Take a Stroll Through Historic Hangtown

Placerville is a charming California “gold rush” town named after the placer gold deposits found in its river beds and hills in the late 1840’s. Its treasured heritage is reflected in the historical, nineteenth-century architecture of its downtown. An important historic landmark that still remains on Main Street is the Bell Tower, which stands as a monument to the city’s volunteer firemen. Today, the Bell Tower serves as a gathering place for parades, celebrations, and other Historic Main Street events.

historic placerville buildings

historic placerville buildings

Trip Picks

Gold Bug Park & Mine

Gold Bug Mine is one of the area’s hidden treasures you won’t want to miss located just a mile north of Historic Main Street. A self-guided audio tour takes you on an exploration 352 feet into a real hard rock gold mine. The park boasts more than 60 acres with picnic areas, hiking trails, and an opportunity to pan for gems. Check out the historic stamp mill, gift shop, and a working blacksmith shop. Gold Bug is also a unique and affordable stop for school or group tours.

Apple Hill™

Whether you are looking for the perfect pumpkin or Primitivo, Cabernet or Christmas tree, the Apple Hill Growers are looking forward to sharing their bountiful backroads with you. For some, Apple Hill™ means berry farms, u-pick apple ranches, and kid-friendly activities. For grown-ups, it’s fine wines and handcrafted beers in an incredible Sierra-soaked setting. For others, it’s Christmas trees for as far as your group can wander. A trip to Apple Hill™ is a fall family favorite, but some ranches are open year-round.

Historic Downtown Placerville

Shop till you drop or stroll the street, Historic Main Street features unique shops, antiques, fine art galleries, and restaurants. You’ll find small town charm with a backdrop of Gold Rush history. Don’t miss Placerville Hardware Store, “the oldest Hardware Store West of the Mississippi,” and free stagecoach rides once a month. Stop by Fountain-Tallman Museum to find out more about the history of “Old Hangtown” or schedule a guided tour.


There’s a lot of history in El Dorado County. So much so, there are two museums, both in Placerville. History buffs will love exploring both the El Dorado County Historical Museum and the Fountain & Tallman Museum

Arts & Culture

El Dorado County is home to a thriving arts community playing a vital role in preserving our past and inspiring our future. You’ll find galleries, exhibits, and more in and around Placerville.

Community Observatory

The Community Observatory is your window to the night sky! See the stars through the 17-inch and 14-inch reflecting telescopes on a clear, dark night.

Wine Tasting

The El Dorado Wine Region blends the magic of wine country with the drama of the magnificent Sierra Nevada. More than 20 wineries are just minutes from the highway 50 corridor and downtown Placerville, but you feel like you’re a world away. One of California’s oldest wine regions, the vineyards are planted on steep hillsides, in nooks and crannies, and in breathtaking valleys. You’ll find second and third generation winemakers known for a willingness to experiment and innovate, a pioneer spirit, producing a diverse selection of wines at a very reasonable price.

downtown placerville bell tower

Plan Your Stay in Placerville

Use the map directories below to help plan your visit.

Lodging In and Around Placerville

Things To Do In Placerville

Dog-Friendly Lodging in El Dorado County

Dog-Friendly Activities in El Dorado County

Upcoming Events in Placerville