4 Best Places for California Gold Rush History

Tin Smith 2015

Kids hammer enthusiastically behind Stacey, the a volunteer at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park who taught them the historic craft of tin smithing.

California Gold Rush history can be experienced in 4 top-notch museums in Coloma and Placerville, California, right near Eden Vale Inn.

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

California Gold Rush history is the center of Coloma, California, where James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill. The Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park has a great museum, outdoor exhibits, gold panning lessons, tours, and living history days on the second Saturday of the month.

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

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

Marshall Gold Discovery park is open every day. Tours and gold panning lessons are held several times a day. See Sutter’s Mill, Marshall’s Monument, and the blacksmith ship where volunteers make various iron items in front of your eyes.  On second Saturdays history comes alive! Volunteer docents in period dress show and talk about aspects of pioneer life, such as tin smithing, rope making, candle dipping, and old-fashioned log sawing. The activities are hands-on, and kids especially love doing these activities themselves.

Gold Bug Park and Hattie Museum

Gold Bug Mine collage

In Placerville, the Gold Bug Mine is a real mine that you can explore on self-led tours using headsets. You can also pan for gold there. The two-story Hattie Museum and Interpretive Center has gold rush history exhibits and a gift store. It’s all on 61 acres that have several easy walking trails and picnic areas, including a lovely spot by a stream. Make sure to see the Joshua Hendy Stamp Mill that recreates the large stamp mills used to crush ore. See the Gold Bug Park website for hours and admission.

El Dorado County Historical Society’s Fountain-Tallman Museum

Fountain-Tallman MuseumThe “biggest little museum in the West,” the Fountain-Tallman Museum is in the oldest building on Main Street Placerville CA, #524. This two-story building has exhibits of the California Gold Rush of 1848, through buttons and catalogs of 1895, to a telephone switchboard from 1926. Gold rush exhibits include the Miwok and Chinese workers, and the bible of Snowshow Thompson who brought the mail no matter what.

Open Wed – Sun 11am-4pm. See the website for more details.

El Dorado County Historical Museum

El Dorado County Historical Museum miniature moving mill

This miniature of a mining site has moving trains – just ask the docent to turn it on!

California Gold Rush history is alive on Placerville Drive. Outdoor exhibits include logging transportation and train equipment. The museum itself is connected to real train rides on a historic train in the area – see the website for times. Inside are exhibits and artifacts on the gold rush and later. The museum has a book store, and a research room if you think you might have had family living in the area.

Eden Vale Inn - Madrone RoomWe’re always happy to help our guests learn more about area attractions. See our winter specials at Eden Vale Inn – or feel free to call us at (530) 621-0901.

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Snow Play near Placerville CA – Fun for the Kids!

Snow play near Placerville CA and Eden Vale InnSnow play near Placerville CA is just an hour’s drive for our guests at Eden Vale Inn. Families who stay with us love to take the kids to the SnoParks just up Highway 50. California State parks run these fun, safe places to play in the snow. The closest park is at Echo Lake, #5 on the State Park map.

little smiling girl with white mugGet some hot cider and a hot apple fritter on the way back to Eden Vale Inn at Apple Hill! Boa Vista is one place that is open all year round, selling baked goods, hot cider, and local food items. They even have apple wine tasting!

Happy Family FireplaceWe have the fireplaces going for you at Eden Vale Inn. Call us for our winter specials, 530-621-0901! Or click here for our Eden Vale Inn room specials.

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Best Way to Enjoy Apple Hill and El Dorado County Wineries – at a discount!

Apple Hill wineries and El Dorado County wineries love Eden Vale Inn‘s Wine Club for a Day Map. It’s a great way for our guests to navigate the beautiful Sierra Foothills country roads, and get great discounts on wine purchases – up to 25% off.

Crystal Basin Mike Owen Jack Eden Vale Wine Map for a Day Map

Crystal Basin Cellars loves Eden Vale Inn’s Wine Club for a Day map

Mike Owen, owner of Crystal Basin Cellars, and Jack of its tasting room, at right, love when Eden Vale Inn guests come in for their tastings. You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the barrels. Just like this happy wine crowd who are enjoying delicious vintages.

