The El Dorado County seat was named for the alluvial deposits that drew prospectors here during the Gold Rush. It’s nickname, “Hangtown,” relates to the lawlessness of the times. Today, however, it’s one of the most picturesque, bustling and dog-friendly of Gold Country towns.
To get an authentic feel, check into the history Cary House Hotel on Main Street. It’s a revitalized Victorian-era gem that welcomes pups in designated rooms with no extra fee, and it will put you right in the middle of the action. You’ll get a warm welcome at Main Street eateries like Main Street Melters, Old Town Grill, Pizza Bene or a new outpost of the regionally renowned Jack Russell Brewery.
Meanwhile, you’ll find yourself smack in the middle of myriad recreational and touring options, many of them centered on the South Fork of the American River. Start with an outing to Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma, where you can explore historic exhibits, have lunch on the porch of the Argonaut Café, and hike along the river to your heart’s content. Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park, popular with equestrians and cyclists as well as DogTrekkers, is another five-star destination with 25 miles of trails, several leading to the river’s shore.
Placerville is also the jumping-off place for the Apple Hill Growers region, which encompasses 55 family-owned wineries, farms and ranches on the north side of Highway 50 between Placerville and Pollock Pines.
Photo Credit: @tbutcherskitchen