Woodland, Calif.: Valley Weekender

The Sacramento Valley town yields a bounty of Victorian mansions, good eats, and a popular Scottish festival.

Woodland Gable Mansion, image

The Gable Mansion was built in 1885 for prominent ranchers Amos and Harvey Gable.

Boy rides a small tractor at Heidrick Ag History Center, image

Farm machinery of all sizes inspires fun at the Heidrick Ag History Center.

Miners who failed to discover gold in the rush of 1849 tumbled out of the hills and struck it rich in the fertile soil of the Sacramento Valley. Today, the prosperous town of Woodland yields a bounty of Victorian mansions, good eats, and a popular Scottish festival. Area code is 530.

  • Architecture buffs will swoon at the genteel Gable Mansion, three floors of Italianate Victorian splendor at 659 First Street. The privately owned home was built in 1885 for prominent ranchers Amos and Harvey Gable. To learn more about the mansion and other landmark buildings in town, check Main Street shops for a copy of Explore Historic Woodland ($15), which outlines a self-guided walking tour of eight neighborhoods.
  • Enjoy the musical Peter Pan (April 19–May 12) at the pitch-perfect, restored 117-year-old Woodland Opera House. 340 Second St., 666-9617, woodlandoperahouse.org.
  • Before or after the show, nibble on garlic mashed potato croquettes or salmon crab cakes, and choose from upscale cocktails and 39 domestic and imported beers at Mojo’s Lounge & Bar. 428 First St., 661-0428.
  • Lads and lassies gather for kilted pipers, Highland dancers, sheepdog herding events, and caber tosses at the Sacramento Valley Scottish Games and Festival, held at the Yolo County Fairgrounds this April 27–28. 1125 East St., saccallie.org/games.
  • The Heidrick Ag History Center holds a monster collection of antique farm equipment and trucks. Even city slickers will love demos of the cool inventions, such as an antique seed cleaner, which are fired up on the second Saturday of every month. 1962 Hays Ln., 666-9700, aghistory.org.
  • Classic breakfast favorites take a modern turn at the cheerful Savory Cafe, with its lemony hollandaise, fresh veggie scrambles, and flaky biscuits. 722-A Main St., 668-4009.
  • At Paco’s, crispy fish tacos, hand- battered chiles rellenos, and other Mexican fare is served up in a 1903 sandstone building, once a bank, complete with an open vault. 435 Main St., 669-7946, pacosrestaurantwoodland.com.

Photography by David H. Collier (Heidrick Ag History Center); courtesy of Killiondude/Wikipedia (mansion)

This article was first published in March 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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