Best Holiday Light Displays In Nevada County!

Best Holiday Light Displays In Nevada County!

Brighten up your holiday season

Looking for something festive to do in Nevada County and Placer County for the holidays?  

My favorite time of year is just around the corner. While I start my thoughts of decorating, baking and holiday gatherings, one thing that always comes up is holiday lights. Nevada County and Placer County has some of the best holiday light displays.

Looking to bundle up the kiddos and hit the road to see some lights?  Grass Valley and Nevada City offer two of the most charming downtown areas great for shopping.  But we also have several areas like Alta Sierra, Morgan Ranch, Cypress Hill and Banner Mountains areas that offers homes adorned with lights and holiday decorations.

Best time to hit the road for a light tour is usually after the 2nd weekend in December.  We are attaching a map to help you get started on your light tour.  Some homes feature just lights…some have characters and lights…and some offering walking tours as well.
So bundle up and enjoy a tour that is sure to brighten your day and bring joy to all those enjoying the lights with you.

 See Map Full screen, here:

Nevada County Designated CA State Cultural District!

Nevada County Designated CA State Cultural District!


California Arts Council announced Monday July 10 that Nevada City and Grass Valley have been designated a combined State Cultural District. We are one of only 14 areas in the State of California to have been awarded such recognition.  The California Cultural Districts Program celebrates the state’s artistic and cultural assets and diversity.

Rock On Nevada City & Grass Valley

Blues Master Robert Cray Rocks The Veterans Memorial Building in Grass Valley

Blues Master Robert Cray Rocks Grass Valley

Nevada City and Grass Valley are recognized by the Arts Council as a “well defined geographic area with high concentrations of cultural resources and activities”. Nevada County is the only county in the State of California to have two Cultural Districts and are among only four rural districts recognized by the program.  No surprise at all to denizens of the area who live in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley, Auburn and surrounding communities and take advantage of the manifold opportunities to enjoy and participate in arts, music, storytelling and many other cultural offerings that take place year round here.

Best Of Both Worlds, Small Town Living Amidst The Trees…& Arts

We know it…and so shall people not only in the State of California, but nationally and internationally as the rich cultural gifts of the area are showered in the bright lights of the Arts Council’s promotional and advertising activities. We have celebrated many of our areas arts entities in this space, such as the vital Center For The Arts, Music in the Mountains, Miner’s Foundry, KVMR Radio, and the annual Open Studios art trail. There are 53 arts organizations, 33 galleries, studios and museums, 19 live music venues, and 49 places of historical interest in Grass Valley and Nevada City. The Wild and Scenic Film Festival takes place every year in Nevada City and Grass Valley and is considered to be the most important environmental film festival in the country today.

The Sierra Lifestyle At Its Best Nevada City - Best Place To Live

Julie Baker, Executive Director of the Center Of The Arts says, “We live in a rural community with remarkable sophistication and a passion for the arts!”  The Center will host the 21st Annual California WorldFest this weekend at the Nevada County Fairgrounds (itself a cultural gem here). When queried by clients thinking of moving to Nevada County as to where or not we have culture this is the answer.  We sure ain’t just of bunch of rednecks, and if you weren’t a believer before, this ought to get you religion!

At California Worldfest!


The designation of Grass Valley and Nevada City as a California Cultural District is well deserved. We love the Sierra Lifestyle here and the opportunity to participate in making it better,,,and better. Come party with us!


Celebrate July 4th Independence Day in Grass Valley

Celebrate July 4th Independence Day in Grass Valley

Celebrate America’s birthday with the Annual Independence Day parade in downtown Grass Valley, beginning at 11 am on Tuesday July 4th, the parade will follow Mill and West Main Streets.

The Nevada County Concert Band will perform a pre-parade concert beginning at 10 am. This year’s flyover will be done by the Golden Empire Flying Association of Grass Valley. This year’s Grand Marshall is Craig Hoddy, publisher of the Nevada County Gold magazine. It is suggested that families bring folding chairs and arrive early for best view seating.

Fireworks will begin at 9:30 pm at the Nevada County fairgrounds. The fairgrounds will open at 3 pm. Enjoy live music and entertainment beginning at 4 pm. Food items will be available for purchase.

Discounted tickets for those above 12 years of age are available at the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, 128 E. Main St. or online at Admission is free for those 12 and under and military personnel with ID.

The Fourth of July festivities in Grass Valley are super fun as only quintessentially small-town celebrations can be. Come join the fun!

