18 Exciting Things to Do in Auburn

In the heart of California’s Gold Country lies Auburn, a charming town brimming with history, outdoor adventures, and fantastic local experiences. If you’re looking for a vibrant destination that offers a little something for everyone, Auburn is the place to be. 

In this blog post, we’ll share 18 exciting things to do in Auburn that will make your visit unforgettable. So, let’s explore the best of what this picturesque town has to offer!

1. Hike the Hidden Falls Trails

Hidden Falls Trails
Photo by https://northerncaliforniahikingtrails.com/blog/2021/03/14/hidden-falls-regional-park-hiking-trails/

Hidden Falls Regional Park boasts over 30 miles of multi-use trails. These trails wind through stunning landscapes of oak woodlands, grasslands, and rugged canyons. 

Lace up your hiking boots and explore the park’s serene waterfalls, babbling creeks, and panoramic vistas. With trails suitable for all skill levels, it’s the perfect spot for nature lovers of all ages. And you can get there in about 18 minutes as it’s only 8 miles away.

2. Take a Hike or Bike Ride at the American River Confluence

American River Confluence
Photo by https://cacreeks.com/amer-dam.htm

The American River Confluence (10 minutes or 3.5 miles away) is where the North and Middle Forks of the river meet, creating a breathtaking spot for outdoor enthusiasts. You can hike, bike or horse ride along the scenic trails. Otherwise, you can just relax and dip your toes in the river’s refreshing waters. 

3. Go Mountain Biking at the Auburn State Recreation Area

Auburn State Recreation Area
Photo by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auburn_State_Recreation_Area

Spanning over 35,000 acres, the Auburn State Recreation Area offers endless opportunities for adventure. From gold panning and fishing to hiking, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting, there’s something for everyone. With its rugged landscapes and rich history, this recreation area is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs. And it will only take 24 minutes to cover the 10 miles required to get there.

4. Explore the Gold Rush History at the Placer County Museum

Placer County Museum
Photo by https://whichmuseum.co.uk/museum/placer-county-museum-auburn-11952

The Placer County Museum, in the historic Old Auburn Courthouse just a minute away, provides a fascinating glimpse into the region’s Gold Rush past. With exhibits showcasing Native American artifacts, gold-mining equipment, and personal items from early settlers, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the area’s rich history. And the best part? Admission is free! 

5. Take an Art Tour at the Auburn Old Town Gallery

Auburn Old Town Gallery
Photo by https://www.visitplacer.com/auburn-old-town-gallery/

Stroll through the Auburn Old Town Gallery just 2 minutes away, where you can admire works from over 60 talented local artists. Featuring a diverse range of mediums, including paintings, sculptures, and photography, this gallery is a feast for the eyes. Don’t forget to pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir to remember your trip. 

6. Take a Walk Through Old Town Auburn

Old Town Auburn
Photo by https://www.visitplacer.com/downtown-walking-tour-old-town-auburn-walking-tours/

Step back in time as you wander the charming streets of Old Town Auburn just a minute away. With its beautifully preserved historic buildings, unique shops, and inviting restaurants, it’s easy to lose yourself in the enchanting atmosphere. Be sure to visit on a Saturday morning to catch the lively Old Town Auburn Farmers’ Market, where you can sample fresh produce and local delicacies.

7. Enjoy a Round of Golf at the DarkHorse Golf Club

DarkHorse Golf Club
Photo by https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g29120-d274614-Reviews-DarkHorse_Golf_Club-Auburn_Placer_County_California.html

Golf enthusiasts won’t want to miss the chance to play a round at the award-winning DarkHorse Golf Club just 28 minutes (15 miles) away from town. This challenging course offers stunning views of the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains. With its pristine fairways and well-maintained greens, it’s a golfing experience you won’t soon forget. 

8. Explore the Bernhard Museum Complex

Bernhard Museum Complex
Photo by https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernhard_Museum_Complex

Dive into Placer County’s intriguing history at the Bernhard Museum Complex (2 minutes away), which includes the 1851-built Bernhard House, a carriage barn, and the Travelers Rest Inn. As you tour the beautifully restored Victorian-era home, you’ll get a feel for what life was like during the Gold Rush. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the carriage barn, where you’ll find an impressive collection of vintage wagons and carriages. The Bernhard Museum Complex is a great addition to any history lover’s itinerary. 

9. Enjoy Wine Tasting on the Placer County Wine Trail

Auburn is home to the Placer County Wine Trail, a collection of over 20 boutique wineries showcasing the region’s diverse wines about 16 minutes (8 miles) away from town. Spend a leisurely afternoon sampling award-winning varietals while soaking in the beautiful vineyard views. Many wineries offer tastings by appointment, so check their websites before you go.

