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Tuesday, 01 January 2019 17:46

What's New in Tuolumne County

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Half Dome is a Yosemite National Park icon that is beautiful in any season Half Dome is a Yosemite National Park icon that is beautiful in any season

TASTE News Service, January 2, 2019 – It’s the same county, but there are new adventures.

In an everchanging world where growth offers more for visitors to see and do, Northern California's Tuolumne County is keeping up with growing trends. New businesses, expanding businesses and new attractions await travelers to this area 2.5 hours east from the San Francisco Bay Area.


Connestoga Wagon Tuolumne Co PicmonkeyAir conditioning makes for an augmented authentic Connestoga Wagon experience

•             Yosemite National Park never gets old, with 1,169 square miles to explore there is always an adventure to be found even from high above. Those looking for the ultimate Yosemite adventure can catch the view of the park from the sky in Northern California's Tuolumne County. While on a commercial flight, the naked eye can catch a glimpse of Half Dome, but the professional pilots at Yosemite Flight Tours will get passengers up close and personal with the park. With flights out of Columbia airport adventurers can choose from packages that include, soaring over El Capitan and Half Dome to Tuolumne Meadow's Grand Canyon of Yosemite, and sunset flights. Or, if the adventure calls for more national parks, they can take in a cool morning flight over Yosemite while en route to Death Valley.

•             Head to the Yosemite Gateway town, Groveland, for some flashback features. Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging is taking it back to the pioneering era for an overnight stay on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park. You can sleep in the all-new Conestoga Wagons for an updated Old West experience (they’re loaded with all the features for “glamping” like Keurig coffee makers and air conditioning). There may not be horses to pull these old-fashioned wagons, but the resort is home to a petting farm with an array of animals. At night it’s fun to relax around the fire-pit and enjoy the canopy overhead as there are no city lights to blur the sparkle of the starry night sky.

Gold Country-

•             Inner Sanctum Cellars is expanding their footprint in Tuolumne County. Owners Pete and Karen Luckhardt have announced their purchase of the Columbia Nursery and Florist property in the 1850s Gold Rush town of Columbia. With the purchase came a floral business and a small café, which will reopen with a tapas style menu paired to go with their wines. “We envision everything from being a wedding venue to a music venue with our wines and winery being the center of that,” says Karen Luckhardt. The new tasting room is set to debut the end of January 2019, with the cafe opening soon after.

Servers at Emberz PicmonkeyServers at Emberz in Sonora promise visitors a warm welcome

•             You may want to join Tuolumne County locals for a pop-up dinner with Gather Tuolumne. Owners of the well-established restaurant the Standard Pour, Meg McMahon and Season Ingram, collaborate with local farms and business owners to create unique dinners that are open to the public. Each dinner is different as they pop-up in locations across Tuolumne County, with the first being in Historic Downtown Sonora. The program saw such a huge success with their first few events, that they will be popping up all over in 2019.

•             An iconic Gold Country building houses a new business. Dating back 159-years, the Historic Sugg House, which has items on display at the Smithsonian and is the oldest brick home in Sonora, is now home to Motherlode Grown, a local merchant store. The Sugg House was once a boardinghouse and there is historical evidence that suggests the Sugg House was involved in the Underground Railroad. Keeping the historical vibe of the building Motherlode Grown gives a fresh ambiance to the Sugg House with local merchant goods from Covers Apple Ranch, Inner Sanctum Cellars, Diestel Turkey, and many more local merchant products.

•             An old-time store in an old-time town gets a facelift. The newly renovated Columbia Mercantile 1855 has called Columbia State Historic Park home since the 1800s, but recently after a few years of being shut down, the new owner, Teresa Torbett, gave new life to the Mercantile and re-opened this Columbia gem in Spring 2018. The new light and airy space mixes fresh modern goods with a historical feeling. Visitors can find local beer and wine, groceries and even Victorian tin toys.

•             A staple Gold Country restaurant expands. Emberz is locally owned and located in the heart of Tuolumne County's Gold country on the main strip of Historic Downtown Sonora. Owners Cindy and Steve Zelinsky decided to expand their locally and internationally loved restaurant and take over the space adjacent to them. The new space adds room making for an open and airy vibe. In the new area, guests will find a wrap-around bar, plentiful seating, and a state-of-the-art self-serve wine bar. Yes, you heard that right a self-serve wine bar—just swipe a credit card, choose a size, pour, and enjoy some local liquid gold.

High Sierra-

•             Black Oak Casino Resort has launched a new outdoor concert venue, Westside Pavilion. The summer concert series took off in Summer 2018 with world-renowned acts like Justin Moore, Smokey Robison, and Rick Springfield. With the success of filling the foothills with music and dance, they will once again host a summer concert series in 2019.

•            Stephanie McCaffrey, owner of the McCaffrey House Bed and Breakfast, was awarded the Peggy Mosely Award for Best Innkeeper and/or Bed and Breakfast Owner in the State of California. The award was given by the California Hotel and Lodging Association. Stephanie is versatile--she prepares a feast for breakfast, acts as a local travel expert, and creates long-lasting relationships with her guests. .

About Tuolumne County, California

Tuolumne County rhymes with “Follow Me,” located 133 miles/200 km east of San Francisco, is a pristine, scenic expanse reaching into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Gold was discovered in Tuolumne County in 1848, setting off the major gold rush of 1849. The main highways leading to the picturesque drive from the San Francisco and East Bay Area are Highways 108 and 120 from the west and Highway 49 from the north. The State Highway 120 entrance to Yosemite National Park is considered the “front door” of the park for the San Francisco Greater Bay Area. The Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park, and other surrounding areas provide natural vistas and settings for hiking, water skiing, horseback riding, rafting, camping, snowmobiling, boating, snow skiing, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Seven restored historic hotels, four golf courses, numerous and varied dining establishments, historic saloons, four wineries and hard cider distillery, train rides, casinos, seven museums, two state historic parks, two live theaters, many bed-and-breakfast inns, and a variety of Airbnb accommodations are among the many other attributes that make the county a year-round vacation destination. 

Read 907 times Last modified on Tuesday, 01 January 2019 18:52

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