Illuminare Eden Vale Wine Map for a Day Map

Illuminare Winery in Apple Hill loves Eden Vale Inn’s Wine Club for a Day map

Illuminare Winery also loves the map. It brings in our guests who enjoy the travel to Apple Hill along gorgeous country roads.

Grace Patriot Bea Lindsay Eden Vale Wine Map for a Day Map

Grace Patriot Wines loves Eden Vale Inn’s Wine Club for a Day map

Grace Patriot Wines makes some of the best small batch wines in the area. Sit on their patio and sip their cabernet. You will be surrounded by their cabernet vines! They, like many wineries, have special events. Valentine’s Day they the chocolate fountain will be going all day long – and they will bring out classic vintages.

Eden Vale Inn - Madrone Room

Come enjoy a quiet, beautiful Sierra Foothills getaway at Eden Vale Inn. We’ll give you your own personalized, embossed wine map for a great day. We will give you a gourmet breakfast and you can enjoy our luxurious accommodations.

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Happy New Year from Placerville CA Bed and Breakfast — We’re warm in the winter!

Eden-Vale-Inn-Happy-New-Year photo of Gayle and Mark

Happy New Year
from our Placerville CA bed and breakfast.
Gayle, Mark, Sidney the Dog, Mr. Bushwhack the Cat, and all our staff wish you the best in 2015.

Eden Vale Inn Placerville CA Fireplace

Our Sierra Foothills winter weather is cool and sunny. Air outside is fresh, clean and crisp. The fireplace inside is toasty here at Eden Vale Inn. Come visit and be warm and cozy over your personalized gourmet breakfast. Enjoy our homemade quiches, potatoes, and scones. Everything is made fresh daily at Eden Vale Inn, and many of our ingredients are grown onsite – even in winter!

Eden Vale Inn Placerville CA fire pit

Plan your next getaway to bright winter starlight and our blazing outdoor fire pit. Call us at 530-621-0901 or click for our room specials at Eden Vale Inn. We look forward to seeing you in the next year!

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Top 4 New Years Eve Restaurants near Placerville CA

New Years Eve DinnerThese top 4 New Years Eve restaurants near Placerville CA give you a delicious way to ring in the new year. The Sierra Foothills have excellent dining options near Eden Vale Inn. Four of our favorite restaurants are offering special menus for a fantastic, festive night.

Smith Flat House

Smith-Flat-RibeyeThis Placerville restaurant features fresh ingredients from local farmers, winemakers and other food artisans. The Smith Flat House presents a 6-course New Year’s Eve feast! Courses are seared scallop, cream of parsnip soup, salad of little gems, raspberry sorbet, sweet potato gnocchi. For the finale, prime rib or Pacific halibut. Reservations can be made at 530-621-1003.

The Farm TableFarm-Table-Mussels

Placerville CA’s newest farm-to-fork restaurant in Historic Downtown Placerville presents a special New Year’s Eve Prix Fix Menu. Dishes include lobster and artichoke bisques, red romaine and shaved fennel salad, rabbit pot pie, shrimp étouffée, and soufflé. Call them at 530-295-8140 to reserve seats for their early 5pm seating, or their later 8pm seating.

The Independent Restaurant and BarIndependent skirt steak

The Independent is known for its American Fusion style, combining the best cuisine of the many styles of regional American cooking. Make your reservation now for their special New Year’s Eve dinner: 530-344-7645.

Cafe Mahjaic

cafemahjaic-new-years-eve-dinnerChef John Metropulos makes “food with love.” Enjoy a special 4-course New Years Eve dinner in the historic brick buildings in Lotus, built in 1865! The cuisine is New American, a mixture of all ethnic backgrounds.  All food and breads are made from scratch. Meats and grains are organic, and fresh fish from the ocean. Reservations are recommended – call 530-622-9587.

Eden Vale Inn  - Madrone RoomEnjoy the beauty and romance of the Sierra Foothills when you stay at Eden Vale Inn. We are a top rated romantic bed and breakfast, and your luxurious retreat. Call us for more information, 530-621-0901.

