Columbia State Park is located in Calaveras County about 2.5 hrs East of San Francisco. If you are into California’s gold rush history this is a great spot to bring your family. The park is free to visit and has a variety of activities that include gold panning, horse drawn carriage rides, musical performers and some authentic old west shopping. This is a great spot to stop and grab some lunch and ice cream as you explore the Sierra Nevada foothills!
note: The horse drawn carriage rides and the gold panning do require a small fee.