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The following Calaveras County cities are in the Gold Country:
- 1 Angels Camp - Angels Camp is a Gold Rush town where Mark Twain overheard a tale that inspired his short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"; today the town hosts a "Jumping Frog Jubilee" every May that draws thousands of visitors. Visitors will also enjoy the historic downtown and find amenities including several hotels and restaurants. Attractions located just outside of town include the Natural Bridges trail, a 2 miles (3.2 km) hike through two short but spectacular limestone caverns that have been carved out by Coyote Creek, as well as the Carson Hill ghost town, a former mine where a 195 pound troy gold nugget was unearthed in 1854.
- 2 Murphys - The small town of Murphys is a Gold Rush era town that today features over a dozen wine tasting rooms and a surprising number of excellent restaurants on its historic Main Street. The town also hosts an annual Irish festival in March that draws thousands of visitors. There are several wineries nearby, and visitors may also want to make the one mile journey north of Murphys to take a paid tour through Mercer Caverns, a short cave filled with a large number of speleothems, stalactites, and stalagmites.
The following Calaveras County cities are in the Sierra Nevada mountains:
- 3 Arnold - Arnold is a tiny town that offers supplies, restaurants and lodging for visitors to the giant sequoia groves of neighboring Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The town is also the starting point for the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway, a 61 miles (98 km) stretch of Highways 4 and 89 that leads through incredible mountain scenery as it crosses over 8,736 feet (2,663 m) Ebbetts Pass, one of the Sierra's least-traveled mountain passes. Additionally, Arnold is home to a 7 acres (2.8 ha) logging museum that has indoor and outdoor exhibits of large logging equipment and artifacts.
- 1 Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Sunrise to sunset. This 6,498-acre park preserves two groves of giant sequoia trees, with the easily-accessible north grove home to approximately 100 trees, while the more remote south grove is home to about 1,000 trees. It has been a tourist destination since 1852 and is considered the longest continuously operated tourist facility in California. A campground is available from March through November. $10 per vehicle.
- 1 Amador County - Calaveras County's neighbor to the north, Amador County was home to several mines during the Gold Rush, including the Kennedy Mine in Jackson which was the deepest gold mine of its time. Today the county is known for its Zinfandel, with the Shenandoah Valley home to over forty wineries. Visitors may also enjoy Black Chasm Cavern in Volcano, historic buildings, and outdoor activities such as skiing, camping and fishing.
- 2 Alpine County - Located east of Calaveras County, sparsely populated Alpine County advertises itself with the slogan "two people per square mile and you", making it a good option for a quiet mountain getaway. Attractions include the hot spring pools at Grover Hot Springs State Park, amazing views of the Sierras from the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway, and the excellent winter skiing at Kirkwood Mountain Resort.
- 3 Tuolumne County - Calaveras County's southeastern neighbor was one of California's original counties at the time of statehood, and today offers a glimpse into the region's gold mining and logging history, as well as numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation. Portions of Yosemite National Park lie in the county, and with limited parking and lodging inside of the park, the YARTS shuttle system makes the county's towns an option to consider for park visitors.
- 4 Stanislaus County - While still primarily an agricultural county known for its almond trees, parts of Calaveras County's southwestern neighbor have become a bedroom community for people trying to escape the high housing costs of the Bay Area. Travelers will find plenty of amenities, although most only see Stanislaus County while passing through on their way elsewhere.
- 5 San Joaquin County - San Joaquin County lies to the west of Calaveras County on the eastern edge of the California Delta, an estuary formed by the confluence of the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. Nicknamed "California's Holland" due to the extensive levee system, the area is an interesting place to explore by car or boat. Stockton is the county's largest city and is notable for being the world's most inland natural seaport.