When we think of California, the first things that come to mind are probably the big cities on the coast – Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.
But there are plenty of other places to explore in the Golden State, including the small mountain town of Twain Harte.
Named for two famous American authors—Mark Twain and Bret Harte—Twain Harte is a charming community with plenty of character.
While it may be small, the community suffers no shortage of things to do, from hiking and biking to embracing nature and exploring the local history.
Twain Harte will keep you on your feet.
If you're looking for a fun-filled vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, check out the best things to do in Twain Harte, CA.
Stay for a Day or Two at the Pinecrest Lake Resort
The Pinecrest Lake Resort is a full-service resort open all year round.
It's also a prime spot for those who love outdoor recreation, as it's located near several hiking trails, fishing spots, and golf courses.
The resort is a short 28-minute drive from Twain Harte, making it the perfect place to stay for a night or two if you want to explore the area thoroughly.
Pinecrest Lake Resort has several different room types and cabins and cottages if you're looking for something a bit more private.
The resort also has its marina, restaurant, sports shop, post office, grocery store, coffee bar, tennis courts, bike rentals, snack bar, etc.
Check Out the Twain Harte Chamber of Commerce
The Twain Harte Chamber of Commerce is the best place to start your visit to Twain Harte.
The visitor center employs friendly and knowledgeable staff who can answer any questions you have about the area.
The visitor center also has several brochures and maps that you can take with you to help plan your visit.
Relax and Unwind at the Twain Harte Lake
While it requires membership for access, Twain Harte Lake is well worth it if you want to relax and unwind on your vacation.
Located in the heart of Twain Harte, the community created the lake through the construction of a dam in 1928.
Twain Harte Lake has everything you need for a fun and exciting lakeside excursion.
It encompasses 40 acres filled with fun and exciting activities.
For example, you can go swimming, fishing, and boating.
There are also plenty of picnic tables for a quiet lunch with a view.
If you want to stay on dry land, there's a walking trail that circles the entire lake—the perfect way to take in the natural beauty of your surroundings.
You can also stay overnight to watch the starry skies and listen to the sounds of nature.
There are camping sites and family cabins available for rent.
Visit the Twain Harte Miniature Golf Course
The Twain Harte Miniature Golf Course is one of the best things to do in Twain Harte, especially if you're traveling with kids.
The Twain Harte Miniature Golf Course is a historical landmark.
Running and serving locals and visitors for over 65 years, the Twain Harte Miniature Golf Couse is the oldest mini-golf course in California.
This quaint 18-hole course is perfect for an affordable family outing or a friendly competition between friends.
You can even rent the entire place for private parties, the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion.
The famous Schwan's ice cream is also served here, making it the perfect place to enjoy a sweet treat after a game of mini-golf.
Visit Eproson Park
Located in downtown Meadow Lane, Eproson Park is one of the best places to go if you're looking for some outdoor recreation with your family.
Named after William Eproson—an early settler in Twain Harte—the park provides the perfect atmosphere for enjoying the refreshing beauty of Twain Harte's forested community.
This lovely park has something for everyone.
Your kids will love the playground.
Likewise, the park has a picnic area for those who want to enjoy a quiet lunch and plenty of walking trails for those who wish to explore the surrounding nature.
There's also a baseball field, skate park, community garden, outdoor stage, streamside trail, and public restrooms.
Many Community events also occur in Eproson Park, such as the "Concert in the Pines" and "Pints in the Pines," hosted by the local Twain Harte Chamber of Commerce.
Other yearly events held at Eproson Park are the Crapper Derby, Annual BBQ by the Twain Harte Rotary Club, Westside Little League games, and an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids.
Buy Gifts and Souvenirs at Harte of the Kitchen
Twain Harte has several gifts and souvenir shops where you can buy unique gifts and mementos.
If you or a loved one loves cooking, go to the 'Harte of the Kitchen,' a cooking store located in Twain Harte's main shopping center.
The 'Harte of the Kitchen' specializes in selling quality kitchenware, cookbooks, gourmet food items, locally produced spices, and other cooking items.
If you're looking to shop for clothing and apparel, head over to 'The Walk-in Closet,' where you can find new outfits for yourself or your family or friends.
The Walk-in Closet specializes in selling quality clothing and other items from local designers and vendors.
Twain Harte also has something for the cheese lovers out there.
The Twain Harte Market is the best place to try out the area's locally produced cheeses.
The Twain Harte Market is also a great place to buy other local food items, such as fresh produce, olive oil, honey, etc.
