Nestled in the heart of the Sierras, Grass Valley boomed during the California gold rush, with gold being discovered in nearby Gold Hill in 1850.
- Sacramento International Airport (SMF). The closest international airport to Grass Valley is Sacramento International (SMF). This is about an hour away by car and allows transfer to both bus and rail connections to Grass Valley.
- Amtrak. Provides regular service to Auburn Amtrak station, 23 miles south of central Grass Valley. From the station, you would need to take Nevada County Connects bus 5 to central Grass Valley (about an hour bus ride). Be sure to check the Gold Country Stage schedule as buses are infrequent and run only limited times per day.
- Local buses. If you have time and the timing work out, you can get to Grass Valley from Sacramento by using local buses. From Downtown Sacramento, you can take Sacramento Light Rail to the Watt/I-80 station. Here, you can take Placer Transit Route 10 to Auburn Amtrak Station and then from there, you can take Nevada County Connects to central Grass Valley.
Most of Grass Valley is accessible and best enjoyed by walking. While the town is full of hills, the sidewalks are generally well maintained and easy to navigate.
- Nevada County Connects, ☏ . Local buses that take people all over Nevada County including Grass Valley, Auburn, Nevada City, Penn Valley, North San Juan, Cedar Ridge, Lake Wildwood and Alta Sierra.
- 1 Empire Mine State Historic Park, 10791 East Empire St., ☏ . Empire Mine is the site of the oldest and richest gold mine in California. Despite having only 20% of the available gold extracted (5.8 million ounces of gold by weight) the mine closed in 1956 after 106 years of production and now is preserved as a California state park. The visitor center has diagrams and models of the mine itself, and numerous items of mining machinery are on show inside the park. Visitors have the opportunity to enter the top of the mine shaft itself and an underground train tour is coming soon (2008/9). The state park also has many miles of riding, walking and mountain biking trails.
- 2 North Star Mining Museum. Museum that focuses on the mining history of the region, featuring mining equipment both indoors and outdoors.
- Victorian Houses. With Grass Valley being a major 19th century Gold Mining area in the American West there are a large number of Victorian houses in the area. Wandering the streets of the city is a good way to appreciate these buildings and there are many excellent photograph opportunities.
- Wine tasting. Enjoy wine tasting at various locations in the City of Grass Valley and at some of the surrounding wineries.
- 1 Del Oro Theater, 165 Mill St, ☏ . Beautiful, historic movie theater in Downtown Grass Valley showing modern movies.
- 1 Booktown Books. Booktown is a cooperative of 14 independent booksellers with 4,000 square feet of Used and Rare Books, Ephemera, Books on CDs, Music CDs, DVDs, LP Records and Art. Each Bookseller has their own booth in the store that displays their special genres of books. Every book is coded and priced by each bookseller.
- 2 Cosmic Shark Clothing. Locally owned clothing store that offers unique, limited hand screen-printed clothes as well as curated vintage wear.
- 1 South Pine Cafe, 102 Richardson St. Excellent slightly alternative restaurant. Be prepared to wait a short while at the weekend, but be assured the food is worth it. Try the "south pine sampler", but be aware the Louisiana Hot Sausage can be fiery. The menu has lots of variety—options for vegetarians and carnivores. Great selection of liquid to wash down your meal, from fresh squeezed juices to beer and wine.
- 2 Diegos Restaurant, 217 Colfax Ave. Open Monday through Saturday. Chilean food. Fun mismatched decor, and pleasant staff. The bread balls they start you off with are melt in your mouth delicious and go perfectly with the dipping sauce and garlic butter that accompany them. The Agave wine margaritas are quite refreshing.
- 1 Gary's Place, 158 Mill St. Dive bar in Downtown Grass Valley with many regulars and frequented by locals.
- 2 Grass Valley Brewing Company, ☏ . Local brewery with expansive tasting room, offering flights of beers.
- 1 Best Western Gold Country Inn, 972 Sutton Way, ☏ , fax: .
- 2 The Holbrooke, 212 West Main St.
- 3 Lamb's Victorian Inn, 304 South Church St, ☏ . $125-200.
|Routes through Grass Valley|
|Yuba City ← Marysville ←||W E||→ Nevada City → Truckee|
|Oakhurst ← Auburn ←||S N||→ Nevada City → Loyalton|