you into the air as you take each step. Check with Folk Trails Hiking Club if you want to join a local group for this walk.
Relax at Three Forks Bakery with a wood-fired pancetta and fennel pizza with an organic wild yeast crust. Wind up with a “Wheyward Girl Selects” cheese plate — why not, you burned the calories already this morning. The “French Beauties” plate includes Tomme de Savoie, Pierra Robert and Brie de Nangis. Stop next door afterward to see why Wheyward Girl Creamery causes all the fuss: Master cheese maker Barbara Jenness curates a mouthwatering collection of artisanal cheeses from around the world. Sign up for one of the cheese-making classes scheduled in the next month: Mozzarella, Cheese Making 101, and Mold-Ripened Cheese.
Wander the shops tucked behind brick and wood storefronts from the town’s mining heyday, then try a scoop of strawberry and sweet red pepper sorbet at Treats artisan ice cream shop. Later, settle in at Elixart Herbal Lounge, where you can steep yourself in mood-enhancing elixirs or sip creamy cacao. Fridays you can drink all the kava and cacao you want for $20.
After scallops and a salad from the seasonal menu at New Moon Cafe, finish the day at the Golden Era Lounge. Order the locals’ favorite cocktail: Oaxacan on Sunshine, a smoky-sultry blend of mezcal, Cointreau, lemon, Cocchi Americano and orange bitters. Owners Cindy and Steve Giardina opened this stylish place last spring in a building that had been serving spirits as early as 1867.
Spend the night
A mile from town, Erin and Dan Theim, who run Nevada City’s perky outdoor-themed Outside Inn, have opened the new Inn Town Campground, where you can rinse off in an outdoor shower at shared bath facilities, and then circle under the pine trees at an outdoor gas fireplace. Tuck under the quilts in a Boy Scout-style tent appointed with cowboy-style furniture and a balcony.
If you go
Broad Street Bistro: 426 Broad St., (530) 265-4204
Miners Foundry Cultural Center: 325 Spring St., (530) 265-5040. www.minersfoundry.org
Folk Trails Hiking Club: www.facebook.com/folktrailshikingclub
Three Forks Bakery: 211 Commercial St. (530) 470-8333. www.threeforksnc.com
Wheyward Creamery: 209 Commercial St., (530) 478-1665. www.facebook.com/wheywardgirlcreamery
Treats: 110 York St., (530) 913-5819. www.treatsnevadacity.com
Elixart Herbal Lounge: 408 Broad St. No. 8, (530) 265-1901. www.elixart.com
A New Moon Cafe: 203 York St., (530) 265-6399.
Golden Era Lounge: 309 Broad St. (530) 264-7048. www.goldeneralounge.com