Take a Stroll Through History

Placerville is a charming California gold rush town named after the placer gold deposits found in its riverbeds and hills in the late 1840s. Its treasured heritage is reflected in the historical nineteenth-century architecture of its downtown, though you’ll find heritage throughout the city limits, which run from Smith Flat to County Fairgrounds.

Trip Picks

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.

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.

Santa at EDH Town Center with small girl

Celebrate the Holidays in Downtown Placerville with Events All Season Long

It was here that Thomas Kinkade got his inspiration for his “Hometown Memories”. Every shop and restaurant in this has something unique and different and the holidays are the perfect time to enjoy the small-town charm.

Downtown merchants wish you a joyous holiday season and appreciate every time you chose to shop locally. Enjoy two hours of free parking on your next visit!


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.

Your Guide to the Best of Placerville