14 Amazing Things to Do in Volcano

Nestled in the heart of Gold Country, Volcano, California, is a charming town with a rich history dating back to the California Gold Rush. With its picturesque streets, fascinating historical attractions, and ample opportunities for outdoor adventures, there’s no shortage of things to do in this hidden gem. So, pack your bags and get ready to uncover the best of what Volcano has to offer. Let’s dive into our top 14 picks!

1. Go Caving at the Black Chasm Cavern

Black Chasm Cavern
Photo by https://cavetouring.com/about-black-chasm

Just a 2-minute (0.8-mile) drive from Volcano, the Black Chasm Cavern is a National Natural Landmark known for its striking limestone formations. This spectacular underground world features helictite crystals, a rare type of speleothem that seemingly defies gravity. 

Join a guided tour to explore the cavern’s winding passages and learn about the fascinating geological processes that created this natural wonder. Don’t forget to bring a jacket, as temperatures inside the cavern stay cool year-round!

2. Go Hiking at the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
Photo by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Grinding_Rock_State_Historic_Park

Located about 4 minutes or 1.7 miles from Volcano, the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park offers a unique glimpse into the history and culture of the native Miwok people. The park houses the region’s largest collection of bedrock mortars.

Stroll through the park’s tranquil meadows and oak woodlands, visit the on-site museum, and learn about the traditional ways of life of the Miwok people.

3. Explore Unique Cuisines at the St. George Hotel and Restaurant

St. George Hotel and Restaurant
Photo by https://goldencountrycowgirl.com/eat-sleep-play-volcano/

Step back in time at the St. George Hotel and Restaurant, a historic landmark in the heart of Volcano. This beautifully preserved building has welcomed guests since the 1860s and boasts an authentic Victorian atmosphere. 

After exploring the hotel’s charming rooms and antique-filled lobby, treat yourself to a delicious meal in the cozy restaurant, where you can sample mouthwatering dishes made with fresh, local ingredients.

4. Attend a Show at the Cobblestone Theatre

Cobblestone Theatre
Photo by https://www.localcultureconnections.com/central-east-southeast-entertainment-performing-arts

For an unforgettable night out in Volcano, don’t miss the chance to catch a performance at the Cobblestone Theatre. This small, intimate venue hosts a variety of local performing arts, including plays, concerts, and poetry readings. 

With its warm and friendly atmosphere, the Cobblestone Theatre is the perfect place to experience the creativity and talent of Volcano’s thriving arts community.

5. Discover the History at the Volcano Pioneer Cemetery

Volcano Pioneer Cemetery
Photo by https://goldencountrycowgirl.com/volcano-ca-perfect-walking-tour/volcano-pioneer-methodist-cemetery/

Pay tribute to the early settlers of Volcano and learn about the town’s rich past at the Volcano Pioneer Cemetery. As you wander through this peaceful and well-maintained cemetery, you’ll find the graves of pioneers who played a crucial role in the town’s development during the Gold Rush. The cemetery offers a unique opportunity to connect with the town’s history and gain a deeper understanding of the lives of those who came before.

6. Take a Walking Tour and Explore the Town’s Gold Rush History 

Volcano’s charming streets are steeped in history, and there’s no better way to uncover the town’s fascinating past than by taking a walking tour. Visit historic buildings such as the old Wells Fargo building and the Union Hotel about an hour and 14 minutes (60 miles) away, and learn about the town’s role in the California Gold Rush. As you stroll through the picturesque streets, you’ll feel transported back to the 1800s when Volcano was a bustling mining town.

7. Go Hiking and Fishing at the Lake Tabeaud Recreation Area

Lake Tabeaud Recreation Area
Photo by https://www.houfy.com/don-cynthiakline/posts/lake-tabeaud-14512436

Just a 19-minute (9.9-mile) drive from Volcano, the Lake Tabeaud Recreation Area is a beautiful destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by lush greenery and rolling hills, this scenic spot offers a range of activities, including fishing, hiking, and picnicking. 

Cast a line in the well-stocked lake, venture out on one of the picturesque trails, or relax and enjoy a leisurely picnic with family and friends. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as the views are truly breathtaking!

