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Best Holiday Escapes Near Sacramento

Sacramento is a wonderful city, but sometimes getting out of town for the holidays is even better. Located in a very advantageous area, trips out of town can cover anything from wine country to the mountains, the ocean, historic gold country cities or the glitzy offerings of the Bay Area. With a bit of planning, a short two- to three-hour drive can put the holidays in a different light, with memories to last a lifetime. Take advantage of all that is within reach of the Sacramento area.


Cary House Hotel
300 Main St.
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 622-4271

Best time to go: December 10 through January 10

Placerville is an historic gold rush town with a magnificently preserved downtown. The Historic Cary House Hotel is the perfect spot to book a room to enjoy the beauty of Main Street. Home to some very interesting buildings and unique businesses, look for the plaques on the front of them and discover what they started out as and what they've been used for over the years. Today the downtown area houses art galleries, the oldest hardware store in the west, music shops and a boatload of very good restaurants. Coffee shops, from American style to Euro units, dot the entire length of Main Street. Not far out of town you'll find Apple Hill and along Highway 49, Marshall Gold Discovery Park, which is exactly what the name implies.


Camp Richardson Resort
1900 Jameson Beach Road
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158
(530) 541-1801

Best time to go: December 10 through May 31

Would you prefer a cabin on the shores of Lake Tahoe or a room in an historic hotel? Book early and enjoy your stay in an extremely special location. Watch the sun rise and the sun set with a full panoramic view of Lake Tahoe. Camp Richardson is a year-round paradise with all the magic of Lake Tahoe literally just outside the door. Holiday happenings abound around the lake. Venture out along the south shore for plays, art, outdoor adventures, a day on the beach or just a relaxing time in one of California's most fantastic locations. There is ample history here for those who take the time to look.

Related: Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip To Nevada City


Tahoma Meadows Bed and Breakfast
6821 W. Lake Blvd.
Tahoma, CA 96142
(530) 525-1553

Best time to go: December 10 through January 10

Cozy, quaint and personal come to mind when thinking about Tahoma Meadows. Dick and Ulli White have lovingly built this B&B into a dream come true for a quiet retreat from a busy city. The cottages are the essence of Tahoe and are clustered behind the small main lodge. Book a stay here and roam what is called Tahoe's magical west shore. Enjoy the plentiful and hearty breakfast at the lodge or cook your own if you're in a cottage with a kitchenette. Several of the cottages are dog friendly. Families will find this spot to be a memory maker. It's easy to get to Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Northstar-at-Tahoe for fun on the slopes. It's just as easy to simply take in the wonder of the lake too.


Sorensen's Resort
14255 Highway 88
Hope Valley, CA 96120
(530) 694-2203

Best time to go: December 10 through January 31

Along Highway 88 is a little spot that is unique in more than one way. Sorensen's Resort has the distinction of being in a little nook, across from the Carson River, with an aspen grove that somehow is always the first to show color and frequently the most vibrant colors in autumn. In the snowy months it is perfectly situated to provide quiet and comfort for the city weary. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities surround the place and Kirkwood Mountain Ski Resort is not far away. John and Patty Brissenden have lovingly maintained this special little slice of natural heaven. Guests can enjoy the warmth of their cabins or huddle up in the main dining lodge.


Fern Grove Cottages
16650 River Road
Guerneville, CA 95446
(707) 869-8105

A trip to the redwoods and the Russian River could be just the ticket for a tranquil holiday respite. Fern Grove Cottages would be the place to rest your mind. This historic area offers golf, Russian River canoe trips and Segway tours. What isn't well known is that this area is home to more art galleries than you can visit in one day. When not taking in the art world, the Russian River wineries spread out around the region will more than fill your stomped grape needs. Take some time off from the big city sounds and sights and trade them in for a few days in an area rich with natural wonders and a slower pace of life.

Related: Get-a-Way Guru: Weekend Guide to Napa Valley

Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 37 years. He retired from teaching after 36 years in 2010. He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at

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