Columbia, Calif.: Weekender

The Quartz Mountain Stage Line coach rolls onto Main Street in Columbia, California

The Quartz Mountain Stage Line coach rolls onto Main Street in Columbia, California.

IF YOU'RE GOING...

Take advantage of the area’s local amenities and services:

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Time travel is possible! Revisit Gold Rush history in a Sierra foothill town where the shops and people take you back to the wild and woolly West of the 1850s.

TO DO AND SEE East Sonora Theatre Sept. 4–27: Bus Stop, William Inge's play about love and loneliness. Oct. 30–Dec. 13: Little Women: The Musical, based on Louisa May Alcott's classic novel. 13891 Mono Way, Sonora, 532-3120, sierrarep.org. Fallon House Theater Oct. 2–25: No Sex Please, We're British, a farce about two newlyweds. 11175 Washington St., 532-3120, sierrarep.org. Quartz Mountain Stage Line Hop aboard a horse-drawn stagecoach and get held up by bandits. Wells Fargo & Co. Express, Main Street, 588-0808, qmcarriage.com.

SHOPPING Columbia Candle & Soap Works Aromatic candles and soaps in scents such as lavender, cinnamon, and pink grapefruit. 11198 State St., 536-9047, columbiacandle.com.Nelson's Columbia Candy Kitchen House-made sweets from family recipes include white chocolate California bears, pine nut rolls, and rocky road. Main Street, 532-7886, columbiacandykitchen.com. Parrott's Blacksmith Watch a smithy pull hot metal from the coal-burning forge and turn it into dinner bells, wall brackets, iron candle-sticks, and other household items. You can also buy a personally engraved lucky horseshoe. Main Street, 532-4474.

EATS Azzo's California cuisine with Mediterranean flair: artichoke fritters, duck scaloppine, pasta, and desserts. 18228 Main St., Jamestown, 984-1173, azzosrestaurant.com. Brown's Coffee House and Sweets Saloon Sandwiches, miner's pizza bread, and (for canine visitors) honey blossom dog cookies. Main Street, 532-1850. Diamondback Grill Entrées include buffalo burgers and sesame-crusted tuna. 93 S. Washington St., Sonora, 532-6661, thediamondbackgrill.com.

SIPS Twisted Oak Winery Tempranillo and viognier. 350 Main St., Murphys, 736 -9080, twistedoak.com.

SLEEPS Columbia Gem Motel From $89. A 1940s motor court. 22131 Parrotts Ferry Rd., 532-4508, columbiagem.com/business/gem. Sterling Gardens Bed and Breakfast From $125. Four rooms, plus gourmet breakfasts. 18047 Lime Kiln Rd., Sonora, 533-9300, sterlinggardens.com.

EVENTS Poison Oak Show Sept. 26. Prizes for the nastiest rash. St. Charles Saloon, Main Street, 533-4656. Fiddle & Banjo Contest Oct. 3. Free performances. 536-1672. Harvest Festifall Oct. 10–11. Handcrafted items. 533-1672.

GET GOING Request the Northern California & Nevada TourBook and the Gold Country and Sonora-Tuolumne County Communities maps at AAA.com or any AAA branch office. For more information, contact Columbia State Historic Park at 588-9128 or Columbia Chamber of Commerce at 536-1672 or visit columbiacalifornia.com.

Photography by Roger J. Wyan

This article was first published in September 2009. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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