Winter in Calaveras: Unwind, indulge…or both

Itinerary for the perfect relaxing winter day

We’ve done the planning so you can getaway to the Sierra Foothills this winter and not think about anything.  Here are some of our picks for a low-key Calaveras winter escape for folks who prefer to avoid the snow:

Warm your body up with a few downward dogs and some deep stretching at one of Murphys’ two yoga studios. Find morning classes every day of the week at either Intelligent Body on Main Street or Patty Miles Yoga.

After class, take your relaxation to the next level. Stroll over to Jillian Day Spa (pictured above) for their La Stone Therapy, a restorative massage using heated and cold stones. Be sure to have a reservation since their prime weekend slots tend to get scooped up fast.

Can lunch really be cupcakes and cheese? In Murphys it can. Check out the cheese shop at Lavender Ridge Vineyards tasting room. Sip your way through the winery’s Rhone varietals while sampling some of the finest cheeses hand-picked and paired by Calaveras’ own Cheese Lady, Judy Creighton.

Then head over to Lila & Sage’s Cupcake Shop for dessert. With a half inch of creamy frosting on a perfectly moist cake, you can’t go wrong with any flavor. But if you need it narrowed down, we wouldn’t sway you away from favorites like the Peanut Butter Cup or the Lemon, Lemon.

Spend the rest of your day further up the hill, but before you get there make a stop at Quyle Kilns. This eclectic pottery studio, featuring the work of several artists is drenched in history. Ask for a tour to hear about Quyle Kilns’ past, take a peek at the working blacksmith area or peruse the showroom for a one-of-a-kind gift.

Don’t leave yet. You can walk across the dirt “road” to Brice Station Winery, the highest vineyard in the Sierra Nevada at 3,300 feet. Here you’ll find Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet and Merlot more reminiscent of Napa.

Resist the urge to dig into that cheese you likely bought at Lavender Ridge and save your appetite for dinner at Sarafina’s Italian Kitchen. A table at this cozy restaurant with a log-cabin feel can often be the hardest to get in the county, so you know it’s got to be good. On the menu, Sarah’s Favorite should be renamed Everyone’s Favorite as this creamy tomato pasta dish can usually be spotted on many tables throughout the evening.

Area Lodging: Treat yourself to first class service and accommodations at Arnold Black Bear Inn, the ambiance of a fire at Timberline Lodge, or go for simple elegance at The Victoria Inn.

Have more time in the area? Do this too…

Date night at the movies. You can’t miss the neon sign in downtown Angels Camp for the movie theater. It may look retro, but the local theater offers a state of the art projection system, including the Big-D, a 35-foot wide, 2-story-high screen that’s great for 3-D movies.


Plan your trip: View all of our seasonal itineraries

Upcoming event:  Murphys Irish Day