Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District
Twin cities rich in cultural history, the arts, and innovation, deep within Gold Country.
Scenic • World-class • Charming
About the Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District
Steeped in history and with the most famous gold-mining district in California, the Grass Valley and Nevada City experienced a “cultural revolution” from the mid-20th century that has reshaped the local economy and continues to influence the statewide arts scene. Starting in the ’60s, Beat Generation and deep ecology poet Gary Snyder, singer Utah Phillips and a host of authors and musicians settled here. Now, for more than 50 high-tech companies – including a virtual and augmented reality hub – creativity occurs in peaceful, natural environments far from major urban centers.
Between them, Grass Valley and Nevada City are home to the Nevada Theatre, the oldest theater in California, and more than 100 arts-related organizations producing upwards of a thousand events a year, scores of annual festivals, street fairs, art walks and studio tours, and a generous base of artists and makers.
As well as for their arts, the district is known for its expanding vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms, and a trail network of outstanding natural beauty. The Nisenan lived in the region for thousands of years as part of a perfectly balanced ecosystem, thriving on the Yuba, Bear and American river watersheds – and, over time, their sacred places are being rediscovered and cherished.
District Region: Gold Country
Bumping up against the west side of the Sierra Nevada Range, on California’s eastern side, the Sierra foothills that make up the Gold Country are California classics. Here, the state’s past, present, and future merge into one unforgettable destination.