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Recipe for Eden Vale Inn Cinnamon – Eggnog Scones

We are happy to present a great holiday recipe for cinnamon-eggnog scones, below. They are toasty warm in wintertime, which is a beautiful time to be in the Sierra Foothills near Placerville CA and the Apple Hill region. Days can be spent in our cozy inn, at nearby Sierra Foothills wineries, El Dorado County wineries, or hiking trails near us. At night, bright winter stars gleam over our fire pit – and hot melted s’mores! Your deep sinking tub-for-two is even more steamy in winter’s cooler air.

Morning brings your personalized gourmet breakfast at Eden Vale Inn. Below is one of our winter recipes – feel free to share it!

Eden Vale Inn Cinnamon Eggnog Scones

Eden Vale Inn Cinnamon – Eggnog Scones Recipe

Makes 16

2 ¾ cups unbleached all- purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

¾ tsp salt

1 Tbl baking powder

½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ cup butter, cut into pats or small cubes

1 cup cinnamon chips

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla or ½ tsp eggnog flavor

¾ cup cold eggnog


  • In large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients
  • Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated
  • Stir in cinnamon chips
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla or eggnog flavoring and eggnog
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface; a silicone rolling mat works well here
  • Divide the dough in half; each half will weigh about 18 ounces. Roll and pat each half into a 6 ½ inch circle about ¾ inch thick
  • Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6-8 wedges. Alternately, use a 2 ¼ round cutter to cut each circle into 6-8 rounds, gathering, re-rolling and cutting the scraps.
  • Place scones on a parchment lined baking sheet, about ½ inch apart
  • Brush with eggnog and sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon sugar
  • For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  • Preheat oven to 425 and bake scones for about 20 minutes or until golden brown
  • Cool briefly on wire rack and serve warm

Eden Vale Inn Breakfast selectionsBook online for your next visit to Eden Vale Inn or by phone, 530-621-0901. For only a few days more, you can buy discounted Eden Vale Inn gift certificates for a future Eden Vale Inn visit – for a gift to others, or yourself!

Beautiful Elopements in the Most Romantic Placerville CA Bed and Breakfast

Eden Vale Inn wedding couple in rowboat 585x266

Many couples have entered into wedded bliss at Eden Vale Inn, the top rated Placerville CA bed and breakfast. Our Wedding Pavilion, spa services, gourmet breakfasts, and high-end rooms all create a romantic and luxurious start to your lives together.


We also love to help couples “elope” at our scenic inn. We provide all the amenities a couple could want, and can even perform the ceremonies in-house. Mark is marrying two couples who are eloping this week! They chose to come to us in the Sierra Foothills Gold Country to get away from it all. It’s a beautiful to begin married life in this intimate and luxurious way.

Eden Vale Inn Bed and Breakfast Couple's Massage in Spa

Whether you want an intimate wedding with all the family, or a Northern California elopement with a few intimates, our packages can be just right for you. Your ceremony can be held beside the pond, on the back deck or terrace, in the garden, or by the fireplace in the main lodge.

Rings Exchange In The Wedding

Come to the romance of Sierra Foothills Wine Country, scenic country roads, and historic small towns to celebrate the new stage of your lives together.

young wedding couple - freshly wed groom and bride outdoors

Feel free to contact Eden Vale Inn about your own ceremony! We can customize it to your desires. Call 530-621-0901.

And for just a little while more, get discounted gift certificates for any Eden Vale Inn future stay — wedding, anniversary, or just a wonderful get-away.

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Top 8 Reasons You Should Stay at the Most Romantic Placerville CA Bed and Breakfast

Eden Vale Inn B&B Front Room We are offering gift certificates at 20% off for new visits to Eden Vale Inn, the most luxurious Placerville CA bed and breakfast. Now through Dec. 25, 2014! Why should you come? We turn this blog over to those who know best: our recent guests! They have all given us five stars! Read their words to learn the top 8 reasons you should come and stay at Eden Vale Inn.

Eden-Vale-Inn-Mark-Gayle-InnkeepersPersonal Attention from Innkeepers Gayle and Mark

Linda wrote, “Gayle and Mark are such special people and their staff, Valerie and Mary, reflect their good taste. Without a doubt, it’s the best B&B we’ve ever stayed at.” Marilyn  “needed a peaceful, relaxing get- away where we would feel taken care of, and that is exactly what we got.”

