Little Free Libraries

The lending libraries are scattered around Nevada County. Located on Gracie Road, Wet Hill Road, Newton Road, outside of Broad Street Inn, and on the corner of York and Pine, these libraries, which add so much sharing to our community, were first thought up in 2009 and since then, 25,00o have been built, 5 of which stand in Nevada County that are still cherished today.


The History:

Back in 2009, a man named Todd Bol who lived in Hudson, Wisconsin built a tribute to his mother, a school teacher, It was modeled after a one room school house on a smaller scale and was filled with books. The model was popular with friends and neighbors and Bol built many more.

Meanwhile at the university of Wisconsin, Bol’s project caught the eye of Rick Brooks. The two men got together to achieve a variety of goals for the common good. Bol contributed his craftsmanship in coming up with creative models while Brooks was very learned in social marketing and the education in community development.

As the ideas,  based on lending libraries of coffee shops, Andrew Carnegie’s 2,510 free libraries, and the 4,000 locations Miss Lutie Stearns brought to libraries in Wisconsin, to name a few, soon painted a clearer picture of the two men’s goal by the summer of 2010.

The Goal:

The goal was to have as many libraries as Andrew Carnegie (2,510) but as of 2015, this number has reached nearly 25,000. The original goal was reached in August of 2012 and since then the libraries have continued to expand. Another goal was to draw people together throughout the exchange of books.


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Today the goal has been exceeded by more than 20,000. These brilliant idea started in Wisconsin but has since reached all the way to California as well as many other places. Five of these precious libraries stand proudly in Nevada County for all to enjoy so the next time you have an old, cherished book, drop it in the “Little Free Library” so it can be cherished all over again.


For more information visit:


Featured Business: Abstrakt

Looking for adorable, comfortable, and stylish clothing and accessories? Abstrakt is the store for you. This charming boutique is a jewel for Nevada City. Their many options range from hats, to jeans, to scarves, to socks, to dresses. They also have a stunning collection of jewelry not to mention other accessories such as belts, purses, earrings, and candles.

Location, Interior, and Hours:

Abstrakt is located in downtown Nevada City on 228 Broad Street. Their gorgeous interior is stylishly decorated. Their service is very good and their staff members are very friendly and helpful. Two spacious dressing rooms both equipped with large mirrors, sit in the front and back of the store. Abstrakt is open everyday from 10:00 to 6:00 monday-saturday and 10:00-5:00 on Sundays.


The colorful interior of the store


The back of the lovely store



Customers shopping near the display windows


Checkout counter


Another part of the spacious store


A customer shopping


One of two generously sized changing rooms



From wooly hats and slippers to stylish hats and jeans to elegant dresses, Abstrakt has it all.


Rows of cute cardigans in an assortment of colors and sizes


Jeans, scarves, and cardigans


Multi-colored shirts and wooly hats


More comfy cardigans


Accessories: Ranging from belts to purses to scarves:


Classy leather belts and purses with intricate designs


Eye-catching scarves with fun patterns


Candles and incense sticks with a variety of scents


More high quality candles



Abstrakt has some of the most beautiful jewelry around. Their colors are exceptional and their stones are stunning.

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Their wrap bracelets are extremely popular right now. They come in a huge variety of colors.



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Run by Roi Lynn Arnold and Lize Hottegindre, Abstrakt is a great little store filled with stylish affordable choices to add to your wardrobe. Lize also owns Annex across the street and designs some of the jewelry featured in this post. Check out their website and Facebook page.

Featured Business: Matteo’s Public

Matteo’s Public is the first business to be in featured in the “Featured Business” section of our blog and they completely deserve that honor. They have an incredible beer selection both bottled and on tap, delicious pub style grub, petite meals for the half pints, and desserts almost too beautiful to eat. Their specials change daily.  They have live music every night indoors and when the weather permits the musicians move outdoors onto their beautiful patio. The service is great and they have a massive menu so you can always try something new.

Location and Interior:

Matteo’s is located on the corner of North Pine and Commercial Street. They have a relaxed atmosphere and an authentic interior. On their brick walls hang the works of the talented painter Paul Honatke. Behind their bar is the beers they offer on tap and the beers they offer in the bottle and right next to the bar is the live music. On the other side of the bar sits a handful of tables and next to those tables is the entryway to the patio.



Matteo’s Public view from the street.



Some of Paul Honatke’s paintings hanging in Matteo’s Public.



Beer’s on tap at the bar.


One of the many tables with a view of the patio at Matteo’s.

