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Visiting Sacramento & California Gold Country

California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains anchor the northwest of the Golden State, drawing travelers to iconic destinations like Yosemite National Park, and historic communities like Mammoth Lakes, Mariposa and Oakhurst. Once the snow flies, the community of South Lake Tahoe, at the south end of Lake Tahoe, becomes a mecca for winter sports enthusiasts. Fall brings mandarin orange season to the foothills of the Sierras, where communities like Auburn celebrate. Sacramento, the state capital fills with holiday festivities and across California’s Sierra and Gold Country it’s a season of events and fun.

Ever get an orange in your Christmas stocking? Its the season for Christmas Oranges in California. Auburn’s 2012 Mountain Mandarin Festival marks the 19th year celebrating the mandarin orange harvest. Join the community at the Gold County Fairgrounds for the activities and fun.

Fall and holidays bring several special events to the Sacramento Zoo. Always a popular event, Boo at the Zoo kicks off 2012’s season of fun events that run through December. Visit the zoo any time in November through Christmas Eve with non-perishable food items or a new toy, for a discount on admission - help support Sacramento Zoo’s Holiday Food & Toy Drive.

December at California’s capital city zoo features handcrafted wreaths for sale on weekends; the 2012 Holiday Magic is on December 8th, when visitors watch the animals unwrap their special Christmas treats. The Sacramento Zoo hosts a PJ Party on Christmas Eve, with free admission. With cooler weather, this is the time to see the Sacramento Zoo animals at their most active.

Sacramento’s Fairytale Town is a must for travelers with younger children. Fairytale Town is a special play park and outdoor museum for kids that brings our most beloved fairy tales and nursery rhymes to life. Visit on Saturday, December 1st, for the 2012 Fairytale Town Winter Wonderland with free arts and crafts, and photos with Santa. And remember on December 24th, admission to Fairytale Town is free.

Forty miles south of Sacramento, the community of Lodi puts on its best for the holidays. The Micke Grove Zoo hosts Zoo Lights, over December weekends, transforming the grounds into a holiday wonderland. Zoo Lights features family fun, wagon rides and Santa – get your 2012 family picture with Santa at Micke Grove Zoo. On December 14th and 15th, the Lodi Ballet presents The Nutcracker at Hutchins Street Square – another holiday family tradition not to be missed.

East of Sacramento in Davis, the University of California Davis Department of Music fills the Mondavi Center with beautiful music throughout fall. The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts hosts a diversity of events from Morrissey and B.B. King, to the Alexander String Quartet and UC Davis’ own Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Mark December 21st on the calendar for the San Francisco Symphony Family Concert at the Mondavi Center.

Best Western Rewards

23 Best Western Hotels
in Sacramento & California Gold Country

  • Best Western Cedar Inn & Suites

    Angels Camp

  • Best Western Golden Key


  • Best Western Plus Palm Court Hotel


  • Best Western University Lodge


  • Best Western Plus Dixon Davis


  • Best Western Galt Inn


  • Best Western Gold Country Inn

    Grass Valley

  • Best Western Amador Inn


  • Best Western I-5 Inn & Suites


  • Best Western Plus Yosemite Way Station Motel


  • Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn


  • Best Western Plus Placerville Inn


  • Best Western Stagecoach Inn

    Pollock Pines

  • Best Western Plus Rancho Cordova Inn

    Rancho Cordova

  • Best Western Plus Orchid Hotel & Suites


  • Best Western Roseville Inn


  • Best Western John Jay Inn


  • Best Western Plus Sutter House


  • Best Western Sandman Motel


  • Best Western Plus Sonora Oaks Hotel & Conference Center

  • Best Western Station House Inn

    South Lake Tahoe

  • Best Western Shadow Inn


  • Best Western Yuba City Inn

    Yuba City

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