10. Go Mountain Biking at the Foresthill Divide Loop Trail

Foresthill Divide Loop Trail
Photo by https://www.sacmag.com/916/mountain-bike-ride-foresthill-divide-trail-loop/

Ready for a thrilling ride? Grab your mountain bike and hit the Foresthill Divide Loop Trail, a 10.6-mile moderately challenging trail about 14 minutes (10.3 miles) from Auburn. With its flowy singletrack, exhilarating descents, and breathtaking views, it’s a must-do for any mountain biking enthusiast. 

11. Attend an Event at the Gold Country Fairgrounds

Gold Country Fairgrounds
Photo by https://www.theluckylosers.com/dates/2015/9/13/gold-country-fair-in-auburn

Located in the heart of Auburn, the Gold Country Fairgrounds hosts numerous events throughout the year, including the annual Gold Country Fair, car shows, and music festivals. Check their calendar to see what’s happening while you’re there, and join in on the fun! It’s a 3-minute (0.7-mile) drive from the town center.

12. Go for a Scenic Drive Along Highway 49

Highway 49
Photo by https://sierrarecmagazine.com/visiting-gold-country-on-the-scenic-california-hwy-49/

Take a leisurely drive along Highway 49, also known as the Golden Chain Highway, and immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes and fascinating history of Gold Country. With countless charming towns, historic sites, and natural wonders to explore along the way, this scenic route is the perfect way to experience the beauty and allure of the region. And it’s only 2 minutes (0.8 miles) away.

13. Experience Rafting on the American River

American River
Photo by https://www.worldatlas.com/rivers/american-river-california.html

For a thrilling outdoor adventure, head to the American River just 40 minutes or 27 miles away for an unforgettable rafting experience. With rapids ranging from gentle Class I to adrenaline-pumping Class IV, there’s a rafting trip suitable for everyone, from families to experienced thrill-seekers. Several local outfitters offer guided trips, ensuring a safe journey down the river. 

14. Go Craft Beer Tasting at the Auburn Alehouse 

Auburn Alehouse
Photo by https://auburnalehouse.com/about/team-alehouse/alehouse-gallery

After a day of exploring, unwind with a refreshing craft beer at the Auburn Alehouse in the historic American Block Building just 2 minutes away. With a wide selection of handcrafted brews on tap, from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, you’re sure to find the perfect pint to quench your thirst. Don’t forget to order some pub fare with your beer! 

15. Explore the Overlook Park

Overlook Park
Photo by https://mapio.net/pic/p-57576252/

For a peaceful escape, head to Overlook Park, a beautiful 10-acre green space with stunning views of the American River Canyon just 4 minutes or 0.9 miles away. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the winding pathways, or bring a picnic and relax on the manicured lawns. The park is also home to the Auburn Endurance Capital Monument, which pays tribute to the region’s long-standing tradition of endurance sports. 

16. Go Skydiving at Skydive Sacramento

Skydive Sacramento
Photo by https://skydivingsource.com/locations/skydive-sacramento/

Take to the skies with Skydive Sacramento (27 minutes or 25 miles away) for a truly unforgettable experience. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you freefall from 13,000 feet while looking at the spectacular scenery of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Sacramento Valley. 

Whether you’re a first-time jumper or an experienced skydiver, the professional instructors at Skydive Sacramento will ensure your adventure is both safe and exhilarating. 

17. Delight Your Taste Buds at the Foothills Farmers’ Market

Foothills Farmers’ Market
Photo by http://flyingmule.blogspot.com/2011/07/old-town-auburn-farmers-market.html

Indulge in the delicious flavors of the region at the Foothills Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday morning in Old Town Auburn. Browse the various stalls offering fresh, locally-grown produce, artisanal cheeses, and handcrafted goods. 

Chat with friendly vendors, sample tasty treats, and discover the true essence of Auburn’s vibrant community. It’s the perfect way to spend a leisurely morning while supporting local farmers and artisans. 

18. Go Kayaking at the Majestic Lake Clementine

Lake Clementine
Photo by https://www.mklibrary.com/lake-clementine/

Just a short 12-minute or 6.5-mile drive from Auburn lies the serene Lake Clementine, a hidden gem nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills. This tranquil reservoir is perfect for a day of relaxation and outdoor fun. 

Rent a kayak or canoe to explore the lake’s calm waters, or hike the surrounding trails for picturesque views of the sparkling lake and the famous Foresthill Bridge. Don’t forget your camera, as the area is teeming with stunning photo opportunities and abundant wildlife. 

Hey, if you stick around the area make sure to check out these other towns:


Auburn is a treasure trove of unique experiences, from adrenaline-pumping outdoor adventures to captivating cultural attractions. With so much to see and do, you’ll never run out of ways to create lasting memories in this charming Gold Rush town. So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and embark on an unforgettable journey through Auburn’s rich history and natural beauty.

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