Exploring the Sierra Foothills: Sacramento Day Trippin’

Just a quick beat from downtown Sacramento (about an hour or so drive), Amador County is home to a wonderful blend of history and natural wonder as well as host to modern culinary sip, sup, and sightsee adventures.  The region is one of California’s Gold Country treasures with over 40 wineries set amongst a splash of charming vintage towns that were built from the area’s rock mining boom.  For a cool day trip, check out the town of Sutter Creek on your way to the Black Chasm Cavern in Volcano to discover one of California’s recognized National Natural Landmarks.

Just off Highway 49, the town of Sutter Creek beckons visitors with its historical charm. Established in 1854, Sutter Creek is a quintessential Gold Country town with buildings that line the street reflecting early 19th & 20th Century architecture. Main Street is full of boutique stores, restaurants, and tasting rooms to enjoy.  On a sunny day, take leisurely stroll down Main Street and you can’t miss the billowing mist floating from the balcony of Hotel Sutter.  Koolfog installed a high-pressure evaporative misting system so that guests on the balcony area could be comfortable while enjoying a beverage with a front row view of the happenings on Main Street. Sutter Creek does get quite warm in Spring and Summer months, so those traveling to the area can refresh under the outdoor patio misters. While there is no table service on the balcony, drinks can be ordered from the bar. Hotel Sutter bar includes a selection of wine, beer, and spirits with their house lemonade a perfect SIP to quench your thirst:

 

Lavender Lemonade

A fun and refreshing twist on a lemonade made with signature housemade lavender syrup and house lemonade, served with a sugared rim

Hotel Sutter is a Gold Rush inspired hotel that gives lovely homage to the region and features an intriguing basement style lounge space for events and live music. In addition, the hospitable gourmet restaurant cultivates locally sourced, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients to enhance its menu. The Koolfog taste team recommends you try this mouthwatering starter to SUP:

 

“Pig, Fig, & Goat  

Prosciutto, fig jam, herbed goat cheese, and candied pecans with an oversized pretzel

Just a few miles away is the famous Black Chasm Cavern located in the small town of Volcano.  As you pass the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, follow a signs through a wooded area that clears at your destination.  Visitors enter into a museum type of gift shop to await a guided tour of this remarkable cave.  An experienced naturalist leads a group into three different chambers located beneath the earth’s surface while educating and entertaining guests with stories of California’s culture and history. Curious scientists, budding gemologists, and those interested in truly unique experience will be dazzled by the mystery and beauty of these caves.

 

Entering the mouth of this phenomenon one is struck by the beauty and depth of the rock formations that date back over several million years.  Descending several flights of stairs, platforms have been constructed to study the different stalactites and stalagmites that grace the cavern. It is important to note that the tour has been designed with special care in lighting and attention to the environmentally friendly access points so as not to disturb the caves integrity. Rare rock formations called “helictites” grow throughout this cavern and while found in many different caves the proliferation and abundance of these “gravity defying” crystals has led to the declaration of Black Chasm Cavern as a National Natural Landmark.