A Weekend in Murphys, CA

There are so many destinations in Northern California that you might just skip someone of the smaller towns. But one you should take a second look at, or actually just book your trip, is Murphys, CA.

This small mountain town is a part of Gold Rush Country in California. Nowadays, you’ll still have a chance to see historic building and learn about the past. Plus, you’ll be able to spend a weekend enjoying local eateries, some topnotch California wines, and even get in a good show.

On top of that, it is an extremely dog-friendly town. Just about every restaurant has a patio and every winery and shop we walked into were thrilled to let my large pup in the doors.

Whether you’re adding a couple of nights onto a California road trip or you’re looking for a weekend getaway, take a look at Murphys in Calaveras County.

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Stay in Boutique Spots Right Downtown

For weekend getaways, I love being able to stay right in the center of it all. Thankfully, Murphys has a very cute historic Downtown where you’ll be able to spend a weekend without getting into the car if you want to.

Stay right downtown in a vintage building and walk to the local eateries and wineries.

Two particularly cute spots Downtown are the Dunbar House Bed & Breakfast and The Victoria Inn. Both offer you a chance to get a feel for the town all while having easy access to what you’re looking to explore

You’ll find even more great places to stay in Murphys, CA both Downtown and out in the country. Or check out some of the cute Airbnbs in town.

Enjoying Local Eats in Murphys, CA

You’d be surprised by how many tasty looking spots can show up in just a handful of blocks. I only had the chance to eat two meals in Murphys and we went casual with both and absolutely delicious.

I had the pup along with me so we were looking for tasty spots with nice outdoor space. For that, you’ll want to hit up Murphy’s Pourhouse, This beer-centric spot has a solid food menu as well.

I ordered a rather simple sandwich but it was made with such high-quality ingredients that made it a pleasant surprise.

As we came back through town I ended up with another but very different sandwich. My pesto chicken sandwich on V Bistro & Bar‘s patio was a delicious way to end a weekend away.

Walkable Winetasting in Downtown Murphys

Before my visit to Murphys, I had no idea about the wine country based in Calaveras County. This is part of the Sierra Nevadas and some beautiful foothills up into the mountains. Once I arrived I was impressed by quality wines, great staff, and wine labels I recognized from home.

Plus, you can visit a dozen or so tasting rooms without having to get into your car. Right Downtown you’ll find some great wineries that highlight wines from the region and across California.

My first stop was Milliaire Winery a winery in an old gas station that is dog-friendly. Since I love repurposed old building I just had to visit. Then I was thoroughly impressed by the wine and the staff.

The pup and I both enjoyed the experience and they offer a solid food menu as well. In the end, we walked away with what I would say is the best affordable cabernet sauvignon I’ve ever had.

Another great spot in town Jazz Cellars. When we visited we had the tasting room to ourselves with an exceptional staff member behind the bar. Jazz Cellars brings in varietals from around the state which highlight the best of a variety of regions.

Almost across the street, you’ll find Twisted Oak. Here you’ll find a tasting room with character, you might even see fellow winetasters in costume. Along with some delicious wines to taste.

One of the highlights of tasting through Murphys was Lavender Ridge. Their local wines highlight the best of the region. Their staff is highly knowledgable. Plus you get to taste declicious cheese along with their wines. There is no doubt that I came home with a few bottles after our tasting.

Get Outside and Explore Calaveras County

One of the great things about Murphys, CA is not only it’s cute Downtown but also how easy it is to get outdoors.

Just a ten-minute drive away you can get out on the water you’ll find New Melones Lake, one of the state’s larger reservoirs. Or head up to White Pines Lake near Arnold for a lazy float or some fishing.

Or go explore the local caverns for a unique experience in California Gold Country. Take a tour of Mercer Cavern, not far from Murphys, CA.

It’s even the perfect way to combine camping and town luxuries. You can spend your evenings camping over at Big Trees State Park within the Giant Sequoias or one of the other camping areas nearby. Then pop into town for a meal, winetasting or more.

Photo credit: jmf1007 on Visual hunt / CC BY

Stick Around for a Show

Another great reason to spend a weekend in Murphys, CA is the Ironstone Amphitheatre. This outdoor mountain amphitheatre has an impressive lineup each summer with folks coming out for shows from all around California and beyond.

Recently lineups have ranged from Willie Nelson to Ziggy Marley to Jason Mraz to Stone Temple Pilots. You’ll find a concert for just about anyone each summer.

Enjoy A Small-Town Feel in Murphys, CA

In Murphys, you’ll spend a weekend enjoying the small-town feel with more than enough activities to even add a few more days to your trip.

Whether you’re looking to get outdoors, explore the local wineries, get you foodie on or see a topnotch concert, Murphys, California makes for a perfect weekend getaway.

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the non-profit world in California. She focuses on exploring the world from her own backyard to across the globe. You'll find her sharing about explorations through food, books, travel, and more.