Where to Cool Off in Calaveras County

California summers can get hotter than heck out there, between trips to the high country and hunting down hidden swimming holes throughout the area find 9 quick ways to cool off in Calaveras County this summer.

1. Cool Off in CalaverasHead Underground with Calaveras Caves

Did you know Calaveras has more caves than any county in California? From simple walking tours to elaborate adventure tours, special events, and twin-ziplines, each cave in Calaveras has a lot to offer. With three show caves to choose from, learn the differences between each one to decide which is  best for you:

Explore California Cavern near San Andreas, CA.
Explore Mercer Caverns near Murphys, CA.
Explore Moaning Cavern near Angels Camp, CA.

Cool Off in Calaveras, California Cavern

California Cavern Tour I Courtesy of Instagrammer @emformdesign

2. Cool Off in CalaverasCalaveras Museums

Travel back in time to beat the heat. If history is your thing, you’re in luck, Calaveras is not only rich in Gold Rush history, but air-conditioned museums with hours worth of Indigenous American and Gold Rush artifacts to explore. Learn more below:

Angels Camp Museum events

Docents demonstrate Gold Rush era methods

3. Cool Off in CalaverasGemstone Mining and Gold Panning

While exploring Calaveras caves and museums, find yourself elbow deep in cool water gem stone mining or gold panning at one of our many panning destinations throughout the county. Explore your options for below. Looking to gold pan in the wild with a guide? Schedule an appointment with Angels Camp local Mark Darby of Gold Rush Originals here.

Cooling off in Calaveras

Gold Panning I Courtesy of Instagrammer @made_by_izzaroo

4. Cool Off in CalaverasCalaveras Artisan Ice Cream

Nothing says cool like handmade artisan ice cream. You can find some handmade, delicious,  and refreshing cool treats right here in Calaveras County with our four favorite artisan ice cream shops:

Cool off in Calaveras

Artisan Ice Cream in Murphys I Courtesy of Instagrammer @jomas_artisan_ice_cream


5. Cool Off in CalaverasCatch a Movie at Angels 6 Theatres

Located right across the street from Yummy Ha! Ha! Ice Cream in historic downtown Angels Camp, Angels 6 Theatres is the perfect place to top off your Calaveras experience with the latest movies in this art-deco style building with its 6 screens. Built during the silent film era, this historic theater comes with all the modern perks–including air-conditioned auditoriums. Featuring more affordable prices for tickets and concessions than the average California cinema, Angels 6 Theatres is a special treat. Small town friendliness, delicious GMO-free popcorn, comfy high back love seats with flip up armrests and quaint downtown atmosphere all contribute to make this a fun place to enjoy a movie and a way to cool off in Calaveras–a favorite with locals.

Angels 6 Theaters | Lisa Boulton

Angels 6 Theaters | Courtesy of Lisa Boulton

6. Cool Off in CalaverasRetail Therapy

If shopping is your thing, you’re in luck. Calaveras County is home to more independently owned small businesses and boutiques than you can shake a stick at. Explore shopping by town here:

Shopping near Saddle Creek Golf Resort

Mokelumne Hill Shopping is a memorable experience in and of itself.

7. Cool Off in CalaverasDrink Calaveras

For wine lovers: Did you know that Calaveras County is home to dozens of national award winning wine varietals? With more than two dozen artisan wine tasting rooms within strolling distance in historic downtown Murphys and additional National award winning vineyards and tasting rooms throughout Calaveras County, if wine is your thing, you won’t want to miss these refreshing small batch varietals.

Craft beer: Looking for places to crack open a cold one? From Calaveras’ own Snowshoe Brewery in Arnold, CA; to classic Irish beers at Murphys Irish Pub and craft beer at Murphys Pourhouse in Murphys, CA find the best places to grab a beer in Calaveras County with our Beer Lovers Guide to Calaveras County.

Fireworks in Calaveras

4th of July wine-tasting fun in downtown Murphys, CA I Courtesy of Instagrammer @shandyw2.

8. Cool Off in CalaverasPlay in the Water

With an elevation change of 8,973 feet across the span of Calaveras County from West to East, Calaveras offers a breathtaking range of natural diversity within a relatively short distance. With hundreds of acres of lakes at its lower elevations near Valley Springs, Copperopolis, and historic Angels Camp to dozens of high sierra lakes and rushing streams at its higher elevations in the High Sierra region beginning in Arnold, CA and beyond. Explore hidden swimming holes and epic lakes here today.

Lake, Lakes, River, RIvers, Swimming Hole, Swimming Holes

Lake Camanche I Courtesy of Instagrammer @pvcdesigns

9. Cool Off in CalaverasHike the High Sierra

Want to take the edge off the heat while enjoying the natural beauty of the region? Our High Sierra trails are typically shady and more often noticeably cooler than the lower elevations in California. Find great High Sierra trails at the Arnold Rim Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, and by exploring the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway.

Arnold: Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway

Giant sequoias at Calaveras Big Trees State Park | Courtesy of Lisa Boulton

For more ideas of ways to cool off throughout the county, the Calaveras Visitors Bureau information center is standing by to help 7 days a week. Give us a call at 1-800-225-3764 or contact us via email at [email protected].

Happy travels!

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