Campgrounds can range from deluxe to, well, disappointing. But this brand new campground in Nevada City tips the scales so far in the direction of deluxe we are constantly dreaming about the day when we can return. Built from the ground-up by a pair of enterprising parents, Erin and Dan Thiem, it’s got absolutely everything a family needs to have an easy, extraordinary commune with nature. Read on for all the details.
Just the Right Amount of Roughing It
Are you a tent, trailer or pillow-top mattress kind of family? Whatever your camping style, the new Inn Town Campground has an option for you, from woodsy tent sites, to spacious RV sites with full hook-ups to the prime glamping sites. There are 15 glamping sites available, and each features a large canvas tent erected on an elevated platform and includes perks like private decks, electric lighting (and outlets) and of course, cozy, fully-made up beds—configurations range from 1 (queen) to 4 (twin) beds. There will even be a stack of fluffy towels waiting for you!
Each glamping tent is decorated with an individual theme and unique furnishings, and some are even designated dog friendly. The back decks feature camp chairs and electric lanterns. There are even extra cots available to accommodate bigger broods.
Photo: Angelo Regalbuto
And Oh, the Amenities
But the killer campsites are just the start of the story. The amenities will make you rethink camping all together. The shared bathrooms are pristine and modern, and even feature dreamy outdoor showers. They also boast outdoor kitchen-style sinks to make cleaning up after dinner a breeze.
Photo: Erin Thiem
Forgot anything? Not to worry, as there is a fully stocked camp store that goes above and beyond as far as selection. Wine, ground local coffee and even gourmet s’more kits are on offer. And to cool off during the hot days, stop by the cooler stocked with It’s It ice cream sandwiches. But probably the most impressive feature (that will knock the hiking boots off seasoned campers) is the communal kitchen. Campers are invited to use two full-size fridges (just label your food with site number and date, and clean up after yourself like a good roommate), two stoves, sinks stocked with sponges and soap, and even communal food bins brimming with milk, eggs an other perishables thanks to departing campers.
For the Kids
As if the surrounding natural wonders aren’t enough to keep them entertained, there is much for kids to explore at Inn Town Campground. An Old West facade is home to outdoor movie screenings, while the campground is literally right next to the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. The bravest kids among them can even take a stroll through a historic Chinese miners cemetery. And there’s an on-site swimming pool slated for completion by summer 2017.
Next Door Neighbors with Nevada City
And while the Inn Town Campground makes it easy as pie to cook (and clean up) your camp meal, downtown Nevada City beckons with even more eating and entertainment options. The main drag is a short 5-minute drive away, and features a great selection of restaurants, sweet shops and watering holes. The old firehouse museum is a must-visit with kids, as are the smattering of small historic parks, each featuring old mining equipment.
But whether you visit the town to eat or just wander around, the beauty of the century-old storefronts are sure to amaze. Practically the entire downtown seems untouched, and it’s easy to imagine dusty miners wandering the streets more than a century ago.
You Better Not Miss the Yuba
Lastly, a trip to Nevada City wouldn’t be compete without a dip in the Yuba River. Bridgeport is one of the main swimming areas and is absolutely perfect for small kids. It’s about a 25 minute drive from the campground and features picnic tables and a quaint sandy beach that leads into shallow, clear, current-free waters with a stellar view of the longest unsupported covered bridge in the country. There’s also a small visitors center (with unpredictable hours), a historic barn to explore and public restrooms here. And don’t forget that you are in the heart of Gold Country—pick up a gold pan from one of the local shops and sift through sand for your fortune. If you come up empty, at least you already struck gold with your family vacation.
Inn Town Campground
9 Kidder Ct., Nevada City
Do you have any other suggestions for what to do while in Nevada City? Tell us in the comments below!
All photos by the author unless otherwise noted