Historic Main Street in Placerville, California is a fun place to start any new adventure. Located in beautiful El Dorado County between Sacramento (the State Capitol) and South Lake Tahoe, Placerville is situated above the fog and below the snowline. Placerville is a peaceful blend of old and new that offers something for everyone. Pioneers, artists, gold-miners and entrepreneurs have called it home. Generations of local families call it home. Newly transplanted city and suburb-dwellers call it home. A visit to Historic Main Street, the heart of Placerville, means discovering new treasures and making new friends. A wealth of unique shopping and dining experiences are ready to create new memories for your family and friends.
For the history buff, Placerville’s treasured heritage is reflected in the historical, nineteenth century architecture of its downtown district. The history of Placerville began with the "rush for gold" to California in the 1840’s. The discovery of gold in the tailrace section at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma (only 10 miles from Placerville) in 1848 resulted in the migration of thousands of fortune-seekers to Northern California in the mid 1800’s. The town of Placerville was named after the placer deposits found in the river bed between Spanish Ravine and the town plaza. During the gold rush, Placerville became an important supply center for the surrounding mining camps.
Throughout history, several famous entrepreneurs have conducted business on Main Street. Mark Hopkins (railroad financier) and John Studebaker (wagon & auto maker) were among the well-known shopkeepers on Main Street. Also of local renown was Snowshoe Thompson, who carried the mail through the Sierras to destinations back east in extreme weather conditions.
Today, Historic Main Street offers the perfect blend of unique specialty shops, restaurants, service businesses, and special events that set it apart from other retail and service areas. The creation of downtown festivals attracts visitors to celebrate local history, agriculture, music, food, culture and community pride. Some of the most popular events include the Art & Wine Festival, Bell Tower Brewfest, Antique and Craft Fairs, Art on Parade, Girls Night Out and the Festival of Lights that signals the start of the busy holiday season.
Location, climate, a rich heritage and community pride have allowed Placerville to emerge as a true destination in El Dorado County. Parking is free for two hours in the public lots downtown and on Historic Main Street. To obtain a calendar of special events, call the Placerville Downtown Association at (530) 672-3436 or visit www.PlacervilleDowntown.com.