Photograph courtesy flickr/ocad123
More town than city, Nevada City feels like a mountaintop Mendocino. Equipped with an assemblage of Victorian architecture—the state’s largest—it lies an hour north of Sacramento in California Gold Country. For a finial-free B&B, try the Outside Inn, a revamped motor court with pleasantly restrained cottage-y rooms that ring a teensy barbecue-studded “park.” Come breakfast, it’s lobster Benedict at the South Pine Cafe or an organic oyster-packed Hang Town Fry at Ike’s Quarter Cafe. The Tour of Nevada City shop rents bikes and can suggest rides ten minutes to 20 miles long, or pick a cooking class at In the Kitchen: Persian, Ethiopian, or macrobiotic. Roasted quail and cabernet franc await you on the outdoor porch at New Moon Cafe, but first you’ll want to cool off in the south fork of the Yuba River, where west of Highway 49’s crossing you can float beneath California’s longest historic covered bridge.