28 May

Pete’s Pizza

Pete's Pizza, Grass Valley, photo by Erin Thiem

Pete's Pizza, Grass Valley, photos by Erin Thiem

Pete’s Pizza in downtown Grass Valley recently opened their expanded location and tap house.  Stone baked pizza, by the slice or whole pie, now located at 114 W. Main Street.  You can stop in and have a beverage, your choice of 14 draft beers, plus root beer and cider on tap and grab a meatball sub or salad.  Click here to check out their menu online.  Open 7 days a  week and open late.  If you haven’t been in yet, or want an excuse to go back, I’ve got a special giveaway to one lucky blog reader.  Post a comment here on your favorite pizza and one lucky person will win a $20 gift certificate and a Pete’s Pizza t-shirt, winner announced on Wednesday, June 3rd.

Pete's Pizza, Grass Valley, photos by Erin Thiem

© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, Photos by Erin Thiem

25 May

Celebration of Trails

Nevada City hiking trails, photo by Erin Thiem

Nevada County Celebration of Trails, photos by Erin ThiemThis Saturday, May 30th is Nevada County Celebration of Trails Day and the Bear Yuba Land Trust has organized an entire day to encourage folks to get outside and enjoy the trails.  A full list of the day’s activities can be found online here.  So whether you’re joining Hank Meals on Missouri Creek to Poorman Creek, the family hike to Hirschman Pond with FREED and the Sierra Club, walk along Tribute Trail with Nevada City Rancheria and Sierra Streams Institute, the BONC bike ride or one of the many other activities, there’s something for everyone.  This year the event is including a Trails Day Fair, stop by the Tahoe National Forest Service headquarters on Saturday from 11am-3pm, we’ll be there representing the Outside Inn and the Inn Town Campground.  In addition to chatting with us you can grab some food, redeem a drink coupon (Three Forks Bakery & Brewery is a sponsor) and learn about other local organizations and businesses who support the local trails.

What’s your favorite local hike?  I’ve put together a list of some past blog posts on local hikes and bike rides, some inspiration to motivate you outside.  No mater what your ability level there are opportunities throughout Nevada County to get outside and enjoy the trails.  And for those of you who are looking for more maps, feel free to stop by the Outside Inn’s office for our colorful collection of local trail guides.

Local Nevada City/Grass Valley Hiking Trails

Cycling Rides

Mountain Biking

And while we’re talking about reasons to love Nevada City, check out my new Instagram feed Visit Nevada City and use the hashtag #VisitNevadaCity to share your photos of our community.

© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, Photos by Erin Thiem

22 May

Summer Fun

Summer Activities

Things to do in Nevada City, photos by Erin Thiem/ Outside Inn

Happy Memorial Day Weekend.  Looking to start planning your summer fun, here are a few of my favorite summer activities.

What are you favorite summer fun activities?  If you’re on Instagram, feel free to use the #VisitNevadaCity and share some of the reasons why you love our community, or just leave a comment here.

20 May

Outside Inn Sign

Outside Inn

Outside Inn Sign

For a girl who loves our community and all things Nevada City, I don’t write very many blog posts about the Outside Inn.  But I’m excited to share with you our new sign (thanks Grass Valley Sign).  We rebranded the Outside Inn’s logo earlier this year and have been slowly working our way through the list of things to update.  This summer marks the Outside Inn’s 17th year in business and with all businesses, we are constantly updating, adding and changing.  The Outside Inn is proud to continue providing lodging in the heart of downtown Nevada City, look how far we’ve come from the days of the Airway Motel.  We always love it when people stop in and share their “back in the day, I remember this place…” tales.  And we can’t wait to start a new tradition of stories when we open the Inn Town Campground in 2016.  So, here’s a nod to the past, the present and the future, thank you to all the folks who have been a part of our stories.

Airway Motel

18 May

What’s SUP?

