The 8th Annual 
American River Music Festival in Lotus and Coloma, California

American River Music Festival - Coloma Lotus CaliforniaIf you love amazingly good live music, and love to discover performers, come to Lotus and Coloma this September 12-14. In its 8th year, the American River Music Festival has a diverse music line-up with fresh, new music. Some of the 33 shows feature artists who are “tried and true” like Laura Love and Greg Brown. Many other superbly talented acts are just waiting for you to fall in love with them — the three sisters of Baskery, the Whitewater Ramble band, and many more. Matt Semonsen, festival coordinator, works hard all year to share what he loves: “My personal joy is listening to really interesting, fun, danceable music that I’ve never heard before.”

American River Music Festival - Coloma Lotus CaliforniaAnd they do it big! The entire town becomes a music festival. The main stage is along the river in Lotus, with shade and grass for barefoot dancing. Great music, food and beverages, fun kids’ activities, and a refreshing swimming hole at the South Fork American River make this a fine main location. Adding to it, the whole Coloma-Lotus community helps with the superbly organized festival by presenting small performances at local cafes and restaurants, hosting musicians, and providing a whitewater rafting trip on Saturday morning. The hospitality in town is fantastic, and most of the people you will see staffing the Festival are local volunteers who also love the great music all weekend.

How to describe the music? Well, people get creative. How about “Brontosaurus Funk,” “High Octane Dance Grass,” or Matt’s favorite term this year, “RokJamBluRoots!” All of it is live, fresh, and friendly, on the big stage and the smaller venues all through town, morning, day and night. Saturday has a jammy, rocking funky sound, and Sunday has more of a folk, grass, country sound. A little something for everyone. Click here to listen to the playlist: 2014 American River Music Festival Performers.

American River Music Festival - Coloma Lotus CaliforniaGood news – the Festival provides shuttles between the musical venues both day and night, making it easy to get to your choice of performers and musical workshops. Our guests at Eden Vale Inn love that they can just drive a few miles, park, and enjoy the whole day without having to drive around town. If you do like to stretch your legs, many locations are a pleasant walk away from each other, along or across the river.

American River Music Festival - Coloma Lotus CaliforniaIf you can, come early! The Friday night kickoff is one of the festival’s most loved events: the Musician Showcase. Ten performers compete for judges, and the two winners get to perform on the Main Stage on the weekend. Competitors come from the local Sierra Foothills Gold Country area, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles. Go and root for your favorites, and get a great preview of the music to come on the weekend.

American River Music Festival - Coloma Lotus CaliforniaThere are several opportunities over the weekend to make music as well as listen to it. Jump in the “Join-Ins” and play a ukulele, practice harmony, and belt out the words to well-known cover songs at the Saturday night Sing-Along Dance!

American River Music Festival tickets can be bought for one day or for the whole weekend. Contact us to discuss your options, and come get your Brontosaurus Funk on!

Ghost and Wine Tours of Placerville, Coloma, and More!

Eden Vale Inn B&B partners with Gold Rush Tales Ghost and Wine ToursLinda Bottjer, founder of Gold Rush Tales, has put her passion for history, tours, and wine to good use! She and her team lead tours in  Placerville, Coloma, Apple Hill, and other parts of El Dorado County and the Sierra Foothills. Whether your interest is history, food, wine, horse rides, or combinations of those, they have something for you. They even offer “Bark and Boo” tours where you can bring your dogs! Eden Vale Inn is dog-friendly, so we love that one!

Gold Rush Tales’ specialty is a fabulous ghost tour of historic Placerville, once know as “Hangtown.” The tour guides fill the one-hour easy stroll down Main Street with funny, entertaining, and well researched historical stories of the town… and spine-tingling stories of people who didn’t survive the Gold Rush but have been seen and felt ever since.

Placerville Hangtown Ghost Tours, California - gold rush minersWhy Placerville? Almost 30 people were strung up in Hangtown over almost 40 years, until in 1883 the State of California ordered them to stop. There were even “gallows kits” that were popular at the time. “1850 was a big year for deaths,” explained Linda, and some of the ghosts still populate the town. Learn about miners and criminals who linger, the little girl Catherine who has also stayed around, some odd spirits over Hangtown Creek, or perhaps see Great Aunt Blanche! Some nights, say tour-goers, there is a great deal of “orb” and other energetic activity. Your tour ends with your photo and follow-up email showing you if any activity was captured with your image. Spooky!

