Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Weaverville and the Trinity Alps

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Weaverville, the county seat and largest city in Trinity County, in the north of California.  Our trip started in Redding and continued west along CA 299, the main road through the Trinity Alps.  About 75 minutes later, we arrived in Weaverville.

This old gold rush town still has buildings from the 1850s and a quaint main street through the historic section.  The historic part of town is about 5 blocks long and contains some interesting shops, Victorian buildings, a few restaurants, and historic sights.  The two main attractions in town are the Weaverville Joss House and the Jake Jackson Memorial Museum.  If you like to fish or hike, there are many opportunities in the surrounding mountains.

The Joss House is the oldest continuously used Chinese temple in California.  The original Joss House was built during the gold rush but burned down.  This temple replaced the original in 1874.  The Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park is open Thursday - Sunday.  The temple may only be entered with a tour, which begins on the hour from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The museum is operated by the Trinity County Historical Society and houses a collection of artifacts showcasing Weaverville's and Trinity County's history.  Hours vary with the season, so check the museum's website to find out if the museum will be open during your visit.

We stayed in the Weaverville Hotel, a restored 19th century hotel with seven guest rooms.  Our room was spacious and contained a large soaking tub for easing away one's troubles.  The rooms are on the second floor, which are only accessible via a long flight of steps, so the hotel is not for everyone.  Breakfast is not served at the hotel but each guest receives a voucher for a discount at one of the nearby restaurants.

Just across the street from the hotel is Mamma Llama Coffeehouse, where you can get a good cup of coffee and a light breakfast.  Le Grange Cafe appears to be the best restaurant in town.  We both had tasty dishes featuring buffalo -- braised buffalo and buffalo meatloaf.  The wine list is surprisingly good.  We tried a Trinity County Merlot, which was a decent wine at a very good price.

The next morning we continued west, following the Trinity River on its way to the Pacific.  We drove through beautiful mountain scenery before arriving at the coastal cities of Arcata and Eureka.  

I am certainly glad we made the trip and recommend a night in Weaverville if you are in the area, perhaps as part of a longer trip exploring California's vast north.  However, if your time is short, you'll probably want to head to the Gold Rush towns in the Sierra Foothills and the Sierra Nevada Mountains for similar sights that are closer to the Bay Area.

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