Beer on Tap:

Matteo’s has a great section of local beer on tap including but not limited to Ol’ Republic, Three Forks, Auburn Brewing Company, and Mammoth Brewing Company. They also have bottled belgian beers and more.



Matteo’s is very kid-friendly. Their half pint menu is full of options for a delicious lunch or dinner. Matteo’s offers milk, chocolate milk, orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, house-made lemonade, and hot chocolate piled with whipped cream. Their children’s menu comes with a small bowl of crayons and lots of coloring space.

Lots of space for scribbles and cute animals to color in on the half pint menu for kid’s 12 and under. The menu offer’s refreshing drinks, sliders, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, a bowl of fruit, organic apples and caramel sauce, and soft salted pretzels served with house mustard all in child-sized portions and prices.


Mini Beef Burger served with organic apples and caramel sauce for kids 12 and under.



Matteo’s has a talented musician performing every night they are open. The music adds even more liveliness to the pub.


Chuck Richards at Matteo’s Public.



When the weather permits the live music moves out onto a spacious patio.


Outdoor music


The patio during a popular lunch rush.



Looking to beat that huge dinner rush but still want to go to a great restaurant, Matteo’s, which opens at 11:30, serves lunch Tuesdays through Sundays. Their specials change daily and their service really is amazing. Your warm meal whether it be one of their signature dishes such as fish and chips or a pulled pork sandwich or whether it’s oysters, fish tacos, a hamburger, fries, onion rings, soups, or pastas has a creative presentation and is delivered to your table in barely any time. Their soups which change every few days range from clam chowder to cream potato to roasted red pepper to french onion.


People enjoying lunch in the dining area of Matteo’s near the patio.


Enjoying an afternoon lunch at Matteo’s



Matteo’s Menu is the same for lunch and dinner. Their signature dishes are their pulled pork sandwich and salad, their fish and chips, and the Matteo’s Pub Burger, a half pound patty served with house mustard and topped with smoked bacon and a crispy cheddar cheese skirt.

Matteo’s pub burger in all it’s glory.


Freshly caught cod beer battered and fried to perfection is served with french fries, sesame slaw and malt vinegar to make a delicious fish and chips.


Fish Tacos of wild cod served on tortillas with cheese, homemade guacamole, grilled pineapple salsa, chipotle sour cream & slaw.


Salad of tomatoes, greens, cucumbers, and onions.


Fluffy salted pretzels  crispy on the bottom and soft in the middle served with house-made mustard.


Mini beef burgers served with fries seasoned with house seasoning.


Laura Apple is the dessert chef at Matteo’s Public and she makes beautifully decadent desserts almost too pretty to eat. She uses organic ingredients and puts time and effort into each and it shows in the presentation of these treats. Laura makes an assortment of desserts from cakes to cookies to pies to puddings.



Laura’s cheesecakes change seasonally. This one is a rich peanut butter. Some other ones that she makes are bourbon pumpkin, peppermint bark,  summer berry, and lavender peach.


 Flourless Chocolate Cake:

The flourless chocolate cake is a gluten free delight that is rich and creamy with a delicious raspberry and chocolate sauce. This dark chocolate cake is dense and not top sweet perfect with a glass of red wine.


Banana Cream Pie:

Laura makes a luscious banana Cream pie with ripe bananas and a crunchy gram cracker crust garnished with tart strawberries.



Lady Fingers in creamy layers and topped in chocolate sauce make a delicious tiramisu.


Hazelnut liqueur bread pudding:

Served hot and made with Challah bread, almond and Frangelico, this treat is topped with a warm caramel sauce. and tart strawberries.


The desserts not shown are warm chocolate chip cookies with a glass of milk and dark chocolate kahlua mousse (gluten free).



Delicious pub-style food, a wide selection of beer on tap and bottled, lot’s of options for the little ones, great service, a beautiful patio, and talented musicians makes Matteo’s the amazing pub it is. Whether you come in for a cold beer, a warm meal, or an exquisite dessert, Matteo’s has something for everyone.


Photos by Faye White at


Great Hot Chocolates and Where to Get Them in Nevada City

Although hot chocolate is traditionally a winter treat, these hot chocolates are so good they can be sipped all year long. Here are 6 great places to get a hot chocolate in downtown Nevada City in no particular order.


