I wanted to share a little story as to where this ultimate weekend guide to Auburn, California began.

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

I smiled to myself as I got off the phone. My husband who shares the same office and hometown with me, even stopped and said, “Did I just hear we are going on a campaign trip to Auburn?” I couldn’t believe it myself. As we were booked in at the Park Victorian Hotel for our time in Auburn, I clicked through the photos on their site, grabbing Travis to look at them with me, gasping, “did you even know this place existed?” Though I grew up in Auburn and was there until I was 20 years old, it was evident I was returning as a guest, better yet, a traveler.

I thought I knew everything about Auburn and often thought of my hometown as that place that most recognized as a stop on the way to Tahoe. As I started to dive deeper into the new business opening, the coffee shop that changed Old Town forever, and after seeing it on the cover of Sunset Magazine, I knew it was much more than my childhood memories.

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

This trip, I came back for three nights as a visitor sojourning at the Park Victorian Hotel, not the usual stay at my parent’s home down the road. Auburn had so much more to offer and certainly it’s a destination destined for weekenders and adventure seeker’s alike. So as I set out to rediscover Auburn, I couldn’t help but feel emotional. Part of me was in disbelief that this was for work, that is, writing about my hometown. The other part of me felt the pressure to truly represent this wonderful, historic town in the foothills to who it is today and capture its full potential — a place filled with endless outdoor adventure and culinary experiences like wine tasting and farm-to-table dining.

I can’t help but feel overjoyed, to have tears rush to my eyes as I savor this chance to share Auburn with you. It’s the town I met my husband, where my parents raised me, and the place that largely shaped who I am today. So as I write and share about this slice of heaven in Northern California, bear with me if words can’t capture just how special this place is. I’ll do my best, but trust me when I say, Auburn is even that much better experienced in person.

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California


The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California


Getting to Auburn, California

Auburn CA to Sacramento is only a quick forty-five minutes. Right off Highway 80, we usually get there from San Francisco in around 2 hours (with no traffic). A car is needed to get around and it’s a perfect road trip kind of place.

Auburn California Weather

Auburn has a very seasonal climate. During the winter, you’ll want a few layers to bundle up in. The summers can get hot which is why you’ll find most soaking in the sun on the lakes or rivers. My favorite time of year to visit Auburn is in late Spring or early Fall!

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California(Auburn Co-op pictured above)


Where to Stay in Auburn, California

The Park Victorian: This 6-room, boutique hotel sits overlooking the historic part of Auburn. It has the keys to the city in terms of location and is certainly the best for staying overnight. Chic rooms that are bright and cheerful, make for a cozy stay that feels like home — and the beds from Tucked In, Auburn’s natural bedding store, are so good you’ll probably pick up one for yourself. It’s an intimate stay as breakfast is served family style downstairs, with fresh cinnamon rolls, coffee, and more. Certainly, it’s one of my favorite hotels I’ve stayed at in California in a long time.

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California


Where to Eat in Auburn, California

The food scene is an ever changing landscape in Auburn. Many new restaurants are opening and those classic institutions are still there. Here’s some of the new, some of the old, and those you definitely cannot miss.

