Discover Historic Placerville
PLACERVILLE – Located just off Highway 50 in El Dorado County, it’s not only a stop on the way to Tahoe; it’s the perfect destination for the whole family to discover the area’s rich history.
We decided on Placerville to celebrate a birthday for a girl’s weekend. Wine tasting was the plan, but unfortunately, our trip at the end of February limited our winery visits, as an unusual winter snowstorm prevented many from being open.
Boeger Winery was one of the few that were open, known for their Barbera wines and even a Chardonnay produced with grapes harvested after the Caldor fire in 2021. I have to say, I’m not usually a big fan of Chardonnays, but this one was so good I purchased several bottles. As they say, “there is no certainty; there is only adventure,” so we decided to head downtown to begin the fun.
We checked in to the Historic Cary House Hotel. Dating back to 1857, the brick building’s early years served as a stage stop for the Wells Fargo lines and welcomed pioneers traveling through old Placerville. The elevator alone is something I’ve never experienced; with a door that opens to a mesh screen, one press of the button and you’re abruptly be delivered to your floor. Stairs are also available.
We had a king suite that accommodated the four of us. Since this is a historic hotel (some say it’s haunted), you might find the rooms to be smaller than their more modern counterparts. The location, however, cannot be beaten! It is within walking distance to restaurants, wineries, musical venues, shopping and more, making it the perfect place for your base camp.
Our first downtown stop was The Wine Smith, where proprietor Scott had jazz playing on the turntable. Many local wines (and beer) are available by the glass, and it’s the perfect place to relax and try a new wine. Not sure what you like? Scott is happy to let you taste before you decide!
Next, we wandered into the Enchanted Forest, an Irish-themed restaurant and bar, and were greeted with traditional Irish music and “crowns” of flashing flower lights, which made the visit magical! We tried their baked Brie wrapped in phyllo and their salmon tapas baguettes. Both were outstanding!
In between, we ventured in and out of the area’s art galleries, clothing stores and gift shops. All of the local stores offer unique finds; two of which we found to be our favorites: Placerville Art Gallery and Treehouse, a home, garden and holiday store.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at The Independent and then decided to check out the local music venues, Placerville Public House and the Green Room Social Club. Both regularly feature live music and dancing, as they did the evening we visited. There are so many other wonderful things to do in the area, and each season lends a unique perspective. We’ll definitely be going back to experience warmer weather and more that the area has to offer.
Find out more about visiting Placerville at visit-eldorado.com.