Scotts Flat Lake, SUP rentals

SUP, Scotts Flat Lake, Nevada City

Mountain Recreation’s SUP rentals out at Scotts Flat Lake will be available starting this weekend.  Daily rentals will be available at the Day Use area at the Scotts Flat Campground Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend and then Saturday and Sundays this summer*. It was great to see Nevada City represented on a recent SUP Magazine article about California’s Top 10 SUP Spots.  What are you favorite places to get out on the water in Nevada City?

SUP, Scotts Flat Lake, Nevada City

© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, Photos by Erin Thiem

*SUP rentals at Scotts Flat Lake end when the water levels are too low, a date to be determined later.  Check out their Facebook page for more current information.

14 May

Sierra Vintners Wine Trail

Sierra Vintners Wine Trail, photo by Erin Thiem

Avanguardia Wines Vineyards, Sierra Vintners Wine Trail, photo by Erin Thiem This Saturday Sierra Vintners is launching their first of three regional mini wine trails.  The spring tour includes:  Avanguardia Wines, Bent Metal Winery, Coufos Cellars, Gray Pine Winery, Pilot Peak Vineyard & Winery and Szabo Vineyards.  Each winery will have music, food pairings and plenty of wines to taste.  Stop by any one of the six participating wineries on Saturday between 11am-5pm*.

Bent Metal we will be serving mustard brined pork loin with caramelized onion aioli, a side of roasted red pepper orzo pasta salad and a dark chocolate brownie.  In addition they’ll have live music and artists on site.

Pilot Peak will be serving tri-tip sliders and coleslaw, live music and releasing their Sauvignon Blanc.

Coufos Cellars will be pouring wine, food pairings with live music by jazz harpist Motoshi Kosako. Don’t forget to try your luck at the horseshoe pit for your chance to win a discount.

Gray Pine Winery will have wines, appetizers and Brazilian jazz music by Norm & Tubby’s Hot Club at their Penn Valley winery.

Avanguardia Wines will have their selection of non-traditional blended wines,  Back Porch Market deluxe antipasto, pork tenderloin kebabs and Penn Valley Grill mocha-praline cheesecake topped with amaretto-infused wafers and live music by Tom McDonald and Steve Holland.

For an online purchase for Saturday, May 16th, click here, if you’re interested in attending all three Wine Tours (July 18th and September 26th) you can purchase a discounted ticket online here.

July 18 will include: Double Oak Vineyards & Winery, Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery, Nevada City Winery, Smith Vineyard, Solune Winegrowers and Grant Eddie Winery (Oregon House).

September 26 will include:  Bear River Winery, Fawnridge Winery, Lone Buffalo Vineyards & Winery, Mt. Vernon Winery, Naggiar Vineyards, Sierra Knolls Vineyards & Winery, Viña Castellano Winery.

So cheers to lots of great local wines.  If you’re looking for more information about Nevada City and Grass Valley wine tasting rooms or events, click here for the Outside Inn info page.  What’s your favorite local wine?

Sierra Vintners Wine Trail, Nevada County Wine Tasting, photos by Erin Thiem

© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, Photos by Erin Thiem

*Pilot Peak will be closing at 4pm to set up for their Sunset at the Peak event.

11 May

Amgen Tour of California

Amgen Tour of California, Nevada City, photo by Val Camp

Amgen Tour of California, Nevada City, California Amgen Tour of California, Nevada City, California, photos by Kial James

Amgen Tour of California, Stage 2 start in downtown Nevada City was the place to be this morning.  The 10th anniversary cycling road race includes 18 of the world’s top professional cycling teams, which include Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions.  The men’s course covers 700 miles through varying California terrain.  State 2 of the men’s race started in Nevada City then traveled 120 miles down 2500 elevation to Lodi.  The energy in town this morning was amazing, many thanks to all of those involved who helped make it happen.  Many thanks to Kial, Val and Lenka for additional photos.  Did you get a chance to watch the event?  Post a comment and share your favorite rider.  And don’t forget about the upcoming Nevada City Classic next month.  And the winner of the BriarPatch Co-Op cooking class is Cathleen Parsons.

