Top 20 Things to Do in Somerset, California

Nestled in the picturesque Sierra Foothills, Somerset is a hidden gem in California’s wine country. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a wine connoisseur, or a history buff. 

You will find something interesting in this charming community. Get ready to uncover the top attractions in Somerset, California, with our ultimate guide. Let’s dive in!

1. Savor Wine at the Cedarville Vineyard

Cedarville Vineyard
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Start your adventure with a visit to Cedarville Vineyard, a boutique winery specializing in handcrafted wines. Sample their exquisite varietals while taking in the stunning vineyard views. Cedarville Vineyard is just a short 10-minute and 5-mile drive from the heart of Somerset.

2. Go Wine Tasting and Explore the Skinner Vineyards & Winery

Skinner Vineyards & Winery
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Another must-visit winery in the area is Skinner Vineyards & Winery. This family-owned winery offers a variety of award-winning wines, a beautiful tasting room, and spectacular views of the surrounding valley. It’s an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy the fruits of the region, just 11 minutes and 7 miles from downtown Somerset.

3. Go Birdwatching at the Cosumnes River Preserve

Cosumnes River Preserve
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Nature lovers, rejoice! The Cosumnes River Preserve is a beautiful sanctuary, only an hour and 60-mile drive from Somerset. This 50,000-acre nature preserve is home to an array of wildlife and offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and birdwatching. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature and let your worries fade away.

4. Go Camping and Hiking at the Sly Park Recreation Area

Sly Park Recreation Area
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Located 20 minutes and 10 miles from Somerset, Sly Park Recreation Area is an outdoor paradise. This scenic area features a beautiful lake, miles of hiking trails, and opportunities for camping and water activities. Whether you want to relax by the water, explore the trails, or camp under the stars, Sly Park is the perfect getaway.

5. Hike and Explore the El Dorado National Forest

El Dorado National Forest
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Embrace your adventurous spirit and venture into El Dorado National Forest. Just 40 minutes and 27 miles away from Somerset, this vast forest offers a myriad of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and scenic drives. Check out the captivating Crystal Basin area for breathtaking views and serene landscapes.

6. Admire Art at the Gold Country Artists Gallery

Gold Country Artists Gallery
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Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Gold Country Artists Gallery in nearby Placerville, only a 31-minute drive from Somerset. This cooperative gallery showcases the works of talented local artists and offers a diverse collection of art, jewelry, and sculptures. Look around and you might see something worth taking with you!

7. Delight in Performances at Placerville Shakespeare Club

Placerville Shakespeare Club
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Theater lovers will appreciate the charm and talent on display at the Placerville Shakespeare Club. Located just 25 minutes and 11 miles from Somerset, this community theater group hosts performances and events throughout the year. Be sure to catch a show and enjoy an evening of entertainment!

8. Dine at Allez! Restaurant

Allez! Restaurant
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Craving some local flavors? Head over to Allez! Restaurant in nearby Diamond Springs, a mere 16-minute and 10-mile drive from Somerset. This delightful eatery features farm-to-table dining and a menu that highlights the region’s fresh produce. Indulge in a culinary experience you won’t forget!

9. Go Caving at the Black Chasm Cavern

Black Chasm Cavern
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Venture underground and marvel at the unique geological wonders of Black Chasm Cavern, located approximately 50 minutes and 25 miles from Somerset. This National Natural Landmark offers guided walking tours through its intricate chambers. You can witness mesmerizing stalactites, stalagmites, and rare helictite crystal formations. 

The knowledgeable guides will share fascinating stories about the cavern’s history, geology, and mineralogy. Experience the thrill of exploring this hidden world and gain a new appreciation for the Earth’s incredible subterranean treasures.

10. Step Back in Time at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
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Journey back in time at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, thirty-five minutes from Somerset. Take a look back in time and see the place which started the Gold Rush Era. This park is the site where people found the first traces of gold in California. Explore the park’s museum, take a guided tour, or try your hand at gold panning for an authentic experience.

