Murphys, California. “Where?” you ask. “Exactly,” we say. A road trip there proved to be off-the-beaten path at its finest. Located about 2.5 hours east of San Francisco at the foothills of the Sierras, Murphys is at the top of our list of Hidden Gems. From the gourmet food to the fantastic small-production wines to the outdoor adventure, it captured our hearts.
Once a gold rush town, there is still a bit of the Old West spirit alive (literally) at the historic Murphy’s Hotel which paranormal activity scientists proved to be haunted! The likes of Mark Twain and Ulysses S. Grant have stayed there and while we don’t recommend staying there if you want to have a restful sleep, it adds charm to the town’s Main Street. Stay at the Victoria Inn to stay central or at one of the B&Bs or vacation rentals (Villa Vallecito or Querencia) for a more luxurious sleep.
In Murphys, you will not find a McDonalds, a Walmart, or a Starbucks and that is part of our criteria for hidden gems. Instead, you get the local flair – everyone has a story and the whole town knows it. No visit would be complete without a trip to see the giant sequoias at Big Trees State Park.
Here’s more about about Murphys — where to go wine tasting, where to stay, where to eat, and of course, where to play!