Calaveras Fall Itineraries

Here we offer 3 itineraries for fall in Calaveras County. Use these links to view each or scroll down: Unwind, indulge…or both | Easy exploring: Catch the highlights | Go for it! Active adventures.

Unwind, indulge…or both

Vallecito Top attractions: Ayrael Vieux | CWA

Ayrael Vieux Winery in Douglas Flat | Calaveras Winegrape Alliance

Go out for a leisurely breakfast at Grounds. Forget about calorie-counting and order the French Toast with hand-sliced sourdough or the Fresh Tomato and Basil Scramble. But if it’s Sunday, don’t miss the Eggs Benedict special. Get there early like the locals and you’ll be guaranteed a spot.

It’s harvest time and the smell of grapes is in the air. Don’t have anyone to be a designated driver? Arrange transportation with Courtwood Wine Tours so you can safely visit some of the working wineries in the area like Chatom and Twisted Oak, as well as taste at gems on the outskirts like Irish Vineyards, Indian Rock and Ayrael Vieux.

Villa Vallecito Tasting Room | Menka Belgal

Wine tasting in downtown Murphys

If you’d rather walk, plant yourself on Main Street Murphys where you can find more than 20 tasting rooms within walking distance. Search out some of the area’s best varietals like Barbera, Zinfandel and Tempranillo or some of our more unique finds such as Torrontes, Vermentino or Alicante Bouschet.

Need a break from tasting? Stroll the shops. Hunt down exotic spices for your next dinner party at The Spice Tin, try local olive oil at Marisolio Tasting Bar or find thoughtful gifts for your gourmet at Creative Cookware.

Today is all about being a foodie. Make a reservation for dinner at V Restaurant where you can spend the evening sharing small plates with friends or diving into divine seafood and meat entrees. The cocktails are pretty amazing too.

Murphys Lodging: Dunbar House 1880 by Carol Richardson

Historic B&B: Dunbar 1880 | Carol Richardson

Area Lodging: Cozy up at the historic Dunbar House (every room has a fireplace), grab a cottage at La Honda Park, or stay right in the middle of historic downtown at the Victoria Inn.

Have more time in the area? Here are a few other suggestions…

See a show at Murphys Creek Theatre. Within walking distance of downtown Murphys and the Murphys COmmunity Park, Murphys Creek Theatre puts on quite the show! From drama to comedy, classics and originals, as well as some hilariously-named shows, this theater company is well worth a visit. Make sure to stop by their concession stand before the performance or during intermission for a glass of local wine or other tasty treats.

Find wine off the beaten path. Swing by the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance office in downtown Murphys to grab a map guiding you to many of Calaveras’ wineries and vineyards off the beaten path. See where the wine is made, taste unusual regional varietals, and get a chance to meet national award winning artisan winemakers.

Easy exploring: Catch the highlights

Whitewater Grill & Saloon, Hotel Léger by Rick E Martin

The Whitewater Grill & Saloon, Hotel Léger | Rick E Martin

Eat with the locals at Country Cliff’s in San Andreas. For under $10 this charming diner will deliver a breakfast that fills you up. Don’t eat too much though because you might have to crawl through some small spaces in a bit.

The incredible 300-mile Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail goes right through Calaveras. Still in the process of being completed, you can hop on the 1.6 (out and back) portion alongside the Mokelumne River known as the James Bar Trail.

Hotel Leger | Rick E. Martin

Historic Hotel Léger | Rick E Martin

See for yourself if there are really ghosts at Hotel Léger. Grab a local glass of wine or a cocktail at their charming 1800s saloon while you wait for a “sighting” of old George Leger. Ghost hunting kits are loaned out from the front desk. Do you dare? Finally, enjoy a sumptuous meal at the Whitewater Grill & Saloon right here at the Léger before turning in for the night.

Area Lodging: Step back in time at the historic Hotel Leger, or unwind at the charming Robin’s Nest Bed & Breakfast.