Grass Valley and Nevada City Farmer’s Markets

Grass Valley and Nevada City Farmer’s Markets

Summer…my favorite time of the year for fresh fruit and vegetables!  And Nevada County offers a huge selection of farmers markets to choose from.  Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley and other Apple Hillsurroundings area host farmers markets where we can gather great fruit, vegetables and other food items to enjoy. Farm to table at it’s purest and best.
Farmers from around California come to sell their farm fresh items.  Here is Nevada County we are blessed to have farmers markets available to us on several different days of the week, and a variety of locations make it convenient.  From South Nevada County to Penn Valley the farmers market are sprinkled through out the week in various locations.
My favorite is Thursday Night Market in Downtown Grass Valley.  This event takes place On Thursdays evening 5:30pm to 9pm in Historic downtown Grass Valley.  Similar to other events downtown Grass Valley throughout the year,  Mill Street is closed to traffic and all sorts of vendors set up booths selling everything from fresh fruits to homemade bath soap and more.  They are also offer street concerts for your listening enjoyment. Thursday Night Market takes the usual farmers market to a whole new level, supported by Grass Valley’s Downtown Association.
So take a peek below at all your choices. I encourage you to check out the various markets. We are so lucky to have in our back yard so many talented, hard-working local farmers committed to bringing fresh-picked food to out tables!

Local Nevada County Farmers Markets

Nevada County Horseman (Nevada County Certified Growers Market)
May 2 – September 26, 2017
Tuesdays, 9:00am – 1:00 pm
10600 Bubbling Wells Road, Grass Valley
Western Gateway Park (Nevada County Certified Growers Market)
May 4 – November 16, 2017
Thursdays, 9:00am – 1:00 pm
18560 Penn Valley Drive, Penn Valley
Thursday Night Market
June 29, July 6, 13, 20, 27 & August 3, 2017
5:30pm – 9:00pm
Downtown Grass Valley
Historic North Star House (Nevada County Certified Growers Market)
Saturdays, April 15 – November 18, 2017
8:00am – 12:30 pm
12075 Auburn Road, Grass Valley
Downtown Nevada City Summer Farmers Market
Saturdays, June 3rd – November 18th 2017
Hours 8:30am – 1:00pm
Contact information for farmer’s markets
Mother’s Day at Empire Mine

Mother’s Day at Empire Mine

Empire Mine State Park

50 countries around the world celebrate Mothers Day each year.  I think you’d be hard pressed to find a more lovely way to spend the day celebrating mothers than right here in Grass Valley at the historic Empire Mine State Park.

Gold Rush History

The Empire Mine is the oldest, largest, deepest, longest and richest gold mine in the state of California, producing 8.5 million ounces of gold from its opening in 1850 until closed to operations in 1956. Hard rock miners, brought in from Cornwall, England to work the mines settled in Grass Valley. You can still purchase Pasties in Grass Valley, a lunch item well suited to work in mines.  Mine owners and managers settled in Nevada City and gave the town it’s Victorian character that still abounds.

Mother’s Day in Nevada County

When I first moved to the area we stumbled on this amazing Mothers Day event while trying to find a California historical site for my daughter’s 4th grade school project.  Wow, did we hit a jack-pot right here in Nevada County!  The stunning grounds are nature at their finest, historical buildings and characters in full dress eager to share the gold rush history, live jazz musicians play and local vendors sell tasty treats.  Bonus – it’s one of only two days a year you can bring food into the park.  My family can’t imagine a better way to spend Mother’s Day…we go back every year with family of all ages.  Bring a blanket, picnic and your favorite mom(s)

Activities at Empire Mine State Park

The Empire Mine State Park is located at 10791 E. Empire Street, Grass Valley, CA 95949. it is open 7 days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM. Miles of trails are open to hiking, biking and horseback exploration on its 853 acres. Most visitors plan a two hour visit to see the mines grounds, buildings and sights. Docent tours are available.

Call 916-653-6995 for more information. See you there!

Fall Colors Open Studios – Nevada County Arts

Fall Colors Open Studios – Nevada County Arts

Nevada County Arts

Nevada County Arts

Nevada County Arts – Artists Studios are open October 8 & 9, and 15 & 16 from 10am to 5pm! #fallcoloropenstudios 

Nevada County Arts scene is one of the great delights for those of us living, working, or just plain visiting here in Nevada County is the fall celebration of many talented artists, sculptors and artisans who generously open their studios to us art lovers. Visit more than 75 local artists in 47 studios to see how and where art is made and purchase directly from the artists themselves. The tour includes painters, printmakers, photographers, ceramicists, illustrators, jewelers, woodworkers, and sculptors.