Placerville Soda Works, California 594 Main StreetWhile the ghost stories give a pleasurable tingle, the tour has a positive feel. Overall, “we’re here to celebrate the history of the area, and the ingenuity of the people who survived,” explained Linda. Their tours are a great way to learn about the town, too. For instance, the tour starts (or ends, depending on the schedule) at 594 Main Street. This is the Soda Works building – where, yes, water from a local springs was served with fruit juice. Who knew? You’ll also learn history of the County Museum, Court House, the oldest hardware store west of the Mississippi, and spirits near them all. Placerville is loaded with quirky, funny and some scary entities, and the “Ghost Tours of Placerville” is held year-round.

If it’s wine you want, go on a “Grapes and Graves” tour in Placerville or Coloma. Wanna be ghost-free? Gold Rush Tales also lead groups to Apple Hill, and can design a custom outing for you anywhere in Northern California’s Gold Country.

Eden Vale Inn has partnered with Gold Rush Tours. Contact us to learn more about our packages. You can soak away your ghost-given goosebumps in our wonderful Japanese soaking tubs, and tell us your stories over our delicious breakfast. Enjoy!Eden Vale Inn B&B soaking tub

10 Ways to Enjoy Apple Hill – Without the Crowds

pumpkins apples

Just uphill of Placerville, California, is one of the most popular visitor destinations around: Apple Hill. Why? The beautiful Sierra Foothills area has dozens of ranches and wineries offering fun activities and festivals, as well as delicious produce, baked goods, micro-brews and fine wines. Complete with a spa and golf course, Apple Hill has been entertaining visitors for 50 years!

apple hill logoBecause there is so much to do, taste, and enjoy, the peak autumn season brings lots of people to Apple Hill. Many of our guests at Eden Vale Inn love to visit Apple Hill, so here are ways to be savvy about when and where to go to get the most enjoyment out of your visit.

berries - from boa vista, Apple Hill, California1. Visit in the summer! Summer is the time for fruit, and Apple Hill has it! Scrumptious nectarines, peaches, watermelons, and cherries. Plus real vine-ripened tomatoes, perfect for taking home or eating right there at your picnic. Summer activities include train rides, nature trails, petting zoos, pony rides, fishing, and more. Enjoy Friday wine sipping specials at Lava Cap Winery and Boeger Winery, and the Madrona Vineyards’ “Flights Dinner” at the nearby Smith Flat House on August 21.

2. Autumn’s heyday – visit mid-week! Not only will you get discounted room rates at Eden Vale Inn mid-week, but it’s also a great way to side-step the crowds while still enjoying fall’s apple and grape harvests at Apple Hill. By fall, all of the Apple Hill farms are open. Some of them have specialty apples. Larsen’s Ranch has the Rhode Island Greening, which is believed to be the oldest apple tree in El Dorado County! Hilltop Ranch features antique apple varieties, so you can once again have some of the apples of your childhood. Ask us about other special spots for your visit.

3. Mirror image – start at the east end! Take a look at the Apple Hill map (click here). See how long it is? Most folks start at the west side, closest to Placerville. Be different and approach from the east! You can enjoy all the fall pickings – including “u-pick” fruit – in a less busy setting. Make sure to check out the tasty goodies at farm bake shops. Hot tip: Our guests rave about Rainbow Orchard’s hot apple fritters.

Eden Vale Inn B&B Breakfast4. Start early - Eden Vale Inn will give you an early breakfast! We know that sometimes there are weekend events that you just gotta get to. Let us help you with an early breakfast, and some good directions, to start you on your day early! Autumn weekend events include Johnny Appleseed Day, learning to make apple tamales at Grandpa’s Cellar, and the weekend quilt show at Smokey Ridge Ranch & Charcuterie. The kids have fun just going to Apple Hill, and also enjoy kids baking days at Apple Pantry Farm.

