15 Best Things to Do in Grass Valley California

Nevada county is a tourist’s paradise, with its abundance of natural beauty, cultural attractions, hotels, restaurants, and vineyards.

Most people recommend traveling to southern California to see places like San Francisco, San Diego, etc.

Although lovely, Northern California is the better choice for anyone seeking peace while visiting the Golden State. Cities like Grass Valley, Nevada City, Washington, etc., serve as hubs for the art restoration industry.

This article covers many of the historical and famous places you must visit while in Grass Valley. 

Moreover, it will serve as a guide for the best things to do in Grass Valley to make your vacations memorable. So let’s dig in.

1. Experience and Learn About the Victorian Era at Grass Valley Museum

The Grass Valley Museum has preserved the history of the Gold Rush days and has various Victorian-era items. 

These items include artifacts, furniture, musical instruments, artwork, and clothing. You will also see a Hall of Photographs, a restored classroom, and a bedroom. It has a great collection of local history, vintage wedding dresses, and local art from the 1930s.

The museum is usually open from April to December, and its hours are 12:30-3:30 PM.

2. Go Hiking and Sightseeing at the North Star Historic Conservancy

North Star Historic Conservancy
Photo by https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32447-d4587829-Reviews-North_Star_Historic_Conservancy-Grass_Valley_California.html

North Star House, also known as the Historic Julia Morgan Home, is a gold rush era landmark.  Julia Morgan was the famous architect who artistically built the house. 

The North Star Historic Conservancy is a non-profit organization that operates the house. They sustain and restore the home with the help of other organizations. It has an art gallery on the second floor, which is a must-visit place.

Moreover, North Star’s historic conservancy has a Heritage Garden that is popular among locals for its greenery, extensive hiking trails, and as a venue for special events. It’s a great place to enjoy outdoor activities.

3. Practice Shooting and Play Fun Games at The Range

In Grass Valley, California, at a facility called “The Range,” avid hunters and competitive shooters may refine their abilities and compare their performance to that of the greatest in the world.

This indoor shooting range, which has both a rifle and a pistol range, is the only one of its kind in Nevada County. Additionally, it is completely accessible for people with disabilities thanks to its well-thought-out design.

You are welcome to bring your go-to gun or hire one from The Range while enjoying the remainder of the day.

4. Go Hiking and Learn History at Empire Mine State Historic Park

View along the main drift at Empire Mine
Photo by https://www.visitcalifornia.com/experience/empire-mine-state-historic-park/

Empire Mine State Historic Park is known for having California’s biggest, deepest, and oldest gold mines. You must add this place to your things to do in the Grass Valley list.

The Empire Mine State Park is a historical landmark for the richest gold mine. The history of this mine goes back to the 1850s when George Roberts discovered the gold in Ophir Hill and sold the place to the Woodbury Company.

The park also contains a museum that displays a scale model of the underground workings of the mine as well as some great hiking trails. 

Moreover, at the Mine State Park Museum, volunteers wear Edwardian clothing every weekend from May to October and give you a tour of the life history of the Bourn Cottage.

5. Enjoy Classic Craft Cocktails and Unique Cuisine at the Historic Holbrooke Hotel

Historic Holbrooke Hotel
Photo by https://gonevadacounty.com/grass-valley/

As a visitor to Grass Valley, California, you owe it to yourself to stay at the renovated Victorian Holbrooke Hotel, which is brimming with stories and mementos from the town’s Gold Rush heyday.

It is a unique blend of modern luxuries and the rustic charm of history. This beautiful landmark of Grass Valley will make your stay unforgettable, as it has been serving the community for more than 150 years.

At the hotel’s Golden Gate Saloon, guests may enjoy a wide variety of smoked meats and classic and artisan cocktails.

6. Practice Art, Dance, and Karate and Host Special Events at St. Joseph’s Cultural Center

This cultural center is a beautiful historic gem to visit. People from Grass Valley or nearby areas use it as a place for special events. It has a rose garden with almost 100 heritage roses, plants, and trees.

Moreover, it also has artist studios that anyone can book for their exhibitions and other events.

7. Enjoy Performances at The Center For The Arts

The Center for the Arts
Photo by https://thecenterforthearts.org/about/

This center is a 21,000-square-foot facility with a 492-seat central theater. Moreover, it has visual art galleries and classrooms. It has a black box theater with almost 90 seats.

It is a cultural and educational group that promotes the visual, performing, and literary arts. 

They hold almost 150 performances annually, along with seminars and workshops, with the help of the Youth Arts Education Program.

