Wednesday, January 23, 2008

{ weekend getaway (part II) – murphys, ca }

Images courtesy of bingley0522 & jimhildreth via my flickr faves.

With all of the snow activities last weekend, I didn't have time to explore Murphys' charming "Main Street" downtown and the surrounding areas like I usually enjoy doing. Nonetheless, I thought I'd share some of my favorite spots with you from my many visits in the past. Murphys seems to have something for everyone–if you enjoy wine tasting, shopping, golfing, antiquing, and good eats, plan a weekend getaway to this increasingly popular destination in the Sierra foothills. It's about a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from most SF Bay Area towns and is even closer if you live in or are visiting the Sacramento area.

Getting There:
Murphys is located off Highway 49 on Highway 4. The Calaveras County Visitors Bureau has a great interactive map you can access 
here as well as a wonderful description of places you can stay here.

Big Trees State Park. Along with two magnificent groves of giant sequoias, the park features over six thousand acres of pine forest on both sides of the Stanislaus River. Campgrounds, picnic areas, and many miles of hiking and bicycling trails make Calaveras Big Trees a popular and worthwhile stop when visiting the area.

Wineries. Calaveras county is home to 20+ wineries, featuring some of California's best vineyards. (Shhhhh...despite producing some of California's most exceptional wines, wine tasting here tends to be a more intimate and less crowded experience than tasting in California's more, ahem, famous wine region.) A printable map of wine tasting locations is available here.

Ironstone Vineyards Summer Concert Series. Incredible music in a breathtaking setting. The winery's amphitheatre boasts a beautiful and intimate venue set in the midst of the vineyards as well as amazing sound quality...all under the stars. The 2008 concert schedule will be posted in April, here.

Where to shop
images courtesy of rivana & bingley0522 via my flickr faves.
Kristine's 426 Main Street • Murphys • 209.728.2506. Styl
ish, sophisticated and funky indie designer threads are plentiful in this charming local fave for women's fashions. Don't miss the fun and funky jewelry and knitted goods showcased by the counter.

Knit Knacks • 281b Main Street • Murphys. I only aspire to knit at this point, but even I can appreciate the unique, quality yarns, notions, and 'knit knacks' found in this charming little shop for knitting afficianados.

Villa Mia Antiques • 237A Main Street • Murphys. Inside the green shuttered entrance of this exquisite little shop you'll find both early American and European treasures including collectibles, Quimper pottery and vintage (and contemporary) jewelry.

Alchemy Wine Bar & Restaurant • 221 Main Street 
• Murphys. This is one of my favorite spots to stop in Murphys. Aside from its renowned restaurant, Alchemy also offers a wonderful wine bar and a delicacy foods market with an out-of-this-world delicatessen. Eat outside in their charming street side courtyard or grab some goodies to go and enjoy a picnic at one of the local vineyards.

V Restaurant • 402 Main Street • Murphys • 209.728-0107. Tucked into a small courtyard off Main Street in Murphys, this small, cozy restaurant offers a a wonderful selection of appetizers and entrees including pasta dishes, steaks and fresh fish. Wonderful ambiance, nice selection of local wines and friendly staff make this one a winner.

images courtesy of alchemy & aria

Aria • 458 Main Street. Ste B • Murphys • 209.728.9250. Wake up to one of Aria's steaming lattes or mochas while indulging in one of their breakfast goodies. From cranberry scones and ham and cheese croissants to bagels and chicken apple sausage biscuits, Aria's handmade baked goods will get your day off to a delicious start. 

More info: Additional information for planning a visit to Murphys is available here. Also, please feel free to leave a comment or email me if you have any additional questions.
Happy Trails!

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