Get a Taste of the Gold Rush at These Historic Hotels

These 19th century hotels harken a heady time in California history.

Gold may not be California’s most valuable commodity these days, but the era that gave the Golden State its nickname lives on in towns throughout Northern California. Some of the finest examples of Gold Rush opulence can be seen in surviving hotels that once catered to the newly rich—a few of them impeccably maintained and still in operation today. The Los Angeles Times recently featured a few standouts … here are some highlights:

“The 1859 Historic National Hotel near Sonora has operated continuously since it opened a decade after the start of the Gold Rush in 1849. It started out as a hotel with 12 rooms and one bathroom. Two brothers bought the hotel in 1974 and have worked to restore and modernize the rooms. Today it has nine guest rooms, each with its own bathroom. Though each room had been torn down to the studs, the hotel retains its vintage look and feel. The authentic saloon features the original back bar from 1859 plus a stamped tin ceiling. Current room prices range from $140 to $175.”

Info1859 Historic National Hotel, 18183 Main St., Jamestown; (209) 984-3446

The Queen Ann Hotel in San Francisco “was built in 1890 by U.S. Sen. James Fair, who made big money not from gold, but from silver mining in Nevada’s Comstock Lode. It first served as Miss Mary Lake’s Finishing School for Girls (rumor has it she still haunts Room 410) and withstood the devastating 1906 earthquake and subsequent fire.

After changing hands, falling into disrepair and being restored, the hotel in Pacific Heights now charms guests with its large bay windows, wood-burning fireplaces and whirlpool tubs (depending on which rooms you choose).”

The 48 rooms reflect period decor, and tea and sherry are served daily in the Parlor Room. Room prices range from $125 to $779.

InfoThe Queen Anne Hotel, 1590 Sutter St., San Francisco; (415) 441-2828

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