A 'Golden' Getaway in Northern California

Copperopolis in California's "Gold Country" enjoys a rich history. The town in the north-central part of the Golden State was the place of Black Bart's first stagecoach robbery and the setting for Mark Twain's book, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."

11th Hole at Saddle Creek

The 1849 California Gold Rush brought waves of immigrants to the area and continued to do so through the Civil War as 72 million pounds of copper were produced by mines in Copperopolis. Long known for its background as the site for precious metals, the area has since grown into a latter-day golf destination.

Located two hours from San Francisco and 1.5 hours from Sacramento, Copperopolis is home to Saddle Creek Resort and its 18 holes of golf in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. From the resort visitors enjoy vistas of Yosemite National Park, while the course itself features a collection of lakes, native trees, indigenous grasses and over 100 bunkers. The design by golf architect Carter Morrish boasts a routing in which no two holes run parallel.

Also on-site are fairway-side cottages, each equipped with a kitchen, dining area, living room and fireplace. Visitors can also access the resort's Sports Club, which houses a junior Olympic-size lap pool, workout equipment, tennis and bocce ball courts, and a horseshoe pit. Nearby are miles of hiking and biking trails.

In the golf clubhouse is the Copper Grille, which features fine fare and more than 500 wines, including the highly-praised local Petit Syrah. Wine-tasting is a popular activity for those visiting the area as 28 vineyards dot Calaveras County.

Four miles from the resort is Copperopolis Town Square (www.CopperopolisTownSquare.com), an area with shopping and casual dining at a Gold Rush era-themed "country town" that is the hub of Central Sierra region. Containing boutiques, eateries and specialty shops, the walker-friendly Town Square is a fine place to spend some time after a round of golf.

Saddle Creek Resort partners with nearby Greenhorn Creek in its "Gold Country Golf Package," which includes two nights, a round of golf on each course, cart fees and unlimited range balls. Accommodations for four are provided in the Lodge Bungalows at Saddle Creek or resort condominiums at Greenhorn Creek.

Packages start at $176 per person, per night, and are exclusive of taxes, gratuities, and other charges unless otherwise noted. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.SaddleCreek.com or call 209/785-7415.