5. Go at the end of the day Yes, we understand — for some of our guests, an early morning is just not gonna happen. No worries! Go to the other end of the spectrum and visit Apple Hill late in the day! There are many fun evening activities in the fall and summer. If you start your visit when many folks are heading out, you can visit farms and then attend evening events. Try the lovely “Wine and Sunsets Music” series at Lava Cap Winery, “Evening in the Orchard” at Rainbow Orchards, and Friday wine sipping specials at Boeger Winery. Want food with that? Boeger offers a “Wine & Weenie Weekend” on August 2, and Madrona Vineyards sponsors a “Flights Dinner” at the nearby Smith Flat House on August 21.

Pumpkin patch at Apple Hill, Calif.6. Get off the beaten track and visit the smaller farms. There are many delights in the smaller options! The Sierra Foothills have an ideal growing season that gives Apple Hill apples a great flavor, on small and large ranches alike. Fall is the time for pumpkins too, and Apple Hill’s pumpkin patches are well known for growing some of the most amazing pumpkins anywhere. And don’t forget the spooky! Oct. 23 is the first day of Grandpa’s Cellar’s Haunted Nature Trail.

7. Come in September and November when crowds are lighter. The big Apple Hill Kick Off Harvest Dinner is Sept. 6, and the 18th Annual Kids Weekend is Sept. 20 and 21. November has a Harvest Run, Chestnut and Harvest Festivals, and a taste test weekend. All these, plus the usual autumn fun, can be found before and after the busiest month of October. For instance, love cider? Boa Vista presses and bottles their apple cider at their very own Cider Mill. Watch their cider making process and sample it on fall weekends. Fun and tasty.

8. Bring on the rain! What better way to clear out the crowds and let you enjoy the cozy wineries, sheltered farm stands, and indoor activities that abound on Apple Hill! We can tell you about prime spots for comfort in weather that will drive away the less savvy. There’s still plenty to do – let us help you with your “must see” list.

Winter trees at Apple Hill, Calif.

9. Come in the winter. Winter can be a wonderland in Gold Country’s Apple Hill. Most Christmas Tree Farms are open by Nov. 21, and many farms and wineries are open through the winter. Come up during the month of December and cut down your own fresh Christmas tree at one of the many farms on the Hill.  Choices include Nordman Fir, White Fir, Silver Tip, Noble Fir and many other varieties. Warm up in a winery or bake shop.

10. Return in the spring. Springtime is a great time to get away to the hills and enjoy a picnic. All the world is waking up again, and the Sierra Foothills views at scenic Apple Hill are extra gorgeous with everything blooming. Some nickname it “Iris Hill” in the springtime!

Enjoy Apple Hill year round. Click here to contact us for more information!

Gold Panning!

Gold panning at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Coloma, CaliforniaThere is an abundance of activities all around us at Eden Vale Inn. Some folks enjoy hiking, biking, rafting, driving our scenic Sierra Foothills country roads, or picnicking by the South Fork American River. Other guests tickle their taste buds at excellent nearby restaurants and Gold Country wineries, or go antiquing on historic Main Street Placerville. Well, add to the list – gold panning!

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is only minutes from Eden Vale Inn, and offers several gold panning lessons every day. Yes, they stock the troughs – with real gold flakes, fools’ gold, and garnets. And yes, you can keep what you find! It’s great entertainment for all ages.

Sutter's Mill at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Coloma CA

Sutter’s Mill, Coloma, California

While you’re at the park, you can enjoy its riverside picnic areas and many other offerings. Look at Sutter’s Mill. Take a historic tour of the park. Visit the blacksmith shop. Go on a short hike to the Marshall Monument to look down at where gold was first discovered in 1848. Or drive to the Monument, and look at James Marshall’s cabin on the way. The 3-mile long Monroe Ridge Trail has stunning views, and the pretty, riverside trail is great for easy strolling.

In the center of the park, the museum is kept cool, and historic films are available on request at no extra charge. Make sure to visit the Mercantile, a quaint and well-appointed store. It’s chock full of historic items and books, as well as toys, jewelry, art, and clothing in both modern and 1850’s styles. If you know how to pan already, the Mercantile will sell you a gold pan and point you to the river beach where you can try your luck the old-fashioned way!

Gold Panning on the South Fork American River, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Coloma, CaliforniaLet us know if you’d like to explore Marshall Gold Park, and we can provide you with more information and suggestions. You too might end up shouting, “Eureka, I found gold in California!”