Have more time in the area? Here are a few other suggestions…

Throw a line out in the Valley Springs tri-lake area. Gorgeous year round, fall is a great time to cast a line in one of the Valley Spring area’s three lakes with perfect temperatures and less crowds. If you prefer to fish early, warm up afterwards in front of the fire at Common Grounds coffee shop.

Warm up at The Red Apple. If the apple-shaped open sign is out, stop by this local gem for the perfect fall day treats like hot apple cider, apple pie or one of their regionally famous homemade apple cider donuts covered in sugar.

Drive the Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway. Before the snow comes and the road closes for the season at Lake Alpine, enjoy the fall colors on the scenic stretch of road between Arnold and Markleeville.

Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway Fall Color Lucia Gonzalez

Fall color on Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway | Lucia Gonzalez

Meet Mark Twain at the Mark Twain Wild West Fest in historic downtown Angels Camp, the third Saturday in October, this year Sat. October 19th 2019. Bring your wild west and Tom Sawyer costumes for great classic Wild West and Mark Twain fun. Learn more about the annual Mark Twain Wild West Fest here.

Be a lumberjack for a day. Or just watch others show off their log rolling and saw skills at West Point’s Lumberjack Day held annually the first Saturday in October. Your other chance to practice honing your axe throwing skills is at the Sierra Nevada Logging Jamboree (Labor Day weekend).

Make wine with your feet. Grab a partner and celebrate harvest by dressing up in your best costume and entering the Calaveras Grape Stomp competition. At this off the wall annual event held in Murphys, teams of two try their hand at crushing grapes the old-fashioned way…with their feet. Collect the most juice for a chance to win cash and prizes.

Halloween Fun

Family-Friendly Mark Twain Wild West Fest Fun – Photo Credit: Kaedence Eaton



Go for it! Active adventures

Fuel up with breakfast at Angels Creek Cafe or Sugar Bakery in  historic downtown Angels Camp.

New Melones Lake Carol Richardson

New Melones Lake in summer | Carol Richardson

Head out to Glory Hole Recreation Area at New Melones Reservoir where approximately 20 miles of single-track mountain bike riding hiking and trail running awaits. Park at the lower trailhead to access the Carson Creek Trail and the challenging Tower Climb.

For lunch, make a pit stop at Glory Hole Sports, which has a full deli and is rumored to have the best tri-tip sandwich in the county.

Spend the afternoon squeezing, crawling and spelunking through California Cavern near Mountain Ranch. Sign up for the 1-mile Middle Earth Expedition for the most exhilarating way to explore the cave’s various chambers. Be prepared for nearly knee-deep mud, tight spaces and rafting down below. Yup, “Tom’s Lake” needs to be crossed in a boat. Reservations required in advance.

California Cavern | Dave Bunnell

Middle Earth Expedition | Dave Bunnell

After this action-packed day, kick back at Cascabel‘s with authentic Mexican food and beer on tap.  Finish up at Greenhorn Creek’s Cellar Room to taste wines from 13 Calaveras wineries.

Area Lodging: Sleep under the starts at one of New Melones Reservoir’s campsites, get the best bang for your buck at the Gold Country Inn, or enjoy mom and pop hospitality at the Jumping Frog Motel. Looking for something more familiar? Try the Angels Camp Best Western or Angels Camp Travelodge.

Have more time in the area? Here are a few other suggestions…

Salt Spring Valley Reservoir, Copperopolis

Salt Spring Valley Reservoir, Copperopolis

Bike Copperopolis. Make a loop around Salt Spring Reservoir for rolling hills, soothing scenery and little to no traffic. Start on Rock Creek Rd. in Copperopolis and loop right at Milton Rd. for a 30-mile ride. The country roads can be rough, so plan accordingly when road biking.

Go geocaching. Spend the day with your GPS in hand and you could find hundreds of treasures within a short drive from Calaveras (33 within a one-mile radius of the town of Altaville).

Find kid friendly food in Angels Camp. Traveling with the family? Between adventures, find family friendly restaurants in Angels Camp.

Share this: