Not interested in snow? You, your significant other and the four-legged tagalong who can’t be left behind will find walkable serenity coupled with luxurious accommodations at dog-friendly Eden Vale Inn near Placerville in El Dorado County.
There’s plenty of space to spread out on this posh property covering several acres and encompassing gardens and a pond where your pooch can go for a rowboat ride or make a splash from the shore. And it’s a perfect location from which to explore the 50-plus farms, ranches and wineries of the Apple Hill Growers Association. Most all are dog-friendly, meaning you can sample local wines and, depending on the season, pick a peck of apples, slice into a steaming fruit pie or cut your own Christmas tree with Max by your side.
A 45-mile driving route called the El Dorado County Adventure Loop will get you off the beaten path and into a region anchored by a string of blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em towns—Pilot Hill, Cool, Georgetown, Garden Valley, Coloma—tucked between the north and south forks of the American River. In between are hiking trails, wineries, historic sites and other spots to explore.