The 6 Best Ways to Enjoy the South Fork American River

Rafting on the South Fork American River with Eden Vale InnWhen you visit Eden Vale Inn, odds are high that you will want to visit the South Fork American River. It’s in our back yard, and we have water all summer long! Here are the six best ways to enjoy the flow.

  1. Go white water rafting! Eden Vale Inn offers a 10% discount on your trip with one of the many reputable companies in town. What’s great is that there are many options, from relaxing to thrilling! You can take a shorter, mellow “mid-river” trip that is suitable for children as well as the quiet-at-heart. Or choose a half-day trip with rapids for adventurous fun. For even more excitement, go on a full-day trip that will both soothe and thrill you as you raft through calm and white water! Longer trips include lunch for that full-day experience.
  2. Hop in a kayak! The South Fork American River is great for both new and experienced kayakers. We can direct you to private lessons, group classes, and local outfitters for your boat and gear. The nearby River Store even has an outdoor pool where you can take a kayak roll class.
  3. Walk and splash with your dog! Eden Vale is pet-friendly, and there are many riverside areas your pup can catch that stick or swim around with you. We have information about local parks, including Henningsen Lotus Park and Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, which have beach areas that allow well-mannered dogs.
  4. Wade with the kids! Families, anyone wanting a gentle stroll, and those in wheelchairs can all enjoy the Dave Moore Nature Area. Its path slopes gradually to the river under shady trees. Head back up after the splashing – or, if the kids have a lot of energy, you can do the whole loop once or more – it’s about a mile around.
  5. South Fork American River Hiking Cronan RanchTake a longer hike or ride! Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park borders the South Fork American River and has 12 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, picnicking and bird watching. Even longer, the South Fork American River Trail appeals to even the heartiest hiker. It’s 20 miles long, connecting Coloma-Lotus with the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. It always overlooks the river, and at places dips down to it for that refreshing splash.
  6. Be prepared! The South Fork American River is dam-controlled, which means its water is released on a schedule – and sometimes more often. Be alert at all times of the water level rising or falling, and learn about the schedule before you set out in your boat to have the best run possible. For your protection, life vests are required by law when floating in the river. Make sure to wear sun protection, too, and to bring drinking water and a snack. Those simple steps will help you enjoy the beautiful South Fork American River. Have fun!

Two New Specials – Discounted Rafting Trips and Bicycle Rentals!

Rafting and Bicycle Rental discounts through Eden Vale Inn B&B

While our grounds at Eden Vale Inn B&B are beautiful and peaceful enough that some of our contented guests stay and relax here for their whole visit, others want to explore the beautiful Sierra Foothills, Gold Country, and American River that is all around us. Let us help!

We have partnered with the Placerville Bicycle Shop to bring you 2-for-1 bicycle rentals. We can also arrange for your wild or mild river trip, half- or full-day, with one of several reputable rafting companies — at 10% off! We have water all summer on the South and Middle Forks of the American River. Often your trip starts at just a 5 minute drive from Eden Vale Inn.

Please contact us with 48 hours’ notice so we can match you with the bicycles or rafting trip that is right for you, so you will have a great outing. We love to hear your stories over our breakfast the next day! For more information on these and other discounts, see our Specials Page.

Sierra Nevada House – Restaurant and Bar

snh exterior - 960 x 300


Eden Vale Inn has some wonderful dinner options nearby, and this local favorite

in Coloma is “just down the road.”


Delicious food cooked from scratch with healthful, regional ingredients.Sierra Nevada House Bar

Wines, craft beers, and full bar.

Desserts made on-site and from the local bakery.

Dining inside or out.

 Live music Friday and Saturday nights!

For more area dining options see our Eden Vale Inn Website.


May Mother’s Day Special!

R&R for Mom at Beautiful Eden Vale Inn

May Is beautiful at Eden Vale Inn.

It’s the perfect time to pamper Mom with a great getaway!


Our Mother’s Day Special is:

  •  $50 off any stay, Sunday – Thursday in May 2014 
  •  50% off a Massage for her

Offer available for new reservations only.

Available for all rooms except the  Cypress room.

And yes, this CAN be combined with our Spa Specials and Packages!

You must call us to reserve this special at (530) 621-0901.

We look forward to talking with you!roses