11. Uncover History in Coloma

South Fork American River
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Continue your historical adventure with a visit to Coloma, the birthplace of the California Gold Rush. Just a 40-minute and 21-mile drive from Somerset, this quaint town offers a glimpse into the past with its preserved buildings, museums, and outdoor activities. Don’t miss the chance to explore the South Fork American River for a thrilling whitewater rafting experience.

12. Pick Fresh Fruits at Apple Hill

Apple Hill
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You can’t say you’ve been to Somerset without visiting Apple Hill, only 30 minutes away. This picturesque region boasts orchards and pumpkin patches. If you plan your visit, you might get to experience the area’s seasonal events. Indulge in homemade apple treats, pick fresh fruit, or explore the charming farms that dot the landscape.

13. Go Shopping and Fruit-Picking at the Boa Vista Orchards

Boa Vista Orchards
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Boa Vista Orchards, located in Apple Hill, offers a delightful experience for visitors of all ages. Spend a day picking fruit, sampling homemade goodies, or browsing the charming gift shop. This family-owned orchard is the perfect place to spend time with your loved ones. And the best part is it’s only 12 miles away, so you can get there within 20 minutes.

14. Take a Guided Tour of the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
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Discover California’s Native American heritage at Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, just an hour and 26 miles away from Somerset. This fascinating park has the largest collection of bedrock mortars in the region. Plus, there’s a museum dedicated to the local Miwok tribe. Explore the park’s trails, witness traditional dance performances, and immerse yourself in the area’s rich history.

15. Take Photos and Enjoy Scenic Views at David Girard Vineyards

David Girard Vineyards
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Conclude your Somerset adventure with a visit to David Girard Vineyards, a beautiful winery offering stunning views and exceptional wines. Relax on their picturesque terrace as you sip on a glass of their signature Rhône-style wine. Located 45 minutes from Somerset, it’s the perfect way to end your journey.

16. Stroll through Downtown Placerville

Downtown Placerville
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Take a leisurely stroll through downtown Placerville, just 20 minutes and 12 miles from Somerset. This charming, historic town features unique shops, galleries, and eateries, all nestled along its quaint Main Street. You can spend an afternoon here browsing for treasures and soaking up the friendly atmosphere.

17. Go Mountain Biking in the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
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For those seeking an adrenaline rush, head to the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, just over forty minutes drive from Somerset. This expansive park offers miles of thrilling trails for mountain biking. Each trail has a different expertise level. 

If mountain biking isn’t your thing, try hiking and horseback riding. Challenge yourself and enjoy the exhilaration of exploring the great outdoors on two wheels.

18. Kayak or Paddleboard on Jenkinson Lake

Jenkinson Lake
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Get out on the water and enjoy the serenity of Jenkinson Lake, located within the Sly Park Recreation Area. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the lake’s calm waters, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s an invigorating way to experience the natural wonders of the region. And it’s only 12 miles or 25 minutes away, so you won’t have trouble getting there.

19. Take a Scenic Drive along the Carson Pass Scenic Byway

Carson Pass Scenic Byway
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Experience the Sierra Nevada Mountains by taking a scenic drive along the Carson Pass Scenic Byway. Just an hour and a half and 58 miles from Somerset, this picturesque route offers stunning views of alpine lakes, lush forests, and rugged mountain peaks. Don’t forget to stop at vista points for some incredible photo opportunities!

20. Try Disc Golf at Finnon Lake Recreation Area

Finnon Lake Recreation Area
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For a fun and unique outdoor activity, head to Finnon Lake Recreation Area, just 45 minutes and 20 miles from Somerset. This beautiful park features an 18-hole disc golf course set amidst a scenic landscape of rolling hills and mature trees. 

This course offers a challenging and enjoyable experience for players, no matter their skill level. If you don’t have your discs, you can rent them on-site. Enjoy a day of friendly competition in the great outdoors.


From wine tasting and outdoor adventures to art galleries and local cuisine, Somerset offers diverse activities and attractions. We hope this guide to the best things to do in Somerset inspires you to explore this charming region and create unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in Somerset.

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

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