Nevada City Charm: The Inn Town Campground

Want to be with nature but not too far from the hubbub, too? Hang tight, campers.

NEVADA CITY CHOICES: If you've ever hemmed and hawed and pondered and mulled over a Gold Country getaway -- and hemming and pondering and approaching the topic in a laidback fashion is oh-so-necessary, if you want to match the easy style of living to be found up in the Sierra foothills -- then you've found yourself facing some delightful dilemmas. One? Is this a trip about wine tasting, local history, the eating of good food, or the enjoying of nature? Well, that's the only true question, and there's only one true answer: D. (Doesn't "D" always stand in for "all of the above"?)

THE TOWNS OF THE RAMBLING REGION... are close enough to each other that you can do all four things, and maybe four more beyond those, without too much exertion, within a long weekend. But where to stay? That question is always a hard one, even in a place as compact as that charming Nevada City. You have a clutch of colorful motels, B&Bs, and 1800s-y hotels to choose from, but drive into the countryside and you can soon snooze under the pines, by a river. If only you could have both city and country for the place you stay.

YOU CAN: Nope, they haven't developed an open-ceiling motel yet, where you can stare at treetops, but you can daydream about the coming of Nevada City's Inn Town Campground, a vision of Erin and Dan Thiem of the Outside Inn (you know this place, the one with the quaint vegetable stand out front that implores passersby to take-one-leave-one, and all of those themed rooms). So is the Inn Town Campground, which has an opening date of 2016, actually in town?

PRACTICALLY: The Inn Town Campground's info-packed site, which includes a blog and lots of photos about the construction's progress, says the "future campground is located on an historic 15-acre site, just under two miles from downtown Nevada City." The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum is just a hop/skip away, but if you stick close to camp you'll find a camp store, laundry, kitchen, and other help-you-out things. But you won't be out deep-deep in the forest -- if you want that fancy-plate-fancy-silverware dinner, you're not far from the great restaurants of Broad Street (and the great eateries near Broad Street, too). Want to follow the campground's coming-together, and start planning an away-from-it-all camping trip that's sorta kinda in a town? And a lively, funky, camper friendly town at that? Dream on here, tent-pitchers.

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