The El Dorado Hills of California were the birthplace of the California Gold Rush. It was here in the 1840s that a few gold nuggets found in a mill run touched off the biggest gold rush the world had ever seen. Visitors staying in budget hotels in El Dorado Hills communities can relive those adventurous and romantic days through the many historic attractions in gold rush country. A good location from which to explore this unique part of California is the town of Placerville. It was once called Hangtown because so many outlaws wound up at the end of a rope.
Once you’ve checked into your discount hotel in the El Dorado Hills, go to the 60-acre Gold Bug Mine. The guided tour will give you a good idea what it was like to be a prospector in those heady days. The Gold Bug is just one of 250 mines in the area that were once active. At the El Dorado County Historical Museum you can see authentic stagecoaches, relics of the famous Pony Express, and skis that belonged to the legendary Snowshoe Thompson. In downtown Placerville a plaque marks the place where the old Hangin’ Tree once stood. Not far from Placerville is one of the most important sites in the El Dorado Hills, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historical Park, where the big gold strike happened. Visitors can also explore El Dorado National Forest which covers more than 676,780 acres of the Sierra Nevada.
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