8. Take a Guided Tour of the Kennedy Mine in Jackson

Kennedy Mine
Photo by https://goldexplorers.com/kennedy-gold-mine/

About 22 minutes or 14 miles away from Volcano, you’ll find the Kennedy Mine in Jackson, one of the deepest gold mines of its time. This fascinating historic site offers guided tours, during which you can learn about the gold mining history, the techniques used by the miners, and the hardships they faced. 

Marvel at the impressive headframe and explore the grounds, where you’ll find a museum and other interesting exhibits that bring the past to life.

9. Go Wine Tasting in the Shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah Valley
Photo by https://www.tripsavvy.com/the-best-towns-in-the-shenandoah-valley-5112948

At a 35-minute (16-mile) drive from Volcano, the Shenandoah Valley is a haven for wine lovers. This picturesque region is home to numerous wineries, each offering its unique flavors and varieties. 

Spend a leisurely afternoon sampling the area’s finest wines, from robust reds to crisp whites, and soak up the stunning views of rolling vineyards and the Sierra Foothills. Check out the local tasting rooms, and don’t hesitate to ask the friendly staff for their recommendations.

10. Discover the Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum

Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum
Photo by https://chawse.org/museum/

Located within the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park just 4 minutes (1.7 miles) away, the Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum is a must-visit for history and culture enthusiasts. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, including traditional Miwok clothing, basketry, and tools. Through the museum’s exhibits, you’ll gain insight into the daily life and customs of the Miwok people who once inhabited the region.

11. Enjoy a Scenic Drive on the Gold Country Highway

Gold Country Highway
Photo by https://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/13-places-every-Californian-should-visit-in-Gold-6880133.php

A trip to Volcano wouldn’t be complete without a scenic drive along the Gold Country Highway (State Route 49) just 9 minutes (4.7 miles) away. This picturesque route takes you through the heart of California’s Gold Rush region, with stunning views of rolling hills, oak-studded valleys, and quaint historic towns. 

Be sure to make stops at some of the charming towns along the way, such as Sutter Creek, Amador City, and Plymouth, to discover their unique attractions, shops, and eateries.

12. Embark on a Whitewater Rafting Adventure on the Mokelumne River

Mokelumne River
Photo by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mokelumne_River

For adrenaline junkies, a whitewater rafting trip down the Mokelumne River is an unforgettable experience. Over an hour and a half’s drive (70 miles) from Volcano, the Mokelumne River offers thrilling rapids and spectacular scenery. 

Choose from various rafting tours led by experienced guides, catering to different skill levels and interests. Not only will you experience an exciting ride down the river, but you’ll also have the opportunity to spot local wildlife and enjoy the pristine beauty of the surrounding wilderness.

13. Visit the Amador County Museum

Amador County Museum
Photo by https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32535-d14003575-Reviews-Amador_County_Museum-Jackson_Amador_County_California.html

Located in Jackson, about a 20-minute (12.3-mile) drive from Volcano, the Amador County Museum is a treasure trove of local history. Housed in an elegant 19th-century mansion, the museum features a diverse collection of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that tell the story of Amador County’s past. Learn about the region’s Gold Rush history, its Native American heritage, and the early pioneers who shaped the area.

14. Take a Historic Walking Tour of Sutter Creek

Sutter Creek
Photo by https://www.sacmag.com/magazine/travel/small-towns-sutter-creek/

Just a 21-minute or 13-mile drive from Volcano, the charming town of Sutter Creek offers a delightful historic walking tour. Follow the self-guided route through the town’s well-preserved downtown area, where you’ll discover a wealth of Gold Rush-era buildings, shops, and restaurants. 

Along the way, you’ll learn about the town’s history and its role in California’s Gold Rush. Don’t forget to stop by the Sutter Creek Visitor Center to pick up a map and learn more about the area’s attractions.

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


From fascinating historical sites to exhilarating outdoor adventures, Volcano, California, has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, this charming town offers a wealth of experiences that will leave you with lasting memories. So, don’t wait any longer – pack your bags and start planning your visit to Volcano today!

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