  • Carpe Vino: Hands down the best restaurant in Old Town for elevated cuisine. The service is incredible, the food is great, and what they’re doing with the menu is brilliant. Think nectarine and ricotta cheese tartines, truffle popcorn to snack on, and lamb meatballs. Oh and their wine list? Endless.
  • Pour Choice: This place is somewhere I find myself at least twice a day. A two story, modern yet cozy cafe meets bar is where all roads seem to lead. I’ll go in for a great cup of coffee with avocado toast and then return for a charcuterie board paired with a local beer on tap. And I’m not embarrassed to say, sometimes I’ll even stop in a third time after dinner for a drink.
  • Tap & Vine: Situated in the Downtown area, this restaurant is putting together incredible food. I had the chance to dine there twice (lunch and dinner) and both times, was blown away. Their salmon tartar, the egg pasta, and of course, a refreshing beer cannot be missed.
  • The Stonehouse (private dining): Family friends and the owner of the former Le Bilig French restaurant, Marc and Monica, are putting together these incredible dinner series at their house in Auburn, California. Named “The Stonehouse” as an ode to where you’ll be dining, incredible French food is served inside where views of vineyards lay in the distance. To book a private dining experience, email: thestonehousefarm@yahoo.com.
  • Katrina’s: A childhood staple, this spot is the place to come for a weekend brunch or midweek breakfast — think your all-American classics.
  • Nectar Cafe: For those looking for healthy options with an array of vegetarian dishes, I love to come here for lunch in downtown.
  • Tango Frozen Yogurt: For a way to cool off, head here for self-serve frozen yogurt.
  • Joe Caribe’s: One of my favorite places to get lunch or dinner, this Caribbean-inspired restaurant has incredible tacos and bowls.
  • Taco Tree: I went back and forth on whether or not to include this as it’s definitely considered fast food, but since it is my husband’s favorite place to grab a cheap taco and burrito (also a childhood staple), this diner like stop is always around for those late night eats.

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

 

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California


Things to Do in Auburn Ca

  • Rise Up River Trips — rafting + fine dining on the American River: One of the highlights of my time this month in Auburn was the chance to whitewater raft down the American River. The best part? At the end of the river, a chef prepared a fine dining dinner on the side of the river for us. This local, family-owned business is creating intimate, high end custom experiences in Auburn’s great outdoors. For those who love to fly fish, float down the river, or shoot through the rapids, Rise Up River Trips is your premier guide for a one-of-a-kind experience. You can customize a guided tour and find the best fit for you and the family.  
  • Auburn Co-Op (First Thursday of each month, May–September): On the first Thursday of every month, the Old Town closes off the streets for a fun, community oriented Co-Op. Local artisans, eateries, and shops set up in the street for everyone to come together and enjoy in one place. It’s lively with music and more.
  • Saturday Farmer’s Market: Each Saturday morning, the farmer’s market featuring locally grown produce and other vendors, come together. I love popping in to grab a fresh pastry and of course, a coffee at Clementine Coffee.
  • Take a picnic farmer’s market basket out on the Wine Trail: This trip we filled a basket full of goodies and made our way out on the wine trail to enjoy. We went to Paza Estate Winery, grabbed a glass of rosé and enjoyed the picnic in the vineyards.
  • Hike your way through Auburn: Known as the endurance capitol of the world, there are endless trails for hiking. Some of my favorite include Hidden Falls, Stagecoach Trail, and down into the American River canyon on your way to Cool. The Lake Clementine Trail under the Foresthill Bridge is also incredibly scenic.
  • Enjoy Spanish wines at Vina Castellano: Out on the Wine trail of Auburn, I loved stopping at Vina Castellano to do a tasting inside their wine cave and then enjoying the afternoon at their scenic wine bar overlooking the pond.
  • Shop locally at the newly opened Martin Mattox: Well curated, this store everything you’ll want and more from vintage pieces to beautiful woven-bags — let’s just say I stocked up on a few essentials for the house and myself.
  • Stop by Four Tines Farm: On Sundays, open from 9-1, this family owned farm has fresh produce right from their backyard for sale. It’s a perfect stop to stock up for the week.
  • Work your way through the Auburn Wine and Ale Trail: There are countless wineries and breweries that have been opening up in Auburn these past years. Moonraker, Knee Deep and Crooked Lane are a few favorite breweries to stop in at. Take a look at this map to see everything on offer.
  • Restock your linens at Tucked In: In downtown, this organic bedding store has everything from sheet sets to beds and pillows. We loved ours so much (used at the Park Victorian) that we picked up set for our house.
  • If you’re looking for more things to do in Auburn, Ca, take a look at this post.

