Nevada City featured as one of best river towns nationwide |

Nevada City featured as one of best river towns nationwide

Christopher Rosacker

Families lounge in the South Fork of the Yuba River at the Highway 49 bridge, a mile

While Outside Magazine named Richmond, Virginia the best river town in the United States, little Nevada City gave the winner a run for its money.

The historic gold rush mining town nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills was the smallest village in the Facebook competition to determine the best river town, no other city turned out the vote to promote their town like Nevada City did, according to the article that appears in Outside’s October 2012 issue – the magazine’s 35th anniversary edition.

More than 2,500 people – 83 percent of Nevada City’s populace – logged onto Facebook page to vote and comment on why the tiny Hamlet on the edge of the Tahoe National Forest should earn the distinction of best river town, according to the Outside article, which is also online.

The next closest per capita average was Hood River, Oregon, which had a 40 percent voter turnout.

Seated Nevada City is a handful of miles away from the South Fork of the Yuba River, which offers locals trout fishing, gold panning, kayaking, swimming, hiking, climbing and cliff jumping into cool, granite-lined river waters that carves steep valleys through the Sierra foothills.

Among the attributes listed in the section about Nevada City are its close, 45-minute drive proximity to skiing at Sugar Bowl; 120 miles of singletrack mountain-bike a mere 20-minute drive into Tahoe National Forest; and the plethora of vineyards all over western Nevada City.

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Beyond all it has to offer outdoors, Nevada City is literally rich with history as the area was central in the mid-1800s gold rush. Some of the landmarks it boasts are the Nevada Theater, where Mark Twain read in the 1860s, still features monthly plays, which Outside featured.

Nevada City isn’t short on modern activities either. Outside pointed out that in July, the 150-year-old town closes two blocks to cars and lets artisans take over with booths selling wine, craft cheeses, and local veggies. The city also hosts eight annual events, including the acclaimed Wild and Scenic Film Festival, the Nevada City Classic bicycle race, a Mardi Gras parade and a budding soapbox derby race. There’s even a masquerade ball that has been known to attract police attention.

Other cities that made the list included Boise, Idaho; Durango, Colorado; Missoula, Montana; Nashville, Tennessee; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Asheville, North Carolina; Hood River, Oregon; and Ithaca, New York

To read Outside’s feature on Nevada City, click HERE.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call (530) 477-4236

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