Julie found Eden Vale Inn to be “an enjoyable getaway with privacy and pampering. The inn keepers were welcoming and attentive from the moment of our arrival to departure.” Colleen N. agreed – “Amazing service and the owners are so sweet.”

“Best In Class”


John gave Eden Vale Inn “Best in Class”! He loved our “immaculately appointed rooms, beautiful grounds and delightful hosts, Mark and Gayle, who had thought of every detail. Our room included a steeping tub on the private patio and early morning coffee service delivered to our door. A glass of wine by the pond was relaxing and just what we needed. You won’t find a classier B&B.”

The Best Place to Relax

Leah had a most relaxing weekend, and we can tell from her review that she really needed it! “I can’t recommend this place enough! I spent an entire Saturday in a hammock, napping, reading and listening to birds chirp. After dinner, we sat around the fire, drank wine and s’mores. Is there a better way to spend a weekend?!“ And Julie B. wrote to say, “Thank you for sharing this truly wonderful relaxing place to stay.”

Amazing Gourmet Breakfasts

Eden Vale Inn B&B Breakfast Collage gold border 600x300Laura is one of many who love our breakfasts. “We’ve stayed at quite a few B&B’s and this one is the best. Gayle and her team do incredible breakfasts. It’s really like having your own private chef. You won’t find many places that can compete at this level.”

Beautiful Grounds

Camille had such a good visit with us, because she loves to garden. She says she “was fascinated with the casual abandon of plants that were thriving — mixtures of textures and greens, so many varieties of trees and grasses, flowers and shrubs. Dispersed throughout the gardens and property were beautiful clay pots and works of art.”

Weddings, Honeymoons, and Anniversaries

Eden Vale Inn wedding couple in rowboat 585x266

Jennifer and her husband stayed at Eden Vale Inn for their honeymoon. “The innkeepers are so pleasant and made our stay so memorable. We highly recommend this getaway.” Cindy’s anniversary week-long visit “was superb in every way. We will be back again.”

Anuradha had a “great stay at the gorgeous Eden Vale Inn.” She came for a wedding and stayed 3 nights. She wrote it was “peaceful, well appointed and the food was scrumptious! Highly recommended and innkeeper Gayle was just the best. Our 6yr old daughter had a great time as well.”

And we have to give you the inside story – a number of engagements have been made at Eden Vale Inn as well!

Come and Get a Dog Treat!
Eden Vale Inn B&B- Bicyclist and Sydney the Wonder Dog

No, we don’t mean a biscuit – we mean Sydney, the Eden Vale Inn Wonderdog! Laura visited recently and loved everything – “The pond, the gardens, the private soaking tubs, the firepit, the stars, the s’mores, coffee ready first thing in the morning.” But what was her special mention? “Sydney the Wonderdog — part pug, part Lab — a pugador! Sydney is a sweetheart. If you vacation here and you’re a dog lover, you will be in heaven.”

Pet Friendly

Eden Vale Inn B&B dog love

Part of the Inn is reserved for humans only, and part is available for well behaved pets to bring their humans for a get-away. Marilyn was so glad to visit Eden Vale Inn with her faithful companion!

“Breakfast was delicious and we were able to sit outside on a covered deck with our dog. Eden Vale Inn is very dog-friendly and welcoming. We were limited to the rooms that allowed dogs – our room was perfect. We were able to open the doors directly onto a patio that led to the garden and could easily walk our dog. The innkeepers even provided doggie bags and dog bowls for food and water.”

Gift Certificates are Now 20% Off!

You can buy gift certificates online with Eden Vale Inn – for your loved ones, or for your next visit! Feel free to a call to purchase them – 530-621-0901. We’re happy to talk with you about how we can make your future visit as wonderful as all the others! Offer good through December 25, 2014.

Eden Vale Inn Placerville CA Rates and Specials

Apple Hill Wineries and Sierra Foothills Wineries Wine Club for a Day Map

Holly's Hill Vineyards view of vineyard

Holly’s Hill Vineyards

Sierra Foothills wineries are beautiful get-aways, very near Eden Vale Inn. Many of the area wineries are award-winning. All of them offer outstanding taste and value. We personally know and visit many of the winery owners in the Sierra Foothills Wine Region. Our guests enjoy the beauty of the rolling hills, and the delicious varieties of wine that the area’s microclimates develop. Spending a day in nearby El Dorado County and Apple Hill wineries is relaxing, beautiful, and perfect for the wine enthusiast. Amador County wineries are just a little farther away, an easy day trip.

