Grass Valley, CA

The largest city in Western Nevada County, Grass Valley is home to California’s largest producing Gold Mine, closed to mining operations May 28, 1957. The Empire Mine, which today is a State Park, open daily to visitors to enjoy the expansive grounds and historic buildings built of local stone. Hiking. Biking and Horseback riding trails abound around the Mine’s perimeter.

Grass Valley History

The city of Grass Valley was home to miners that came from the tin mining country in Cornwall, England, using their expertise in deep hard-rock mining to exploit gold veins that run deep underground. Housing stock in the city ranges from miner’s cabins that have been expanded and remodeled over the years, originally built in the mid to late 1800s that you can see lining Mill Street, Main Street, Church Street and School street (to name a few), to Victorians, Bungalows and several other styles of houses.

Grass Valley Real Estate

Unincorporated areas of Grass Valley offer generally larger lots, more privacy, many species of trees (yes, lots of Pines as the area is 2500 feet and more above sea level). Styles of houses range from Log Houses to Tahoe Prow houses, Ranches, Split Levels and more. Houses frequently have mother-in- law space or built out units.

Vacation Where You Live!

The ubiquitous first question asked of us here is, “How did you find Grass Valley, (or Nevada City, or Western Nevada County).” And the answer is typically, “My family has come to the area to vacation for years”, or “My Mother (Aunt, Uncle, Sister, Brother) lives here…” And the simple reason is the Sierra Lifestyle afforded by Grass Valley and its sister cities, Nevada City, Penn Valley, Auburn and areas in Grass Valley like Alta Sierra. Unlike any other place many of us have ever experienced, first of all, is the simply friendliest place we have ever lived. People say hello on the streets, neighbors wave to passing vehicles. It’s just like what it is, small town life! And did we mention Grass Valley is Dog Friendly!

Things to do in Grass Valley

The plethora of activities is hard, or impossible, to find anywhere else: Hiking, Road Biking, Mountain Biking, Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Rock Climbing, Fishing, Hunting, Kayaking, and Gold Mining are an incomplete list. Opportunities to get involved in community activities abound. The Center For The Arts and Music In The Mountains are cultural foundations here. And there are eleven bookstores in Grass Valley and Nevada City. The Bookseller on Mill Street, downtown Grass Valley, is a renowned independent bookseller. There are three theatre complexes in Grass Valley, including the grand ol’ dame The Del Oro.

Volunteering in Grass Valley

Volunteer organizations invite you to use long-developed skills and interests to help improve the local community by getting involved in the area’s five Rotary Clubs in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Southern Grass Valley, and Penn Valley, Elks, Lions, Soroptimists, Habitat For Humanity, Hospitality House, Big Brothers & Sisters, DVSAC and a host of others. Learn how to be a disc jockey at local community supported radio station KVMR. We challenge you to be unable to find a good fit for your desire to get involved with the community here.

Grass Valley Economics

The economy of Grass Valley and surrounding environs is built on agriculture, tourism, construction, engineering & health care businesses that offer careers in retail, wholesale, trade, engineering, manufacturing, construction, and state and local government. Farming has been foundational in Grass Valley since its inception and there are numerous fruit, vegetable, and various other produce farmed and available at our several farmers markets. Ranchers raise cattle, sheep, goats and other livestock. You can see how lively their activities are at the annual Nevada County Fair in early August every year. Additionally, there are a number of award-winning wineries in Grass Valley, Nevada City & Penn Valley areas for the oenophiles among you!

Grass Valley Technology

From the founding of the Grass Valley Group (now named Grass Valley) in the 1970s have sprouted a number of vital, successful electronics manufacturing companies. Ensemble Designs, among them, manufactures all their electronics at the home plant in Nevada City. The area is committed to developing student skills in the areas of engineering and computer programming with STEM programs in the schools such as Girls Who Code partnerships with area Rotary clubs.

Education in Grass Valley

Schools in the area are many and are highly rated. Ghidotti Early College High School was recently ranked #1 in the state of California.

Signature Grass Valley Events

A partial list of our Grass Valley favorites: Thursday Night Marketplace (Farmer’s Market Plus) – July 6,13,20,27, Cornish Christmas November – 24 6-9 PM, Open Studios Art Tour – October 7,8,14,15 (Grass Valley, Nevada City), Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival – Jan 11-15 (Grass Valley, Nevada City), Nevada County Fair – August 9-13 Grass Valley Fairgrounds, California Worldfest – July 13 – 16, Fathers Day Bluegrass Festival – June 14-17.