Shake a leg

There’s no fault in San An­dreas, just plenty of fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory

Los Angeles Times - - TRAVEL - BYMIKEMORRIS travel@la­

San An­dreas, the slow-paced town southeast of Sacra­mento, might share a name with the re­cent block­buster “San An­dreas,” but don’t ex­pect any earth­quakes here. In­stead, you’ll find a small his­toric dis­trict, charm­ing Turner Park and an old court­room and jail cell that once held “poet ban­dit” Black Bart. San An­dreas was ac­tu­ally set­tled by gold min­ers from Mex­ico in 1848, and both the town and its first church were named af­ter St. An­drew, or San An­drés in Span­ish. The town is not re­lated to the San An­dreas fault, so it’s not un­com­mon to see cars in town with bumper stick­ers read­ing, “San An­dreas: It’s not our fault.” The tab: about $500 for two for the week­end ($300 for the ho­tel and $200 for food and ad­mis­sion fees).

The bed

Af­ter ex­plor­ing San An­dreas, ven­ture to nearby An­gels Camp— home of Mark Twain’s fa­mous jump­ing frog story. This other City of An­gels fea­tures sev­eral ho­tels, more op­tions for dining and a larger his­toric Main Street. Onthe north­ern end of An­gels Camp— and only about10 miles south of San An­dreas— is a Trav­elodge (600 N. Main St.; [209] 736-4242, www.trav­, where an av­er­age week­end night costs $139, in­clud­ing break­fast. A va­ri­ety of ac­com­mo­da­tions can also be found at www.go­calav­

The meal

In San An­dreas lo­cals rave about the ar­ti­sanal sand­wiches and sal­ads at the Pickle Patch (577W. St. Charles St.; [209] 754-1978, www.pick­, but it’s open only on week­days. At the other end of town, Coun­try Cliff ’s (345 E. St. Charles St.; [209] 754-1365) serves break­fast, lunch and din­ner daily. For lunch, I got fish and chips with home­made tar­tar sauce for $7. The restau­rant is in a con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion, has a friendly staff and a down­home style.

The find

San An­dreas, the Calav­eras County seat, is rich in his­tory. The Calav­eras County His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum Com­plex (30N. Main St.; [209] 754-1058, www.calav­eras­co­his­tor­i­ houses var­i­ous ex­hibits, in­clud­ing the jail cell in which Black Bart was held while await­ing trial. Also know­nas the “gen­tle­man ban­dit,” Black Bart never harmed driv­ers or pas­sen­gers and left be­hind bits of po­etry when he robbed stage­coaches. In1883 hewas sen­tenced to six years in pri­son in the up­stairs court­roomat the com­plex, which is open10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Ad­mis­sion is $3 for adults, $2 for se­niors 60 and older and $1for chil­dren12 and younger.

The les­son learned

Make sure to plan some time — prefer­ably a day— to ex­plore Cal­i­for­nia High­way 4 east of An­gels Camp. Don’t miss the townof Mur­phys, where twodozen wine-tast­ing rooms line Main Street, or Calav­eras Big Trees State Park, where vis­i­tors can walk through two groves of gi­ant se­quoias.


THE OLD COURT­HOUSE, built in 1867 in what is now San An­dreas’ small his­toric dis­trict, houses the var­i­ous ex­hibits of the Calav­eras County His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum Com­plex.


THE COURT­ROOM where Black Bart was sen­tenced is in the Calav­eras Coun­ty­mu­seum.


AT COUN­TRY CLIFF’S in San An­dreas, fish and chips come with home­made tar­tar sauce.

Trav­elodge / An­gels Camp

THE TRAV­ELODGE in nearby An­gels Camp, site of the famed frog tale, is comfy.

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