Hotel At a Glance: Harmony Ridge Lodge
Set right inside Tahoe National Forest, Harmony Ridge Lodge is a newly built bed and breakfast that serves as a jumping-off point for anyone exploring the mountain scenery of California's Gold Country. This wooden inn is set on five acres of rustic mountain scenery and has sweeping views of the forest. The secluded lodge has just eight contemporary luxury rooms. On Tuesdays, guests have the option of taking a guided horseback ride through the Tahoe National Forest. Arrangements will be made by the lodge when reservations are made.
- Don't miss out on: swimming and fishing at South Yuba State Park, in addition to its beautiful hiking trails.
- Direct access to trails: Follow the paths on any of more than a dozen hiking, walking, or mountain biking trails through Tahoe National Forest, including the popular Pioneer Trail and the South Yuba trail
- Connect with nature: The lodge's grounds encourage you to find a peaceful spot—wander the lodge's extensive landscape gardens or enjoy a cup of coffee in the apple orchard.
- Lodge solitude: With no phones or TVs in the rooms, you can take a book from the stocked library and read in the spacious great room amid exposed wooden beams, cedar paneling, and cushy furnishings.
- Easy day trip: Nearby is the historic Nevada City, a Victorian-era town with local restaurants, galleries, and antique shops
- Bring Fido: This is a dog-friendly lodge—pups can run around in 3.5 enclosed acres of pine forest, and dog-friendly beaches are close by. Guests should call ahead to check the availability of dog-friendly rooms ($25 fee per pet).
Nevada City, CA: On the Edge of the Tahoe National Forest
The natural barrier separating Reno from Sacramento, Tahoe National Forest has towering mountains, rivers, and forests stretching over more than 850,000 acres. It has hundreds of lakes and reservoirs, making it a popular spot for swimming and camping. It's also a good spot for a day trip and picnic if you're looking to get out into nature but stay close to Nevada City, Tahoe National Forest's unofficial headquarters. The city is located just five miles from Harmony Ridge Lodge.
Nevada City was settled during the California Gold Rush of 1849, and it's lined with original 19th-century buildings (the entire downtown is on the National Register of Historical Places). Check out a show at the circa-1865 Nevada Theater, which holds ongoing independent film screenings and live theater productions. Guests can also visit one of the many restaurants, stroll around town on a walking tour of Nevada City or Grass Valley, or check out one of the many street and music festivals that take place every year.
Ten minutes away is the historic Empire Mine, located in Grass Valley. Originally founded in 1850, the Empire Mine is the largest, oldest, richest producing gold mine in California, and receives thousands of visitors each summer. With many of the original buildings still standing, and 12 miles of trails open to bikes, hikers, and horses, there are plenty of options for visitors to explore.