A road trip to Murphys, California was launched the adventures in June. “Where?” you ask. Exactly. Off-the-beaten path at its finest. Located about 2.5 hours east of San Francisco at the foothills of the Sierras, Murphys is a tiny little town with a whole lotta awesomeness. From the gourmet food to the fantastic small-production wines to the outdoor adventure, it’s worth a road trip escape to this California gem.
Once a gold rush town, there is still a bit of the Old West spirit alive (almost literally) at the historic Murphy’s Hotel which is said to be haunted. The likes of Mark Twain and Ulysses S. Grant have stayed there and while I don’t recommend staying there (you’ll have to read my stories to find out why), it adds a charm to the town’s Main Street. Stay at the Victoria Inn to stay central or at one of the B&Bs or vacation rentals (Villa Vallecito or Querencia) for a more posh sleep.
In Murphys, you will not find a McDonalds, a Walmart, or a Starbucks and that is part of my criteria for being a perfect getaway. Instead, you get the local flair – everyone has a story, there’s one degree of separation, and a long weekend there will feel you’ve escaped the “real” world for a week. No visit would be complete without a trip to see the giant sequoias at Big Trees State Park.
To kick the adrenaline into high gear, we went rappelling (yes, apparently we like to HANG out when traveling…) through an old mine shaft at Moaning Caverns into a stunning cave, 160 feet to the bottom, including a couple extremely narrow passages (called “birth canals” because your body needs to be completely vertical to squeeze through), and from there entered the caverns for a little introduction to spelunking. Claustrophobics need not apply. The location also has zip lines and other adventures to satisfy your adrenaline cravings.