A Treeful Tour Through Two Golden Hamlets

Both Grass Valley and Nevada City have a number of notable must-stops for visiting leaf-peepers.

GOING TO A WAY-OUT GROVE... of a trees, the kind of trees that are incredibly colorful and full of autumnal beauty? Chances are as high as a mountain peak that you'll be inside a car. For, quite often, at least around the Golden State, clutches of cottonwoods or groupings of oaks are found at the ends of lonely highways, or deep within canyons, or along a remote bend in a river. But sometimes fall foliage has a way of popping up within a town's border, notable foliage that is complemented by historic architecture and other trees of importance. When this rarer opportunity happens, you'll want to park your car, and not drive down any canyons or up any peaks, but rather follow a map to some of the town's most treasured trees. And if there are two towns involved? And they've got lots of throwback quaintness and cool cafés and other must-sees? Then you're probably in... 

NEVADA CITY OR GRASS VALLEY: The two burgs, which sit in the northern part of Gold Country, are both known for their autumn, in-town splendor. It's a splendor that may be located via a pair of maps, one for each town, which tells visitors where to stroll if they want to see some splendid, red-leaf'd, fall-wowza trees. The Nevada City self-guided tree tour is recommended for "energetic walkers," if you don't do it by car or bicycle, while the "higher streets in town" will give Grass Valley visitors chances to snaps some super pictures. Are you leaf-peeping around Gold Country in 2019? With stops in some of the most picturesque villages of the Sierra foothills, like Murphys or Auburn? Best add Nevada City and Grass Valley to your itinerary. Just make sure you keep these maps from the Joint Chambers of Commerce of Nevada County handy for your foliage-finding excursions.

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