Experience a Real Victorian Christmas in the Quaint Sierra Foothills Town of Nevada City


Christmas lights are twinkling, the trees are up and the kids have all made their lists…yes, it’s officially the holiday season! If you are like most parents, then the holiday stress is about to set in. This year, I have vowed to not let the “little things” get to me and to just enjoy the time with my family.

Recently, we decided to forgo the Black Friday crowds. Instead we packed up the kids and headed for the tranquility of the hills. 

Nevada City is located 60 miles northeast of Sacramento and 28 miles north of Auburn.  If you have never visited this quaint town in the heart of the Sierra Foothills, this is the time to plan your trip.

Boasting with Gold Rush history, this town takes you back in time.  With the old-time saloons, candy shops and boutiques, you can spend hours browsing through the city. Our family wanted to do some exploring, so we set off to hike the Deer Creek Tribute trail.  This was an easy walk that started in downtown and winded its way through neighborhoods and eventually to the trail head.  This time of year, the colors of the trees were so vibrant that I felt like I should have been hiking somewhere in Maine vs. being only minutes from home.

We enjoyed viewing the foliage, hiking along the creek and even testing out our “Indiana Jones” capabilities while crossing over a large suspension bridge that connects the trail over Deer Creek. It was an easy enough hike for the youngest of hikers, and challenging in some spots to make it feel like a bit more than an afternoon stroll. Round trip, we were hiked for about two hours – long enough to work up an appetite and have lunch in downtown.

 Visiting Nevada City is a treat any time of year.  However, if you want to visit during December, you will truly be transported into another place in time.

Nevada City’s Victorian Christmas is an annual event that’s not to be missed.  Horse drawn carriages, chestnuts roasting over open fires and Christmas Carolers on every corner dressed in Victorian wear is such a fun experience for the whole family.

Victorian Christmas takes place on Sunday December 3, 10 and 17 from 1:30-6pm and again on Wednesday December 13 and 20 from 5-9pm.IMG_5757

This is a very popular event, so be prepared for traffic and difficulty finding parking…don’t let this deter you though, as this truly is a magical event that everyone in your family will enjoy.

So whether you choose to visit Nevada City during the “off season” and enjoy a family hike (there are several to choose from), or visit during the holidays and enjoy spiced ciders and mulled wines… this is definitely a day trip to plan with your family.

Heather Crivellone


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