Experience Luxury and Hospitality at the McCaffrey House Bed & Breakfast Inn
The McCaffrey House Bed & Breakfast Inn is an enchanting mountain lodge near the quiet High Sierra forest.
This three-story, five-star bed and breakfast lodging displays pure elegance while covered in tall, thick trees and fresh mountain air.
There are seven guest rooms, each unique offering amenities like a cozy fireplace, private balconies, and in-room spa treatments.
The McCaffrey House also has its on-site wine cellar, where you can enjoy a glass of wine from the inn's extensive collection.
Besides bed and breakfast, the McCaffrey House also hosts weddings and other special events.
Be an Artist for the Day at SUGARCLAYS Pottery Studio
Bring your kids to the SUGARCLAYS Pottery Studio to have a fun-filled day of painting pottery.
The studio has various pottery pieces and several different painting supplies.
No experience is necessary, and the staff at SUGARCLAYS is more than happy to help you get started.
Once you're finished painting your pottery piece, the studio will glaze and fire it for you, and you can pick it up a few days later.
Take a Hike along Twain Harte's Many Trails
Twain Harte is home to several different hiking trails, so pack your hiking shoes.
One of the most popular trails in the area is the Twain Harte Lake Trail, an easy 1.5-mile loop that takes you around the beautiful Twain Harte Lake.
If you're looking for a more challenging hike, try the Main Tuolumne Ditch Trail, a 19.8-km out-and-back trail that takes you to the top of a nearby mountain.
You'll enjoy stunning views and other activities such as bird watching, trekking, and mountain biking, no matter what trail you choose.
If you're not into hiking, there are plenty of scenic roads and highways to explore.
One of the best ways to see the area is to take a drive on Highway 108, leading you through the heart of Twain Harte and past some of the most stunning scenery in the area.
Try Highway 4, known as the "California Alps Scenic Byway," if you're looking for an even more scenic drive.
This road takes you through the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and past several beautiful lakes, forests, and mountains.
Play Some Golf at the Twain Harte Golf Course
Mini golf is fun, but head to the Twain Harte Golf Course if you want to play some real golf.
The Twain Harte Golf Course is a nine-hole, par-3 course that offers stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
The Golf Course is only available to Twain Harte Golf Club members.
So if you want to play some competitive golf games in beautiful Twain Harte, you'll need to get a membership.
However, it's all worth it when you tee off against the backdrop of the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains.
The golf course also has a few amenities, such as a clubhouse, a pro shop, and a snack bar.
Visit the Twain Harte Market
The Twain Harte Market is the perfect place to find locally produced food and goods.
The market features several vendors selling everything from fresh produce to artisan cheese.
You can also find other goods, such as local honey, handmade soap, and even hand-painted pottery.
The Twain Harte Market is open every day of the week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Taste Great Wine at the Sierra Cellars
Visiting Sierra Cellars is a must-visit for wine connoisseurs to experience the best wine in Twain Harte.
Sierra Cellars is a family-owned and operated winery that produces a wide variety of red and white wines.
The tasting room is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, and you can taste up to six different wines for $15 per person.
Sierra Cellars offers several amenities, including a wine club, gift baskets, and even private label wines if you're looking to buy some wine.
Party the Night Away at the Rock of Twain Harte
If you're looking for fun things to do at night, head to the Rock of Twain Harte, a local bar known for its great music and party atmosphere.
The Rock of Twain Harte features live music every weekend, and you can also find several pool tables and dart boards to keep you entertained.
The bar is also known for its microbrews served in a rustic setting.
If you're looking for a place to party in Twain Harte, the Rock of Twain Harte should be your next stop.
Feel the Vibes at Ed's Cocktail Lounge
Ed's Cocktail Lounge is the perfect place to go if you want a more relaxed atmosphere.
This local bar is known for its laid-back vibe and friendly bartenders.
You can find a pool table and a jukebox inside or sit back and enjoy a cold beer or cocktail.
Ed's Cocktail Lounge is in the heart of Twain Harte and is open every day from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Visit the Mark Twain Cabin
Complete your Twain Harte vacation with a visit to the Mark Twain Cabin, a 29-minute drive from the town center.
This cabin is a replica of the one where Mark Twain lived from the winter of 1864 to 1865.
Join guided tours to learn all about the life and work of one of America's most famous authors.
Twain Harte is a compelling reason why California isn't just Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Whether you're looking to relax, reconnect with nature, or learn about the area's history, Twain Harte has something for you.
This charming mountain town has a lot to offer, so add it to your list of places to visit in California.