Curly Wolf:


As the steams rises slowly from the warm mug in your hands the aroma of chocolate fills the air and as the rich hot chocolate glides down your throat you hold a small piece of rich, chocolatey heaven. Curly Wolf makes a thick, rich hot chocolate topped with chocolate shavings and a soft layer of foam. Their hot chocolate is soft as silk and easily quenches that chocolate craving so the next time your in town swing by and pick up your own mug of this heavenly hot chocolate. For more information click here.


Java Johns:


Fluffy whipped cream doused with sprinkles if desired sits delicately on top of a light, foamy hot chocolate. The ceramic mug is filled to the brim with this liquid delight. This hot chocolate is thin so you can drink more and more of this sweet beverage. As you near the end and your spoon scrapes the bottom of the mug you’ll find yourself ordering seconds. Kids will love their wide selection of colorful sprinkles. To visit their website click here.

The Chocolate Shoppe:


The spiraling whipped cream piled high and topped in chocolate shavings on the glass makes a picture perfect hot chocolate, one that is  a creamy light chocolate flavor. Step back from life as you enjoy this smooth beverage of chocolatey goodness. To visit their website click here or to visit their Facebook page click here.



This elegant drink is served with a dollop of whipped cream and is made from dark chocolate shavings. The hot chocolate is served at the perfect temperature to enjoy as it trickles down your throat warming you body on cold winter days or in the summer you can get a scoop of ice cream in it as well as an extra treat. To visit their website click here or to visit their Facebook page click here.




This light hot chocolate is a decadent one with impressive foam swirls and a sweet, mouth-watering texture. It’s extraordinarily lovely and a joy to sip in Mekka’s cozy surroundings. It’s magical taste and sweetness make this a great choice for those who enjoy light foamy drinks where you’ll be craving seconds. For more information on this charming cafe click here.

Broad Street Bistro:

untitled-3269This is one of the richest and darkest hot chocolates in town, very similar to curly wolf, one you’ll want to sip slowly to savor every drop of this exquisite drink. It’s velvety smooth texture is pure comfort in a cup to be enjoyed at broad street bistro. For more information click here.

Festive Lights in Nevada City

Downtown Nevada City is ready for Christmas. Our old Victorian houses are strung with twinkling lights. Starting down in Robinson Plaza, home of the Nevada City Chamber, a grand christmas tree sprinkled red and green and topped with a glittering snowflake stands proudly. Beside it the historical wheel is strung with rainbow lights. Journey up from the plaza to the Methodist Church which is outlined with golden stars. Just past the church, continue to observe Broad Street Inn and then cross and walk up the street. Soon you’ll come across rows Victorian houses with festively lit lights and decorations. Nevada City is beautifully lit for Christmas, come enjoy it before it’s over because Christmas is coming very soon.


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The Perfect 3-Day Weekend in Nevada City Over the Holidays

The holiday season in Nevada City is one of my favorites. It kicks off over Thanksgiving weekend with The Artisan’s Festival and the Nevada City Methodist Craft Faire. Victorian Christmas starts just after Thanksgiving, and “The Christmas Card” movie, filmed in Nevada City, begins to air then too.

If my best friend came to visit me over the holidays, this is how I would show her my town. Enjoy this selection of completely-biased, local favorites, for the perfect Nevada City holiday weekend.

Friday Night

Dinner at Lefty’s

Start your weekend on Friday night with dinner at Lefty’s. The restaurant has moved from the middle of Broad Street, down to the bottom of Broad on the creek. The views are great, and Friday is their fish & chips night. If you love traditional English fish & chips, you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy your dinner with a pint of one of their beers. They have a great beer selection, and you could take one of your beer snob friends here and they wouldn’t complain.

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© photo Lefty’s Grill


After dinner you have a lot of entertainment options. There is usually something playing at the Nevada Theatre. Just walk by the box office before dinner to see if there’s a play that night. Also, check the Miners Foundry schedule.

For a complete list of venues offering live music and entertainment in Nevada City, visit the Chamber’s Arts & Entertainment section.


Breakfast at South Pine

On Saturday morning go to breakfast at South Pine Cafe. I love the Huevos Rancheros, the breakfast burrito and their breakfast sampler, but all their food is yummy, so you can’t go wrong.

Shopping in Nevada City

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© photo Abstrakt

After breakfast wander around town and do a little Christmas Shopping. First stop at Abstrakt for some bracelets, scarves, comfortable clothes or candles. Abstrakt oozes style, and you are sure to find something for the person who has everything. Next door is Gray Goose, and you’ll want to stay for hours. The owner, Stuey, carries “everything from the sublime to the ridiculous.” You’ll find lots of stocking stuffers for adults here.

Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe

After Gray Goose walk up Broad Street and stop in at the Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe for their homemade chocolates, caramel apples, or Nevada City Gold. Then turn right on Pine Street and walk down to J.J. Jackson’s to look through their colorful kitchen items, travel bags (my favorite!), and book selection.

Warm Drinks at Curly Wolf

When you’ve had enough shopping, walk back to Broad Street and head to Curly Wolf for a warm drink. You’ll love the warm interior, sort of a hip Victorian salon, if there is such a thing. I always order the chai tea latte with soy milk, but also can’t resist their hot chocolates and London fog. Their teas are all loose, and they infuse them in your mug with your steamed milk. So good! If they have the butterscotch bars, make sure to try at least one.

Artisans Festival and Craft Faire Over Thanksgiving Weekend

The Miners Foundry Artisans Festival is one of the longest running festivals in Nevada County and is known for showcasing the exceptional work of regional artisans. Enjoy installation art displays, performance art, live music, children’s holiday art activities, and a Wine Bar. The festival takes place Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Nevada City Methodist Craft Faire is held Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (opening at noon on Sunday). There are handmade gifts for all ages, homemade soup and sandwiches, pie, coffee and hot spiced cider.

Note: if you’re visiting over Thanksgiving weekend and attend these festivals, you’ll be out of time to do the walk over the Suspension Bridge, so do this on Sunday afternoon instead.

Cross the New Suspension Bridge Over Deer Creek

After your break at Curly Wolf, head up Broad Street, and then turn left at the Nevada Theater and walk down to Miners Foundry. As you pass Miners Foundry, you’ll see a street that runs around the back of the Foundry (as you look at the Foundry, the street is on the right side of the building). Once you are on this street, you’ll turn right on Factory Street. This road will take you to the Deer Creek Environs Trail and across the new Suspension Bridge over Deer Creek.

deer creek suspension bridge

© photo by Erin Pardini, Livingstone Photography

Saturday Night

Dinner at Sushi-in-the-Raw

Saturday night go to dinner at Sushi-in-the-Raw (make reservations as many weeks in advance as possible, as it’s really hard to get a table). I always have one of their drunken shooters with a scallop (sounds gross, but trust me, it’s delicious and I’m sort of picky). The Susan Roll is also amazing. Their sushi is always fresh.

Off Broadstreet Theatre

After dinner, head down Spring Street and then turn left onto Pine Street. You’ll cross Broad Street, and then you’ll see Friar Tucks on your left. Turn left at Friar Tucks onto Commercial Street and  Off Broadstreet Theatre will be just past it, on your left. They always have something showing on Friday and Saturday nights. There’s lots of singing, and you sit at cafe tables, and enjoy drinks and dessert during the show.

End your night with a walk through town to enjoy the lights, which are so pretty this time of year.

nevada city at night


Breakfast at Ike’s

In the morning go to Ike’s Quarter Cafe for breakfast. Their frittatas are amazing, or, for a decadent treat, get the french toast with chocolate chips and cream… yummmm.

Walk the American Hill Loop

During the school week, this is the walk of choice for local moms, after they drop the kids off at school. If you are staying at Broad Street Inn, walk out of the Inn front door, and turn right onto Bennett Street. Depending on the direction you choose, you can either walk up or down the big hill.  If you want to get your heart rate up, turn left off of Bennett onto Monroe. At one point there will be a fork in the trail, stay to the right on Old Downieville Highway. Or, if you’d rather take it easy, keep going on Bennet Street up American Hill. The beginning of American Hill is a little steep, but nothing compared to the hill the other direction. If you have a phone, one landmark you can enter for the halfway point is Queen Lil Place. This road is at the opposite end of the loop from town, and something you can reference to make sure you are on the right path.

american hill loop

Click to view larger image

Get Homemade Ice Cream at Treats

After your walk you’ll be ready for another snack. Directly across from Ike’s Quarter Cafe is Treats. It’s a tiny little shop, and sometimes the line is out the door, but it’s worth the wait. In the winter they have pumpkin and also peppermint ice cream, and you can sample the flavors before you choose.

Victorian Christmas

If you are visiting in December you will be ready to wander around town for the annual Victorian Christmas street festival. This annual, family tradition takes place on two Wednesday evenings and three Sunday afternoons in December (noon to 6 p.m.). The downtown transforms into a genuine Christmas card come to life. It’s a magical setting of hilly streets outlined with twinkling white lights and authentic gas lamps, wandering minstrels and carolers dressed in Victorian attire, and a myriad of visitors sharing holiday cheer and good tidings. For more information go to the Nevada City Chamber’s Victorian Christmas page.


