Issue 31Travel

Quiet Retreats in Amador County

By Ashley Stinson

In the heart of the Mother Lode, where Valley and foothills and mountains all meet, rests Amador County. Sparsely populated, the area is peaceful and serene with a plethora of campgrounds, historic sites, and winter ski resorts. But with a name like Amador, it’s a natural fit for lovers; a bed and breakfast getaway in the quiet mountain towns of Amador County might be the perfect weekend trip for you and your significant other.

One such bed and breakfast, the Plymouth House Inn in Plymouth, is housed inside a gorgeous, turn of the 20th century Victorian home. The original owner of the home, a gold-rush doctor, found gold while digging beneath the house, and now the mine shaft serves as an antique shop. The seven rooms of the Plymouth House Inn are furnished with period antiques, and some even offer a view of the Carousel Event Park, named for the beautiful 36 foot antique carousel built in 1895. The Plymouth House Inn is like something out of a fairy tale and is perfect for garden parties and weddings. Located close to the Shenandoah Valley, Amador’s wine region, the Plymouth House Inn is also a perfect spot to stay for any wine-tasting trips.

Located in Sutter Creek, Eureka Street Inn sits between Main Street and the historic Knight Foundry. The building is a 1914 Craftsman home, with clapboard siding, rosewood wainscotting and stained glass windows. The breakfast part of this bed and breakfast is prepared by the chef/innkeeper, Sandy Anderson, and looks like it was made to be Instagrammed. Eureka Street Inn is just a short drive from many hiking trails, as well as hot spots for downhill and cross-country skiing.

Grey Gables Inn, also located in Sutter Creek, offers guests an English Country Manor experience, right here in California. Each of the inn’s eight rooms boasts it’s own fireplace and a private bath. many with a clawfoot tub for true old-time luxury. The rooms, each named for a different English author, are furnished with genuine antique furniture that gives the space a special decorative flair. Whether enjoying a stroll through the lush garden, or partaking of the Inn’s full breakfast services in the formal dining room, it’s impossible to escape Grey Gables Inn’s powerful sense of luxury and style.

Amador City’s Imperial Hotel was built in 1879 and served as a stopping point for well-to-do visitors to California’s Gold Country. Over a hundred years later, it’s been restored to it’s glory, offering six guest rooms with private baths and modern amenities surrounded by historic Victorian trappings. Enjoy your meal in the historic dining room, admiring the original brick walls and seasonal meals which feature fresh, locally grown, organic produce, meats, and only sustainably harvested fish and seafood. The Imperial Hotel’s rooms are cleanly furnished with windows overlooking the town. Aside from the original rooms of the Hotel, three suites in a nearby 1930s garden cottage are also available.

Whichever bed and breakfast you decide to stay at, you can rest assured that you’ll be surrounded by things to do and sights to see. The Amador County area is peaceful, with a portion of it resting within the Eldorado National Forest, and a significant band of it lying across the picturesque foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. With so much green space, it’s a great destination for outdoorsy types, with mountain trails, lakes, and rivers scattered about. Amador is steeped in Gold Rush history, and there are many chances to explore the towns, mines, and architecture of the times. And while not as well-known as Napa Valley, the Shenandoah Valley is home to over 60 top-notch wineries. What could cap off the end of a day of hiking, wine-tasting, or historic adventure than snuggling up by a fireplace in a historic inn, surrounded by antiques of California’s history?

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