Located in the valley of Sierra Nevada mountains in Calaveras county is where you’ll find this quaint, Californian town packed with history. Dating back to the 1860s, Copperopolis was known for its copper ore production and was first named Copper Canyon. Today Copperopolis is a popular weekend or day trip to take, and is registered as one of California’s Historical Landmarks.
While it’s been awhile since I’ve visited Copperopolis, I look fondly upon my memories here at Lake Tulloch, exploring the outdoors by horseback, and of course also trying the town’s legendary olive oil. Here are the best things to do in Copperopolis, CA.
Stroll through Copperopolis Old Town
When visiting Copperopolis, start with visiting the Town Square. This is the old part of the city, with tons of shops, cafes, and areas to walk around. Make sure to get your picture taken at the Town Square’s Gazebo or the Historic Plaza in Old Town Copper. To learn more about the town’s history through the civil war and WW2, head to the Tower Museum in Old Town.
Try the legendary olive oil
Speaking of the town square, did you know this area used to be covered in olive orchards? You can still taste the legendary olive oil in the town over at Copperopolis Olive oil company. Here they grow a Tuscan variety of olive trees. This olive oil is definitely something you’ll want to try, and it can’t compare to anything store bought!
Attend the frog jump festival
The most random thing about Copperopolis is the Frog Jump, an annual festival inspired by Mark Twain that happens every spring. For almost 100 years, Calveras County puts frogs (along with their jockeys) to this competition to see how far the frogs can jump. The fair is famous and has been featured on ESPN.
Lake Tulloch is the closest lake to Copperopolis, with 55 miles of beautiful shoreline across the scenic reservoir. It’s a popular spot for water sports like boating, fishing, kayaking, and jet skiing. There’s also places to camp here, so it would be worth it to stay for a couple of days.
Hit the hiking trails on Table Mountain
What I love most about Copperopolis is the access to the outdoors in the surrounding areas. There are tons of great hiking trails and walking routes around town, which you could easily spend a weekend exploring. My favorite walking route is Quail Trail at Saddle Creek.
For the best vantage point in Copperopolis is at the top of Table Mountain. It’s about a 30 minute drive outside of town, and the hike is less than 5 miles round trip. The view overlooking the lake and mountains will take your breath away!
The great thing about Copperopolis is that you can visit the nearby Yosemite National Park. In fact, it’s a great stop on the way to the park as Copperopolis is only 1 hour outside of Yosemite, and the drive through Groveland is so scenic and gorgeous. Yosemite is particularly gorgeous during autumn months.
Where to Eat in Copperopolis
If you’re looking to eat late in Copperopolis, know that most things close down pretty early. That said, there are tons of great restaurants.
One of the most popular restaurants in Copperopolis is Griffs Barbeque, which is known for tons of American BBQ dishes. They do takeout as well, so it would be a perfect stop on the way to Yosemite national park.
When you’re around Lake Tulloch, make sure to swing by Drifters Grill. They have outdoor seating on the water, with tons of casual comfort bar food. You can either drive here or take a boat over in the warmer months.
Where to Stay near Copperopolis
Unless you’d like to stay at Saddle Creek Golf Resort, there are limited options for where to stay in Copperopolis. However, there are other options in Angels camp, Murphys, and Jamestown.
Best Western Inn ($$)
This 3 star hotel is a safe, and budget-friendly option in Angels Camp, 12 miles outside of Copperopolis. Queen rooms start at $140 a night, and include breakfast, access to pools, and more amenities. Check prices here.
Murphy’s Inn ($$)
Looking for a cozy bed and breakfast vibe? Then head to Murphy’s Inn, which is 20 miles outside of Copperopolis. This rustic lodge offers king rooms starting at $150 a night, also with a pool, fitness center, restaurant, and of course wifi. Checkout the prices here.
The Inn on Knowles Hill ($$$)
If you’d really like to invest in some quality R&R for your getaway, then you’ll want to book your stay at this 5-star Bed and Breakfast. The Inn on Knowles Hill Bed & Breakfast is situated in the gold rush town of Sonora, just 30 minutes outside of Copperopolis and conveniently on the way to Yosemite. The art-deco and rustic decor combined with the lush garden and luxurious rooms makes this stay worth every penny! Check out the prices for this B&B here.
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