Watch a wiener dog race
You haven’t lived until you’ve witnessed wiener dogs racing (in costume!). That’s one of many activities that make the Placerville Oktoberfest so darned fun. You’ll find craft breweries, local wine, live Bavarian music and dance demos, German food, beer contests, and more. Plus, costumes are encouraged, so it’s a perfect excuse to break out your Lederhosen and dirndls!
Run through apple orchards
You may have been to Apple Hill℠, but have you run through it? The Apple Hill Harvest Run starts at Lava Cap Winery and takes you through apple orchards and the surrounding neighborhoods. All proceeds directly benefit local students, which really makes this a win-win event. It’s a proven fact that apple donuts taste better after you run.
Watch Gold Rush history come alive
The Gold Rush wasn’t just about gold seekers. Merchants, saloon keepers, and doctors were just some of the folks who helped establish communities like Coloma. Experience a real-live throwback to 1850 at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park as it recreates the town as it once was. Coloma Gold Rush Live features everything from a carpentry shop to a laundry, along with live music, gold panning, and children’s games.
Did you know you can see fall colors in California? Mother Nature puts on a glorious display of autumnal fireworks throughout El Dorado County during the fall months. For the most vibrant displays head to Hope Valley, Coloma, Placerville, and Apple Hill℠. Even the vineyards get into the mood, as their vines change color in the fall, too.
Sample the Sierra
El Dorado County is home to a delicious bounty of local and authentic food and drink, and you can taste your way through all of it at the county’s signature farm-to-fork event, Sample the Sierra. Enjoy food from local chefs paired with wine, beer, or other locally produced beverages, along with a festival marketplace with art, jewelry, and crafts, and a Sierra Chefs Challenge, the hometown version of Top Chef.
Go camping and listen to live music
The 7th annual Hangtown Music Festival is a family-friendly weekend that’s much more than a music festival. Sure, you can spend three days listening to live bands like Railroad Earth, Afrolicious, Dark Star Orchestra, and more, but there’s also parades, yoga, pumpkin carving, games, arts & crafts, and special performances for the younger set. Bring your tent or RV (or whatever you call your home away from home) and your dancing shoes!
Eat an apple donut
Apple Hill™ is an annual tradition for many, but if you still haven’t tasted an apple donut, fritter, or pie from here, well, you should make sure that changes this fall! Baked goods pair well with the fresh air and bucolic atmosphere of the ranches and farms, many of which include kids’ activities. Avoid the crowds by planning a trip in September or November, or mid-week in October.