Weekend at Murphy's: Northern California.

Tripoto
8th Mar 2014

Living in history here

Photo of Weekend at Murphy's: Northern California. by Michele Bigley

A gourmet's delight in Murphy's

Photo of Weekend at Murphy's: Northern California. by Michele Bigley

Tunnel tree at Calaveras Big Tree Park

Photo of Weekend at Murphy's: Northern California. by Michele Bigley

Chantom vineyards

Photo of Weekend at Murphy's: Northern California. by Michele Bigley

Home and Hearth belonging to history

Photo of Weekend at Murphy's: Northern California. by Michele Bigley

The Vineyards around Murphy

Photo of Weekend at Murphy's: Northern California. by Michele Bigley

Weekends at Murphys, in northern California are never meant to be just for lazing. For there is too much to do! Named after John and Daniel Murphy who arrived in California around 1844 it came to be known as California’s hidden gem, it being the gold county or rather Calaveras County.  

Quaint and maintaining its heritage, Murphys has too many things to do for the cultural hedonist. Lodging is one of the most thought provoking and paradoxically enjoyable experience. A registered historic hotel, Murphys Historic Hotel was built in 1856 and has had illustrious guests including Mark Twain. A single Bed Queen Room would be around 109 USD for the weekend. On the other hand Dunbar House, built in 1880 while boasting of its heritage has all the modern amenities at 250 USD per night (for two persons). Eschewing the need for a hotel might lead to rental of cottages at the Sierra foothills starting at 135 USD for the weekend.

Once all this has been settled venturing out in the main streets of Murphys is a wine and food connoisseur’s delight. Lined with restaurants of gourmet food and vineyards all around, a weekend a Murphys is meant to tantalise the senses.

Staring at Aria Bakery for a morning snack after breakfast seems to be ideal. While vegetarians might rue the day when the gourmet vegetarian restaurant closed its doors, its replacement Roquefort has brought joy to many.  Food at Firewood is also a welcome treat.

Taking into consideration the wholly consuming action of wine tasting Murphys will definitely provide an experience par excellence. Surround by vineyards such as the Chantom Vineyards, the Indian Rock vineyards and the Ironstone vineyards, one feels as if even Dionysus might not have had it so good!

To work off all the wining and the dining, the greatest way would be to visit the Caleveras Big Tree State Park. Set up in 1931 to protect the North Grove of giant sequoias, it includes the "Discovery Tree", also known as the "Big Stump", the first Sierra redwood noted by Augustus T. Dowd in 1852. This has been a major tourist draw for a long time.

Huge towering trees, fresh air away from the city smog and great living. A weekend away couldn’t be more enjoyable.

Living at this hotel was like living 'in' history. Quaint furnishing and beautifully renovated rooms were absolutely delightful. It retained the flavour of Murphys from the 1800s.
Photo of Murphys Historic Hotel, Main Street, Murphys, CA, United States by Michele Bigley
Dwarfed by the huge trees, I felt like a Lilliput. Fans of fantasy fiction like The Lord of the Rings would be reminded of Treebeard and his majesty when faced with the `Big Trees` of this park. At 7 USD entrance for each car, it is not much to pay to realize the puny human self in the face of nature.
Photo of Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California 4, Arnold, CA, United States by Michele Bigley
Photo of Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California 4, Arnold, CA, United States by Michele Bigley
The Vineyards around Murphy evoke a bacchanalian delight in my mind. Wine tasting was never so good. While some places asked for a nominal entrance fee, others simply had events where they sold their wares. A sip here and a sip there filled me with the elixir of life.
Photo of Murphys, CA, United States by Michele Bigley
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