Located in the heart of the California Mother Lode, Columbia State Historic Park is a living gold rush town featuring the largest single collection of existing gold rush-era structures in the state. Visiting Columbia is like traveling back in time to the sights, smells, and sounds of a nineteenth century mining town—merchants dressed in 1850’s attire, a whiff of coal smoke from the blacksmith shop, and the rumble of a stagecoach pulling into town! Spend the day enjoying fun activities for the whole family. Pan for gold, explore exhibits, ride the stagecoach, discover unique shops, and learn about the rich history of the California gold rush on a guided town tour.
Columbia’s streets are lined with a variety of shops and boutiques with many specializing in nineteenth century goods. Restaurants, ice cream parlors, candy stores, saloons, and a tea house stand ready to quench your thirst, satisfy a sweet tooth, and fill your appetite. Be sure to enjoy a cold bottle of locally made Sarsaparilla to get a taste of the old west and then head over to the portrait studio and dress up for an old-time photo. Visit a working blacksmith shop where you can watch iron being skillfully forged into finished goods through fire, water, and shaping on an anvil. You can also buy a personalized horseshoe souvenir!
Conveniently located off of Highway 49, Columbia is an easy and scenic drive that neighbors other historic towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills including Sonora, Jamestown, and Angels Camp making it a popular destination for day-trippers and weekenders alike. Columbia is also easy on the budget with free admission, free parking, and free guided tours of the town by docents. You can even bowl for free in an antique bowling alley next to the museum! Enjoy a packed lunch at one of the many picnic tables and barbecue grills around the park. With so much to see and do in the area, why not plan an overnight stay for a relaxing and unhurried visit? Several affordable lodging options are available in town including hotels, cottages, cabins, and campgrounds for RV’s and tents.
Come discover Columbia, “Gem of the Southern Mines”, and explore the rich history of this charming California Gold Rush town. Businesses and park exhibits are open year-round, seven days a week. Columbia also hosts several living history demonstrations, school programs, and special events throughout the year. We have provided information on our website to help you plan your next trip to Columbia. You may also call (209)-588-9128, or email us through the contact page for more information. We look forward to seeing you soon!