Jamestown, California, is a small town of around 3,400 in Tuolumne County. But what is Jamestown, California known for, and is Jamestown, California worth visiting?
Here’s the gen;
It is mostly known as a common railroad destination, a sector of the Gold Boom, and for its local culture, food, and role in several films.
For example, Sierra Railway No. 3 at the old Jamestown Depot was used to film the pilot episode of the 1960s western television show “The Big Valley” in 1964.
Exterior scenes for shows as diverse as Petticoat Junction, Little House on the Prairie, Green Acres, and The Wild Wild West were all filmed in this quaint area, as were significant portions of Back to the Future Part III and Hidalgo. Jamestown also showed up in episode 153 of Road Trip.
Beyond its film history, Jamestown also once operated major gold and quartz mines that are mostly closed now.
When visiting this area, there are many fun things to do in Jamestown, California. Destinations like the Historic Fallon House Theatre and Black Oak Casino may include custom tours and history highlights, while breweries and wineries offer tasting room options.
Here are some of the best things to do in Jamestown including day trips adventure options for families, things to do in Jamestown, California, with kids, places to visit in Jamestown for solo adventurers, and other Jamestown, California, tourist attractions.
If you don’t have time to read about all these engaging interest tours or what to do in Jamestown, California, scan this list to plan your next trip around these top attractions!
- Most significant landmark – Columbia Park
- Best park – Columbia Park
- Best free activity – Pine Mountain Lake
- Best activity for kids – 1 Hr Gold Panning Family Special
- Best activity for adults – Amador County Wine Tasting Tours
- Best food – Woods Creek Cafe Best nightlife – Stogie’s
- Best all-around accommodation – Jamestown Hotel
Best & Fun Things to do in Jamestown, California
When creating our list of the best fun things to do in Jamestown, California, we carefully examined various day trips throughout Jamestown.
We also identified California state parks and day trips adventure options, such as Chicken Ranch Casino, a great place to spend the day when you’re visiting Jamestown.
1. A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Angels Camp to Jamestown
Address: 18201 Main Street, Jamestown, CA 95327
A Highway 49 Drive is a fun destination that celebrates the gold history of Northern California. It includes an outdoor private experience with plenty of lovely green space that lets you enjoy the great outdoors.
However, it also includes a unique spin that any history buff will love. You get to travel from Angels Camp all the way to Jamestown to learn more about Gold Rush Towns in the region.
These include Murphys, Sonora, and Jamestown, boom areas with rich historical interest. You simply download the app on your booking date after paying an inexpensive price and drive along the GPS route.
You’ll hear from tour producer Lynn Momboisse, as she tells you all about the area and what makes spots like Angels Camps and Stanislaus National Forest so interesting.
You can book a self-guided tour here. Along the way, you can pause the tour and enjoy outdoor private stops at Stanislaus National Forest and other destinations in the great outdoors and free things to do in Jamestown.
Enjoy a picnic at these parks, packing unique local food specific to this Northern California area. Lean into the history angle and include classic miner-friendly meals, such as soups and sandwiches.
See Related: Best Road Trips in the USA
2. Pine Mountain Lake
Address: 19228 Pine Mountain Drive Groveland, CA 95321
Pine Mountain Lake has become a popular place to visit in Jamestown, California. This popular park destination includes many engaging outdoor destinations, including six miles of shoreline and 202 surface acres.
You can explore the great outdoors in outdoor private areas or enjoy visiting with residents and campers like in nearby Stanislaus National Forest.
Visitors here can check out spots like floating docks, beaches, sea walls, a water taxi, and even a marina. There’s also a premier championship golf course for public play and tournaments.
Tennis courts, pickleball courts, heating swimming pools, and even horse rides are all available here. Not far away, you can book river rafting trips on the nearby Tuolumne rivers. You can also learn more about the Pine Mountain Lake Commune while visiting.
Many people live in the area part- and full-time, though vacation rentals are also available. You’ll likely see many of the same faces again and again as you visit this destination.
It’s well connected to the area too. Nearby public transportation even lists Black Oak Casino (we’ll get onto that later) as a destination if you want to venture outside of the park and try something a little different.
3. 1 Hour Gold Panning Family Special
Address: 17712 Harvard Mine Road, Jamestown, CA 95327
This fun one-hour gold panning destination takes you and your family out into the Jamestown wilderness to experience an authentic 19th Century mining experience. You’ll get the chance to pan for gold just like an old-school prospector!
