If a trip to El Dorado County is in the cards, a weekend in Placerville has to be on the itinerary. The quaint town with a rich agricultural history and mountaintop apple orchards has so much to offer.

downtown placerville california, el dorado county

From a downtown chock full of delightful cafes and attractions like the Community Observatory and the Historical Museum to the vineyards and wineries, you will thoroughly enjoy your weekend in Placerville. The Placerville bed and breakfasts will take care of your stay!

Start with some history

The discovery of gold in Coloma, just ten miles away from downtown Placerville, resulted in the California Gold Rush. Soon the area was flocked by eager gold miners who wanted to strike it rich. What started as a mining camp soon grew into a city. The 19th-century buildings still line Placerville’s Main Street. The historic Bell Tower in the plaza is one of them. Pick up a self-guided historic walking tour at the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.  Check out the Fountain-Tallman Museum to get a glimpse of Placerville’s history. It is the oldest in the town!

Nature is calling

The Eldorado National Forest is located a few minutes away from downtown Placerville and is a paradise for nature lovers. Go hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, or camping. Sly Park Reservoir and Sunset-Union Valley are two of the best campgrounds nearby. Desolation Wilderness is also nearby, a hiking and backpacking gem. This federally protected area offers serene and scenic views of landscapes and high alpine lakes.   

wine tasting in El Dorado County

Savor beautiful views and award-winning wines at nearby wineries including Lava Cap.

Some wine for your palate

Placerville is the place to be if you have a distinct taste for wine. Enjoy the hearty Cabernet Sauvignon or the fruit-forward Chardonnay at Lava Cap Winery. Head to Madrona Vineyards for some Gewurztraminer and Malbec. Boeger Winery boasts of a lovely garden-like setting.

More of a beer person? You will find fantastic craft breweries. Jack Russell Brewery is famous for its English-style ales, and Solid Ground Brewery is a 30-barrel brewhouse committed to crafting traditional and cutting-edge beer and wine styles. Outbreak Brewing Company boasts a wide range of beers, from IPAs to lagers.

The Bookery in Placerville, CA Photo: Bill Robinson Studios

The Bookery in Placerville is a charming locally owned bookstore on Historic Main Street. Photo courtesy Bill Robinson Studios.

Let’s go shopping

The historic Main Street of Placerville is not only known for its charming architecture; it is also lined with locally-owned boutiques and stores. For a little retail therapy, stop at:

  • The Bookery – Literature or theater, history or tourism, this cozy bookstore will have a good read for every genre you could want.
  • Placerville Antiques – A large selection of collectible coins and glassware, furniture, and jewelry from days gone by, you will find everything here.
  • Tree House – Take back some unique artwork, home décor items, or kitchen goods from this quaint shop.
HeyDay Cafe in Placerville

Enjoy delicious food served with El Dorado County wines at HeyDay Cafe in Placerville.

Fill your stomach

You’ll need a few square meals to stay recharged for outdoor adventures and shopping. Placerville will not disappoint! Check out:

  • Heyday Café – Stop by for relishing fine foods. We recommend the flat iron steak with chimichurri and the seared tuna with herbed farro.
  • Bricks – The classic pub fare like wings and calamari or hearty dishes like beef tenderloin with mushroom rosemary sauce and blackened lamb chops with Dijon cream, Bricks is the place to be.

Placerville bed and breakfasts are idyllic vacation escapes. For bed and breakfast in Placerville, CA, check this out.