California Gold Country
"Historic town center"
Grass Valley, like other towns along the western length of California's Sierra Nevada mountains, was built during the gold rush days of the last half of the 19th century. While the boom town days of the mining era are long gone, Grass Valley has a relatively strong community based on tourism and as a home for commuters to the Sacramento area.
To get to Grass Valley from highway 80 you have to pass through miles of not very appealing scenery along highway 49, with strip malls and seemingly unregulated development. Once in town, however, the visitor will be welcomed by an array of historic buildings in the well preserved downtown and many friendly shopkeepers happy to sell you there goods.
Just three or four miles further up on highway 49 is the town of Nevada City. Similar to Grass Valley in many ways, it too is well worth a visit for its history, culture, shopping, dining and nightlife.
The Del Oro Theater is one of Grass Valley's architectural treasures. The movie theater is still operating. In this building there is also a tasting room for one of the local wineries.