Amgen Tour of California, Nevada City, California

Amgen Tour of California, Nevada City, California Amgen Tour of California, Nevada City, California, photos by Lenklanland Photography

© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, Photos by Erin Thiem, Lenkaland Photography, Kial James Photography and Val Camp

09 May

Camp Augusta

Camp Augusta, Nevada City, photo by Erin Thiem

Camp Augusta, Nevada City Summer camp, photos by Erin ThiemCamp Augusta Summer Camp, photos by Erin Thiem

Have you heard of Camp Augusta?  The summer camp has been operating for the last 80 years on 80 acres off Lake Vera Purdon Road less than 10 minutes outside of downtown Nevada City.  While my children have been on school field trips to Camp Augusta, in the month of May they offer a great program called Family Camp, so the entire family can go spend a weekend doing all sorts of amazing summer camp fun.  Activities range from arts & crafts, giant swing, ropes courses, yoga, cooking classes, swimming, mountain biking, aerial skills, campfires and much, much more.  So while their summer programs often have a waiting list, Camp Augusta recently launched a wilderness program, click here to read more about Wilderness Augusta.  If you’re looking for other local summer programs, check out my recent post about the Summer Camp Fair for more links to other programs in Nevada City and Grass Valley.  Don’t we all want to be kids and go to camp?  Maybe that’s why we’re building the Inn Town Campground?  We all want to relive our summer camp fun, some lucky campers get to go to Camp Augusta and swing through the trees on the zip lines.

Camp Augusta, Nevada City, photos by Erin Thiem

Camp Augusta Ropes Course, Nevada City, photos by Erin Thiem© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, Photos by Erin Thiem

07 May

Empire Mine

Empire Mine, Grass Valley, photo by Erin Thiem

Empire Mine Historic State Park, photos by Erin Thiem Empire Mine Historic State Park, photos by Erin Thiem

Spring at the historic Empire Mine State Park is a great place to visit for all ages.  The park is open 7 days a week from 10am-5pm* and located 5 minutes from downtown Grass Valley.  Step back in time and see an important park of California’s history.  This Sunday Empire Mine is hosting a Mother’s Day Spring Open House from 11am-4pm.  Check out the Empire Cottage and meet docents in period costumes acting out living history from the Gold Rush days.  The Mineyard will be full of lots of activity, check out the mine shaft or the black smith shop.  If you can’t make it on Sunday, click here for their daily tour schedule.  The State Park, which was once home to one of the richest gold mines in California, operated for over 100 years, before closing in 1956.  Definitely stop in the Visitor Center to see the secret room scale model of the mine shafts, which cover 367 miles of underground mine shafts.  What’s your favorite part about Empire Mine?

The winner of last week’s California Bookstore Day giveaway from The Book Seller is Vickie.

Empire Mine Historic State Park, photos by Erin ThiemEmpire Mine Historic State Park, photos by Erin Thiem

© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, Photos by Erin Thiem

*Empire Mine is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

05 May

BriarPatch Cooking Class

Nevada City Cooking Classes, BriarPatch Co-Op, photo by Erin Thiem

BriarPatch Co-Op Cooking Classes, Tacos, photo by Erin ThiemBriarPatch Co-Op Community Cooking School is always cooking up something fun.  Last night I tried Maria Benner’s Mexican Tacos and Salsas class.  We made three salsas: chile de arbol, avocado salsa and pastor salsa and then paired them with potato tacos, carnitas tacos and tacos al Pastor.  It was a great way to get ready for Cinco de Mayo.  To check out the upcoming cooking class schedule, click here.  If you’re looking for a hands on approach to learning a new culinary skill check out the school, located on Zion Street, where Wendy Van Wagner’s In the Kitchen use to offer cooking classes.  BriarPatch has donated one free class for an InnSide Nevada City blog reader, post a comment on what cooking class you’d love to take (even if it’s not currently on their schedule, we can always give them new ideas), and I’ll announce the winner on Monday, May 11th.  And the winner of the Fable Coffee giveaway is Ari.

BriarPatch Co-Op Cooking Classes, Tacos, photo by Erin Thiem 2015-05-05_0003 BriarPatch Co-Op Cooking Classes, Tacos, photo by Erin Thiem© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, Photos by Erin Thiem