8. Watch Movies at the Classic Del Oro Theater

Del Oro Theater
Photo by https://www.roadarch.com/theatres/ca5.html

If you’re looking for a good time and entertaining spectacle, look no further than Del Oro Theater. The theater opened its doors in 1943, and its Art Deco architecture and modern conveniences perfectly match.

You can search for the show times you want to watch and enjoy the first-run movies in this classic place.

9. Go Wine Tasting and Sightseeing at the Naggiar Vineyard

Naggiar Vineyard
Photo by https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32447-d2617053-Reviews-Naggiar_Vineyard_Winery-Grass_Valley_California.html

For a beautiful perspective of Grass Valley, California, you should go to Naggiar Vineyard; it is a tranquil and delightful location.

You can also find excellent Bordeaux, Italian, and Rhone award-winning wines that were produced using only the finest grapes.

10. Taste the Wines of Lucchesi Vineyards Tasting Room

Lucchesi Vineyards
Photo by https://www.tripadvisor.co/Attraction_Review-g32447-d5565980-Reviews-Lucchesi_Vineyards_Tasting_Room-Grass_Valley_California.html

The Lucchesi vineyards in the Sierra Foothills are known for their excellent grape harvests and wines.

You can visit this fun place not only for wine tasting but also to view the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which are famous for their magnificence.

11. Enjoy the Drinks and Cuisine at Grass Valley Brewing Company

Grass Valley Brewing Company
Photo by https://www.comstocksmag.com/web-only/grass-valley-gets-first-brewery-prohibition

If you’re looking for a local brewery specializing in both old and new beer styles, look no further than the Grass Valley Brewing Company, where you’ll find a welcoming atmosphere and a staff that knows everything there is to know about their brews.

Additionally, the building houses Roost, a restaurant with excellent food, including the well-known Filthy Burger Du Jour, a local favorite.

12. Go Wine Tasting at the Sierra Starr Winery

Sierra Starr Winery
Photo by https://outsideinn.com/blog/things-to-do/wine-tasting/

Sierra Starr Winery is your best bet if you’re looking for a wide selection of award-winning wines in one convenient location. 

Their tasting area is where you should spend the most time because they have both red and white wines as well as dessert wines.

You can visit the place from Thursday to Sunday, from 12 PM to 5 PM. 

13. Enjoy Delicious Coffee at the South Pine Café

South Pine Cafe
Photo by https://52perfectdays.com/articles/a-perfect-day-exploring-grass-valley-california/

South Pine Café will be the best option in this mining town if you are searching for the best place for your morning coffee. South Pine Café is famous for breakfast, lunch, and beer.

The spicy Jamaican chicken burrito is one of its best lunch menu recipes. Moreover, all of their items are made in-house with natural ingredients. The morning coffee is made from locally roasted Caroline’s coffee.

14. Dine at Pine Street Burgers

Pine Street Burgers
Photo by https://usarestaurants.info/explore/united-states/california/nevada-county/grass-valley/717482-pine-street-burgers-e-main-dorsey-drive.htm

If you want to enjoy the ultimate Grass Valley food, we suggest you visit a Pine Street Burger restaurant to enjoy the freshly-made burgers, fries, and sandwiches.

They use natural ingredients and maintain a hygienic environment for visitors. George and Suzie Dyer have found the perfect location on the main street of Grass Valley’s small town.

15. Visit the Art Works Gallery and the Louvre

The Louvre
Photo by https://thelouvregallery.com/

If you’re an artist or just someone who enjoys learning about the history of artwork, you must check out these two galleries.

The Louvre has served the Grass Valley for over 30 years. It is a framing shop that works as a full-service art gallery and restoration company.

On the other hand, Art Works Gallery is a cooperative gallery that has won awards and showcases the work of more than 30 artists from one of California’s most significant art scenes. Painting, jewelry, photography, ceramics, and even furniture are all represented here.

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


Grass Valley is one of the best places in Nevada County to stay and enjoy vacations and outdoor activities. It has a rich history, and you can enjoy self-guided tours. 

The Grass Valley Museum and Mine State Park allow visitors to experience the mining industry as it was in the nineteenth century.

If you want to stay in a historical place, the Holbrooke Hotel is the best option. Moreover, Lucchesi Vineyards’ tasting room has the best wines to entertain your taste buds. 

Aside from that, the art galleries are fun places to view history and the minds of artists. You’ll never run out of things to do in Grass Valley, which makes it a place worth visiting

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