During your visit, you’ll dress like an old-school miner, learn how to pan, and get in a Jamestown river to find some gold! Kids often love this trip because they can get a little dirty and playact with their parents.
Adults with a historical interest may find it even more engaging because they’ll discover what it was like to be a miner looking for the mother lode to hit it rich. If this visit sounds interesting to you, book a visit to find a time that works the best for you.
You can do things like making Gianelli Vineyards trip plans by booking ahead to ensure you have tickets and a spot on fun Gianelli Vineyards tours.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Blythe, California
4. California State Railroad Museum
Address: 125 I St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Jamestown’s primary historical destination is the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in near Sacramento. This destination includes many fun learning opportunities that both children and adults will like.
It focuses on the expansive railroad history of the area to provide an in-depth examination of its scope. You typically don’t have to book ahead at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, thankfully.
However, you can do things like book interactive field trips with your children, explore activities centers for kids and adults, learn more about railroad safety, explore a fun Laboratory of Learning, and visit the student-designed digital exhibit.
You may also see professional actors acting out unique historical situations that will entertain you and your children. However, you can also explore the museum at your own pace.
5. Columbia State Historic Park
Address: 11255 Jackson Street, Columbia, CA 95310-9425
Columbia State Park celebrates the region’s gold mining history and is one of the top attractions booked on Expedia Group Company. Located in nearby Columbia, it covers many California things and fun facts.
For example, it explores how and why Columbia was the second-largest city and California and how it survived fire, vandalism, and the death of gold mining in the area.
The history buff in your family will love doing California things in the lovely green space in Columbia State Park, like tasting authentic hand-dipped chocolates, taking stagecoach rides, listening to authentic music in historic saloons, or experiencing authentic reproductions from professional actors.
The park itself is free to visit, thankfully, though these special events may require small fees with free cancellation options if needed.
It is also fun to visit the Historic Fallon Theatre in this park, buy some wooden toys, and take photos in old-fashioned garb. Daily city tours throughout the summer include guided explanations of each destination throughout the city.
Gold Rush Days (the second Saturday of each month) include hands-on activities that you and your children will likely love.
Looking for a side trip?
Visit San Francisco on a Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour.
See Related: Best National Parks in the USA to Visit
6. Amador County Wine Tasting Tours
Address: 747 California 49, Jackson, CA 95642
Amador County Wine Tasting Tours is a popular destination for people visiting Jamestown, California, and the surrounding area. It includes tours to 5-6 wineries and includes free bottled water and bus transportation that ensures you arrive home safely after enjoying wine.
You can book whatever wineries you want, depending on your preference, and enjoy each winery as long as you like on this tour
Each tour is about four hours and includes safety steps such as face masks and hand sanitizer that minimize your risk of sickness. You can book a private tour right here.
During your trip, you can also learn about things such as the Sierra Conservation Center and Chinese Camp trips that have become popular throughout the region, as well as popular registered trademarks associated with the area’s wineries.
7. Woods Creek Cafe
Address: 18256 State Highway 108, Jamestown, CA 95327
Woods Creek Cafe is a popular Jamestown breakfast and brunch destination. Open six days a week from 7 am-2 pm, it provides various local favorites and upgrades that should appeal to many different people.
For example, the Super Bowl Breakfast includes multiple types of meats, biscuits, pancakes, toast, eggs, cheese, vegetables, and much more. The Chicken Fried Steak is fried to perfection for a tasty brunch meal.
There are also simple favorites, like scrambled eggs and omelets, that will appeal to people of many ages. Healthy options like fruit cups and bread bowls are also available for vegetarians and vegans.
While incredibly popular in the area, you typically don’t need a reservation to get into this destination. Do expect a short wait on most days, particularly close to closing time.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Northern California
8. Stogie’s Gold Country
Address: 18202 Main Street, Jamestown, CA 95327
Stogie’s is a popular bar destination for Jamestown residents and visitors. It includes premium cigar options like A.J Fernandez, Nub, Ventura, Oliva, Arturo Fuente, and more.
The smoke room includes comfortable chairs where you can relax with your partner or enjoy conversation with fellow cigar aficionados. There are also many drink options that may fit your taste.
For example, Stogie’s offers Jamestown, California visitors six beers on tap along with multiple cans, such as Grimbergen, Delirium Tremens, and more.