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

 

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

 

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

*Bon Traveler was welcomed as a guest of Explore Auburn. As always, all opinions are own.


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The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Auburn, California

22 Comments

  1. Avatar
    phil boyte Reply

    I’m so glad you included Taco Tree. While it may not serve the spectacular food the other places you mention do . . . it is such a anchor for families on the go in Auburn! After living in Auburn for 15 years this is a fun reminder of what a cool town it is!! And for anyone taking a few days in Auburn be sure to check out Placer HS – it really is a cool high school that is about 100 years old! Thanks Jessica for a great tour of a town I love!

    • Avatar
      Jessica Wright Reply

      Thank you, Phil! Taco Tree is such a classic and staple. It really is a special place!

  2. Avatar
    Melinda Minyard Reply

    I can’t imagine how many emotions you must’ve felt coming back home in this capacity! We are all so proud of you & the platform you’ve built to share your hometown with the world! It was such a pleasure meeting you, thank you for hanging out with us over coffee, beer & wine! 🙂

    • Jessica Wright
      Jessica Wright Reply

      So many emotions! Thank you so much for welcoming Travis and I in, we absolutely love coming in. See you soon!

  3. Avatar
    Lydia Jones Reply

    Thanks Jessica for a fun, comprehensive look at our wonderful town! Phil also had some good points! Please don’t forget all the history we have stored up here and hidden treasures like Wreckclamation with its eclectic collection of vintage, antiques, quirky and fun items for sale!

    • Jessica Wright
      Jessica Wright Reply

      Thank you, Lydia! There is definitely a ton of history in Auburn!

      • Avatar

        Another great renovated addition to any visit to Auburn is seeing a show or music at the Auburn State Theatre!

  4. Avatar

    What a lovely peace about our wonderful town. I continuesly talk about Auburn to my friends, new people I meet, actually just about anyone who will listen. Your wonderful article shows just how much Auburn has to offer regardless of if you live here or are just passing through.

    • Jessica Wright
      Jessica Wright Reply

      Auburn is truly a special place and love getting to call it my home town!

  5. Avatar

    Love this!! Next time you will have to try The Healthy Habit in downtown.Auburn if you haven’t already!

    • Jessica Wright
      Jessica Wright Reply

      Ah will definitely have to check it out!!

  6. Avatar

    What a lovely testimony to the true heart of out foothill community. I’m definitely old Guard! Sun River Clothing celebrating over 24 years in Old Town!

  7. Avatar

    Thanks for spotlighting our little town. After high school and several years away we returned to the area. It has so much to offer. Loved that you mentioned the best “fast food” ever- Taco Tree!😄 Surprised Bootleggers didn’t make the list. Great for a date night or a special family dinner. So much Gold Rush and Chinese history in Old Town too. Thanks again for the small town shout out!❤️

    • Jessica Wright
      Jessica Wright Reply

      Thank you, Treece! It’s a special place and always love returning to my home town!

  8. Avatar

    Thank you for including us Jessica! What a great a few days, we enjoyed meeting you and look forward to your next visit!

    • Jessica Wright
      Jessica Wright Reply

      Tim! Thank you so much, we had a wonderful time. P.s. we are LOVING the Turkish towels — every time I use them, it brings me back to Europe. Love them!

  9. Avatar

    What a great article. We have lived here 15 years and have missed out on some of the places that were mentioned. Can’t wait to go explore and try them Thanks for writing about our Auburn.

    • Jessica Wright
      Jessica Wright Reply

      Absolutely Marcia! It such a special place and you can always go back and visit!

  10. Avatar
    Georgina kier Reply

    Thank you for mentioning Four Tines Farmstand. Going there is my favorite part of Sundays. There is so much to love about our little town- even Taco Tree 🙂
    Next time you’re in town, look for my car… license plate is I♥️AUBRN

    • Jessica Wright
      Jessica Wright Reply

      It’s so magical there! And yes can’t get enough of Taco Tree!

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