Historic Downtown Grass Valley is the heart of this area with a charming mining town feel and lots of activities, restaurants and shopping opportunities. Grass Valley as an area is sprawled out between Nevada City, Penn Valley Rough & Ready, Alta Sierra and Peardale. Grass Valley does get a bit of snow and ranges in elevations with an average of Many areas in town or close by have natural gas, pipe treated water and sewer, outer lying areas use well, septic and propane. High speed internet is also common.

Time Magazine has called Grass Valley “one of the top ten best small towns to live in.” Downtown Grass Valley is considered by many to be the one of the best preserved historic towns in the United States.

Grass Valley offers a wide variety of choices in property, from very rural to historic downtown. In the outlying areas, small farms thrive and closer in visitors find many neighborhoods with single family homes, condominiums, and apartment buildings.


The Nevada County / Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce membership is over 1,000. In addition, the Grass Valley Downtown Association has created one of the most successful business districts in the Sierra Foothills.

Away from downtown are all the services and supplies the local populace needs for daily life. Lumber companies, hardware stores, feed supplies, supermarkets, printing companies – many of the businesses owned and operated by local residents.

The high tech community in this area supplies the world with cutting edge equipment and parts.


Grass Valley Schools are among the top in California, reflecting the low student:teacher ratio and the high teaching standards. There are public high schools, intermediate schools, and elementary schools as well as two K-8 parochial schools.


Neighborhood parks open to the public for swimming, tennis, baseball, soccer, and family picnicking dot the Grass Valley community. Eight miles northwest of Nevada City on Highway 49, the South Yuba River State Park includes the longest single-span covered bridge in the world swimming and hiking, wildflowers and historic sites. Docent-led history, nature and gold-panning tours are offered at selected times throughout the year.

Empire Mine State Park is the site of the oldest, richest gold mine in California. An estimated 5.8 million ounces of gold were extracted from the mine from the time of its discovery in Now the site of an extraordinary mining museum, the miles of trails are home to hikers, mountain bikers, and horse back riders.

Festivals and events are scheduled throughout the year and the downtown Center for the Arts presents local and international performers.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is home to the annual County Fair as well as other special events and concerts.


The boom started in 1850, when miners found gold in this “grassy valley,” where grazing was better for livestock owners. As the number of wage-earning miners grew, Grass Valley became a trading center, and in November 1850 the first town election was held.

The commitment to keep the mines open, even after the Gold Rush, generated employment and opportunity. The community grew and families put down roots. Grass Valley’s economy was originally based on its mining efforts, and it prospered even through the Great Depression