Eden Vale Inn Wine Map For a Day

We are pleased to offer our guests our new Wine Club for a Day program. Included with your stay at no extra cost is your embossed wine map as part of your exclusive welcome packet. The map is a great guide to the area. Present it to the wineries you visit to receive discounts on your purchases – typically 20% to 25%. There is no obligation. This is a great way to taste the wines that received more gold medals in red wine at the prestigious California State Fair Wine Competition than Napa and Sonoma entries combined!

Madrona Vineyards Tasting Room and David Girard Vineyards Grapes

Madrona Vineyards Tasting Room and David Girard Vineyard Grapes

In many ways, the Sierra Foothills wine tasting experience is a welcome change compared to Napa and Sonoma. We have smaller and more intimate wineries. You can enjoy interesting conversations about the wines, grapes, and area with tasting room managers, and often winemakers and owners. We have less traffic, delicious wines, and great value. The views are fantastic with a great day of fresh air. Winter has snow-capped mountains. Autumn has golden colors in the oak foothills. Summer is cool because of the altitude, and spring is lush and green.

Eden Vale Inn B&B pond at sunset with wine glass

Over 100 award-winning wineries are within a one-hour drive of our Placerville bed and breakfast. We are developing wine tours and packages to go along with our Eden Vale Inn Wine Map of El Dorado County. Please call to inquire:  530-621-0901.


Placerville CA’s Newest Restaurant: Farm Table!

Farm Table Sign and Interior Placerville CA restaurantBrand new! The Farm Table is now one of Placerville, CA’s best casual restaurants, on historic Main Street Placerville. Superb cooking with local ingredients. The Taylor family farm, at nearby Apple Hill, CA, provides the freshest local vegetables and herbs. Farm Table serves hand-crafted meats in sandwiches and salads, and delicious vegetarian dishes too.

Farm Table Charcuterie Platter

For years Kara and Zach Taylor have sold hand-made sausages from their own recipes at local farmers’ markets. Now they serve delicious farm-to-table lunches, dinners, and take-away choices right on Main Street Placerville. Perfect for meat-lovers and vegetarians alike.

Farm Table Sign Daily Offerings Placerville CA restaurantBuck Davis is Head Chef and Baker. Very friendly! He uses his own recipes, even for breads, like his homemade pretzel roll and special focaccia. We had a treat with the vegetarian option – their ratatouille on polenta was fantastic! The polenta was deliciously fluffy, with a satisfying crunchy crust from its quick searing. Zach in the kitchen stirs it for 45 minutes, with a fantastic light result. It came with roasted red pepper sauce providing a deliciously smoky flavor. (Note – they do dredge their polenta in breadcrumbs. Makes for a terrific texture, but it’s not gluten-free. Ask for gluten-free options.) The local, organic vegetables were cooked to perfection: zucchini, squash, and peppers.

They always have a vegetarian platter of roasted vegetables, and charcuterie platters with meats, cheeses, and “pickled things.” Other dishes are served daily and nightly.

The soup was also splendid – a red kuri squash soup. It was beautifully swirled with homemade crème fraîche and sprinkled with fresh thyme for the perfect flavor accent.

Farm Table Sign Beers on Tap Placerville CA restaurant

What to drink? How about microbrews on tap? A variety of beer and ale in bottles? Or wine – including Smokey Ridge wines, from their family farm. Fun non-alcoholic drinks include pumpkin pie soda and organic pear sparkling juice.

Buck bakes the Farm Table’s delicious desserts – house made cakes, cookies tarts and torts. They change all the time. You might see a cookie with bacon in it!

FarmTableFrontAreaThe restaurant on Main Street is charming. It is a light and open space, with seating downstairs and up. There’s plenty of free parking on the street and in the public parking lot just a few doors down. Tell them Eden Vale Inn sent you. They know us – we serve their handcrafted sausages at our breakfasts!