Villa Florentina is located right in the heart of beautiful and Historic Coloma valley.  When staying at Villa Florentina, you are only a short walk away from Marshall Gold Discovery State Park, where you can step back in time to the 1800s and explore the very area where the California Gold Rush started.  See historical artifacts and buildings, real blacksmiths practicing their craft, and docents giving gold panning demonstrations.  Coloma became famous in 1849 when thousands of immigrants from all over the world came to Coloma to “strike it rich.”  In fact, Coloma had one of the most diverse populations in the world at the time.  It’s just a short walk from the Villa, but you don’t have to walk if you don’t want to.  Villa Florentina has bicycles you can borrow and an annual parking pass you can use if you decide to drive.  Most of the attractions in the park are free, and it is a great place to spend the day; especially if you enjoy leisurely hikes or tours.  There are also a couple places to grab a sandwich if you forget your picnic basket; The Argonaut Café and Home on the Grange Café.

There are frequent special events that Marshall Gold Discovery State Park does annually.  You may want to check out their website so that you will not miss anything.  This year from September 11th-18th, Coloma will be hosting the World Gold Panning Championships.

Activities at the event include live music, food, carriage rides, panning for gold, pioneer re-enactments.

Some of the other popular attractions throughout the year are:

  • Gold Discovery Museum and Visitor Center: Here you can either obtain park maps and information, or see some amazing artifacts that were in Coloma during the Gold Rush. Address: 310 Back St, Coloma, CA 95613 Phone: (530) 622-3470 Hours: Monday: closed. Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Guided Tours: Come rain or shine, Marshall Gold Discovery State Park offers interesting guided tours for $3.00 per adult and $2.00 per child.
  • Panning for Gold: Travel back in time and experience a glimpse of what it was like to pan for gold

If you would like to branch out of the Coloma area and still see some more spectacular California History, visit the nearby Gold Bug Park and Mine.  Like the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park, Gold Bug Mine has a beautiful area for picnic lunches, trails for hiking, a Gold Rush museum, and a real blacksmith shop.  If you need a break from the summer heat, you can step into the Gold Bug Mine and feel the cool air against your skin as you take a fascinating self guided tour.

After panning for gold in Coloma, you can also come find more treasures and pan for gems at the Gold Bug Mine! For $2.00 an hour, you can collect some of the precious gems that would have been in the mine many years ago.