Sunday Night

Dine at New Moon

Sunday night go to dinner at New Moon for “big city dining with a small town atmosphere.” They use local, natural and organic food. Dining there is always relaxing, and delicious.

See a Movie at the Nevada Theatre

After dinner, walk down York Street towards the Nevada Theatre on Broad Street. Peek at their Sunday Film Series to see what is playing. The Nevada Theatre is California’s longest running theatre (built in 1865). They host a variety of foreign and independent films, and documentaries. Films run every Sunday evening and many weekends.

Or, Watch “The Christmas Card”

This time of year you might get lucky and catch a showing of “The Christmas Card” movie, filmed in Nevada City. To check showtimes, visit the Chamber’s The Christmas Card page. After watching it you’ll walk through town and see it different. The church in the movie is Nevada City Methodist Church, on Broad Street, above the Nevada Theatre. The cafe is Nevada City Classic Cafe, also on Broad Street, which is across from the National Hotel, also in the film. The Christmas Tree Lot doesn’t really exist, but was set up on the corner of Pine and Commercial Street.


Coffee at Java John’s

Before you leave town, have breakfast at Java John’s. This is a classic, small-town, Nevada City coffee shop. The same crowd is there every morning during the week. You’ll see kids coming in on their way to school, and the table of regulars working on the daily crossword puzzle. Rita and Patrick are always there and often their son Chris. It’s a cozy, family-run cafe, and the perfect way to finish off your Nevada City holiday weekend.

Fall Colors

It’s not too late to experience beautiful fall colors in Nevada City.



This stunning tree is one of many in and around Nevada City.

Photo by Livingstone Photography


Just outside of downtown Nevada City, is the beautiful suspension bridge. The golden leaves from the surrounding trees make this incredible bridge a great spot to see autumn at it’s finest

Photo by Livingstone Photography


Another great place to see the beauty of autumn is the Deer Creek Tribute Trail. Surrounded with trees shedding their golden leaves, the view from this bridge is not one to be missed.

Photo by Livingstone Photography


The wonderful months of Fall affect almost every tree such as this one in Nevada City

Photo by Livingstone photography



Photo by Livingstone Photography


Fall is right outside your door step. Come to Nevada City and enjoy it while it lasts.


All Photos by Erin Pardini of Livingstone Photography

Check out Erin’s Website: Livingstone Photography and like her Facebook page

Biking in and Around Nevada City

One really great way to see Nevada City is by bike. We have many bike friendly trails and two amazing bike shops. Tour of Nevada City allows you to rent a bike.

Their store offers biking clothes, wheels, helmets, shoes, and other necessary gear.


They rent out a variety of mountain bikes, hard shell bikes, the average bicycle, snow bikes, road bikes, and more. For more information on renting or buying a bike click here



Known best for their custom made wheels Real Wheels is another great option. With a huge variety from clothing to components to bike fitting to tires you have plenty to chose from. To see more of what Real Wheels has to offer click here.

Both bike stores have a repair shop where you can take your bike to be fixed.


Now to set out on your trail. For a nice short ride, cycle around downtown Nevada City. For a longer rides try the Empire Mine Trail. To see more trails and how to reach them Click here

If you are want a longer ride -anywhere from 10-40 miles- some possible trails to explore are the Allison Ranch Loop, the LeMond Loop, the Indian Springs, the McCourtney Loop, the Bridgeport loop, the Bitney Springs Loop or the Old Donner Pass Road. For more information on these routes, their lengths, and how to get there click here.

For other rides in and around Nevada City click here



Photo by Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Shop





It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year


There’s no better time than now to hit the outdoors of Nevada City.

Whether it’s a leisure walk through our charming neighborhoods, or a hike on one of our many trails, or just hanging out in a garden, you must not miss the opportunity to seize the season of Fall.


Autumn weather brings us crunchy grounds and crisp air along with a palette of delicious colors.

May you be inspired to take in the beauty that surrounds us.


Be sure to stop by our place on Broad Street and say hello. We’d love to hear from you!

Halloween Costume Shopping

If you are in need of a halloween costume come on down to Solstice in downtown Nevada City and get some inspiration. They have a huge collection of dresses, wigs, halloween makeup, masks, fake blood, hats, jewelry, and pre-packaged costumes.

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