The Art Tour is sponsored by our fabulous CENTER FOR THE ARTS! ( Of the numerous Nevada County events, this is a favorite of many art lovers in Northern California.

Nevada County Arts In GRASS VALLEY: Check out Katie Wolf’s Oil and Acrylic works, Jay Gordin’s Custom Knives, Carin Brook’s Fine Art Gourds, Karel Vendee’s Textile/Fiber Art, Martha Jones’ Mosaic & Fine Paper Collage Reuse Art, Candy Ekstrom’s Functional Ceramics, Rosemary Stokes Jewelry, and Dori Greenbaum’s Watercolors. Also in Grass Valley discover Johathan Lyerly’s Photography, Adrian Hyman’s Digital Photography, Tamara Unger’s Ceramics, Len Moles’ works in Graphite and Color Pencils, Chantelle Goldwaithe’s Mixed Media, Valerie Messervy Birkhoff’s Oil Painting’s and Sculpture, Brett Schrieber’s Wood Burl Tables and Sculptures, Dugan Essick’s elegant Wood Furniture and Mindy Osborne’s Ceramics, Photography & Purses. More Grass Valley studio’s show Caroline Courtright’s Acrylic Paintings & Jewelry, Della Heywood’s Watercolor, Pastel, and Oil Paintings, Chic Lotz’s Ceramics, David King’s Collage, Drawing & Painting, Rebecca Bleau’s Printmaking, Thomas daddy’s Stone Vessels, Kathryn Wronski’s Oil Painting, Michael Larson’s Sculpture, Virginia Ray’s Assemblage’s of Vintage Objects, Linda Galosh’s Acrylic, Watercolor and Drawings, Jude Bischoff’s Painting. Grass Valley’s riches include Mixed Media by Marylou Falstrou, 2D & #D Fine Art at ART WORKS GALLERY on Mill Street downtown, Mixed Media at the Neighborhood Center of the Arts, Mixed Media Fiber Art by Spencer McClay, Rustic Sculpture and Earrings by Tim Wilson, and at the Curios Forge check out Metal, up cycled Art, Jewelry, painting & Wood works. Just when you think you’re done in Grass Valley you are not. Barrocult Ceramics for Sacred Spaces, Tony Machado Oil Paintings David Wong Photography, Jan Pellizer Mixed Media, Eileen Blodgett Mixed Media, Jill mahana Oil Painting, Mark Wilcox Oil Painting, Denise Wey Acrylic River Pinting and THE ENCAUSTIC ARTISTS GUILD OF NEVADA COUNTY offers Encaustic painting.

Art Tour In Nevada City

Not to be outdone,  NEVADA CITY offers open studios by Ron Kenedi Oil Painting, John Bridge Photography, Katy Hight Watercolor & Mixed Media, Kris Johnson Silk Abstracts, Lucy Galbraith Fine Art and Photography, Lil McGill Acrylic Painting, Delo Rio Fine Art, Illustration & Mixed Media, David Mckay Photography, Kitkitdizzi Mixed Media, The Alexander Gallery Mixed Media, Bill Juhl Wooden Bows & Vessels, Leeann Brook Fine Art, Ron Jermyn Painting & Sculpture, Judi Robison Mixed Media, Juliette Morris Williams Mixed Media & Jewelry, Thomas Devine Graphite, Oil & Mixed Media, Miriam Morris Ceramic Sculpture, Alex Henderson Acrylic Painting, Martin Arkenstone Stone Sculpture, Susan Lobb Porter Contemporary Landscapes & Abstract Painting, Liz Collins Mixed Media Painting, Betsy Lombard Oil & Watercolor, Catherine Allen Mixed Media & Collage. Continuing your adventure in Nevada City are Nadine Enderlin Exotic Wooden Salad Bowls, Gail Lipson Photography, Ante Dormeyer Jewelry, Jane Markham Tibetan Style Incense Boxed and Treasuer Boxes!

Don’t miss ARTIST’S LIVE DEMOS in both Nevada City and Grass Valley or the NEVADA CITY CRAFT FAIR Sunday, December 11 at the the historic Miners Foundry (miners!

Johnson & Geare’s SIERRA LIFESTYLE TEAM celebrates the vibrant arts and culture of Nevada County! Contact us for any information about Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley, Rough & Ready and South Nevada County living.