Welcome to Grass Valley
Small Town. Big Adventure. Big Entertainment.
Nestled in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Foothills, Grass Valley, California is truly a postcard image. Bathed in a wondrous mix of cedar, pine, and an assortment of deciduous trees that burst forth a multitude of Fall colors as the cooler temperatures arrive, this circa 1800 Gold Rush era town offers a window into the past while providing the best the present has to offer. – Grass Valley Downtown Association
The Pine Cone Effect
By: Jason Fouyer, Grass Valley City Council Member
This morning I pulled up to the stop sign at Mill and Main. At the same time, a woman driving a green sedan stopped at the opposite stop sign. I waved her on trying to be a gentleman. She waved me on and the exchange of, “You go…No. You go,” went on for a minute or two. We smiled, laughed, and then proceeded to accelerate at the same time. We both stopped, laughed again, and she entered the intersection with a gracious wave. This exchange of kindness, slow pace and sense of community is why I live in Grass Valley. I like to refer to it as the pine cone effect: all the things we love are under the pine trees.
Many who visit find joy in the quaint historic downtown, the proximity to the mountains, lakes, and rivers, the wineries, or the robust arts community. However, I find the heart of the community lies with the people. I live here because it is a place where people want to be. We are here because it has a sense of place. It is filled with homes, not houses. Borrowing a stick of butter from your neighbor is not only common but encouraged. Being friendly towards others never gets old in Grass Valley.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy seeing the incredible talent that The Center for the Arts brings to our town. I love the accessibility of the lakes and rivers. I can go fishing in the morning and be home by lunchtime. I love the downtown on a busy Saturday night or the smell of Caroline’s coffee roasting on a weekday morning.
The local history is rich with facts and folklore, but it is the simple things that make this my home. A trip to the grocery store quickly becomes a social hour, bumping into countless friends. Even my Saturday newspaper is filled with stories of people I know – not know of.
Also, I love raising our children in a community that is safe, where the top-notch schools are engaging, and endless outdoor opportunities abound. These activities encourage our children to blend the academics with life lessons and explore the world around them in ways not always available in our fast-paced digital world. These are the same opportunities older generations remember fondly from their childhood. Those shared experiences of being kind to others, slowing down, and living with a sense of community are, fortunately, available all of us who are lucky enough to call this our hometown.
I can’t wait to see you at the stop sign!
There’s more to Grass Valley than our historic downtown. As the community has grown and the city expanded its boundaries, pockets of commerce have sprung up along the length and breadth of Grass Valley to serve the expanding and diverse population.
Daily life is rich with choice and opportunity. The ancient healing arts live comfortably alongside traditional medicine. The Faith Community is as diverse as the population but comes together in unity to serve the needs of the community.
While we live “on the scenic route” there’s nothing rural about life in western Nevada County. We’ve preserved our history and enjoy the small-town charm, but have many big city services and amenities.
Our performing arts organizations present world-class entertainment and music festivals throughout the year, we have a cutting-edge technology institute and a thriving tech industry. Both Grass Valley and Nevada City have won accolades and many “best of” awards for the quality of livability in our communities.
As a whole, we espouse the “Support Local- Live Local” philosophy, strive to be good custodians of our region and celebrate what makes us unique as individuals and as a community.
So we invite you to come, explore and perhaps you too will become enchanted with our community and consider making western Nevada County your forever home!
Events Presented Annually in Downtown Grass Valley
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Destination Nevada County features arts & culture, planning events, outdoor recreation, visitor information, and small businesses doing big things in Nevada County. Published by the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce.