A few miles North along Highway 50 is the Boeger Winery. It is a very comfortable winery to visit and there are ample picnic areas inside to bring a lunch, buy some wine at the winery and enjoy a wonderful day. Better than that, the wines are quite good. We especially enjoyed the Barbera and the varietal Milagro.
The El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce is located in downtown Placerville. It is a good place to go for information on the town, the whole county, sites to see, businesses, etc. It is also itself located in an historic old building.
In the heart of downtown Placerville, in the "PLaza" area at the intersection of Main St and Stage Coach Alley, is probably one of the most famous sites of the town, the Bell Tower erected to provide warning for fires. It was apparently ordered from England, where it was was in 1860, arrived in Placerville in 1865, and erected on this spot. The old tower was replaced with the current one in the late 1890s and it has been there ever since, save for a short time when they tried placing it elsewhere.
Placerville's old city hall, on Main St. just below the courthouse, was built in 1860. Originally, it was the fire station for the "Confidence" fire company but it was turned into city hall in about 1902. "Confidence" is still emblazoned on the front of the building.
Since Placerville, although no longer the largest town in El Dorado County, is the county seat, the local Superior Court courthouse is here. Located at a prominent spot on Main Street in the higher part of downtown, it commands, and is visible from, much of Main Street. It was built in 1912 and replaced the earlier courthouse. The interior was ruined with horrid panelling in the late 1960s, but the old building thankfully still stands and inside at the top of the stairs is the original 1830s clock from the town's first courthouse.
Art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants line Main Street. Allow time to discover interesting artifacts from the city's past, starting from the time when now-bustling Placerville was best-known as "Hangtown".
On Main Street, be sure to visit Placerville Hardware, the Bell Tower, Pearson's Soda Works, the old Court House, the Ziesz Brewery ruins, and the Fountain Tallman Soda Works, now a historical museum.
Not to be missed are the other historical homes in the area. You'll find a delightful mix of Gold Rush homes from the 1850s, turn-of-the-century Victorians(a good example is the Albert Shafsky House at the corner of Spring & Coloma), bungalows from the early 1900s, and even art deco homes. All are within walking distance of Historic Main Street.
Get a taste of the Gold Era at Gold Bug Park on Bedford Avenue, where you can explore a real hardrock gold mine. Seven miles north of town on Hwy. 49 is Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma, where gold was discovered back in 1848. Both parks are great picnic and hiking areas.
Nearby Apple Hill is a popular destination during the Fall harvest season, and has visitors year-round. While you're out and about, stop by local wineries and taste foothill wines, the new Gold Rush frontier.
Other activities include boating, fishing, hiking, white water rafting on the American River, golf, downhill and cross-country skiing at South Lake Tahoe, gold panning, arts and craft fairs, and many other special events you won't want to miss.
I recommend that anyone interested in the outdoors should try to visit the El Dorado National Forest. The recreation opportunities are plentiful, and the watersheds run clear, cold stream water. Enjoy.
Great wines, have a sample in the vineyard where they were made! Select from several reds, and Chardonnay. My personal favorites are the Late Harvest Zinfandel and Late Harvest Chardonnay.