Cans and bottles include Dragon’s Milk Stout, Blaker, Chimay, and more. If you’re not a beer fan, liquors like Don Pedro are also available. The intimate and comfortable interior includes colorful decorations and period-specific furniture.
9. Gianelli Vineyards
Address: 12581 Algerine Rd., Jamestown, CA
If you love wines, this is the destination for you!
Gianelli is just five miles from downtown Jamestown and includes multiple award-winning wines. These include Double-Gold, Golds, Silver, Bronze, and even Best of Class winners. Their recipes use new-world science with old-school tradition to produce amazing blends.
Visitors can enjoy a relaxing view of beautiful California outdoors, get a bite to eat, and meet new friends. Join the wine club to get discounted deals on various wines, including special club-only vintages that you can’t buy anywhere else.
If you are looking for accommodations that are a bit more private, you need to see the luxurious Lemon Drop Suite in The Heart of Jamestown. This newly renovated property offers two bedrooms, a full bathroom, an updated kitchen, and many other modern amenities to make it feel like your home away from home.
10. Chicken Ranch Casino
Address: 16929 Chicken Ranch Road, Jamestown, CA
Chicken Ranch Casino is a popular gambling destination in operation since 1985. It includes many fun games, like bingo, slots, and multiple table games like poker and blackjack. Visitors also have the chance to enjoy many dining options, including the delicious Ranch House Restaurant and The Roost.
These dining options include foods like burgers, steak, chicken sandwiches, and much more. Guests can also take advantage of various promotions and events, including a $33K rock-paper-scissors tournament and the chance to earn points to win various prizes.
If you are looking for a hotel nearby, check out the historical Jamestown Hotel. This unique property is rich in local history and will make you feel like you’ve been transported back to the days of the Gold Rush, only with WiFi and air conditioning!
11. Black Oak Casino Resort
Address: 19400 Tuolumne Rd N, Tuolumne, CA 95379
Looking for another awesome casino experience while visiting Jamestown? Looking for more upscale accommodations?
If you’re in this neck of California, Jamestown includes many outdoor historical adventures. This allows you to save Black Oak Casino for days with bad weather, for wild nights out, and even for family-friendly breaks with the kids.
This casino and resort features a pool, a bowling alley, a stacked arcade, and several restaurants, in addition to its hopping casino floor. They also frequently host live music acts and other events.
The modern rooms of the onsite hotel provide all the mod-cons of a top hotel. There is also free parking and valet service.
Best of all is the location. Not only is Black Oak Casino Resort conveniently located in close proximity to a number of local points of interest, but it is also surrounded by some beautiful landscapes.
Getting around Jamestown, California
Jamestown is not a large city and is a very walkable area. Its natural setting includes several Tuolumne rivers that you and your family may enjoy. However, if you need to get around more quickly or plan on traveling beyond the city limits, there are a few public transportation options to keep in mind.
Tuolumne County Transit provides transportation throughout the whole country and includes multiple routes and destinations that should work easily for you. This expands your walkable area throughout the town and improves your journey.
This company even lists Gianelli Vineyards as a destination and provides transportation options for your large group on your journey.
Golden State Cab
If you need a trip beyond that company’s routes, Golden State Cab also serves Tuolumne County. You can call them 24 hours a day and pay via cash, credit, and online payment options.
This option works well for solo adventurers but can also work for small groups. It should help you leave the town and visit areas like Rocca Park on your trip.
Kayak lists several car rental options that may help you visit more areas of this California town. For example, you can rent a compact car to check out the Sierra Foothills, Gianelli Vineyards, or Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.
Some rental options even offer free cancellation if you need to change your tour or bring your own vehicle.
What are some fun things to do in Jamestown, California?
You and your family may enjoy top-notch restaurants, like Woods Creek or the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.
The area’s festivals include options like the nearby Fairplay Zinfest and the Garlic Festival. Destinations like Gianelli Vineyards also host various events with great prices and many free things to do.
What is the best thing to do with kids in Jamestown, California?
Kids often love the California State Railroad Museum, though they also enjoy Columbia State Historic Park because they include engaging kid-friendly activities.
They also include gift shop destinations where you can spend time with the whole family when you visit Jamestown.
What are some things to do in Jamestown, California when it’s raining?
If it’s raining when you visit Jamestown, spend time in popular casino destinations, charming coffeehouses, Veterans Memorial Hall, and other Jamestown attractions.
Jamestown is a very walkable area, and its main street also includes options like breweries with a wine club or top-notch restaurants.
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