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Take a drive through rustic countryside to the historic town of Ione, California

This easy afternoon jaunt is a great destination with restaurants, watering holes and an allegedly haunted castle!
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 85.3 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Ione (pronounced 'eye-own') is a historic town in Amador County, California. It is well preserved and if feels like a city where time ... more »

Tips:  Bring your camera, sun screen and at least $20 per person if you're going to tour the castle. The tours, led by volunteer docents,... more »

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Points of Interest

"The Castle", as it's known locally, was built over 100 years ago and was intended as a school for juveniles who were referred there by the courts.

Jazz pianist, Dave Brubeck, was raised in Ione and made a video about the building called "A Castle's Song" (Available from KVIE) to help fund restoration efforts.

Preston Castle's visiting hours ... More

2. Drop by Fran & Kathleen's Grill for a meal

Ambiance: Frank and Kathleen's is a small restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating. They have a walk-up window where you place your order. Parking is plentiful. Pets are welcome at the picnic tables outside.

Food and Drinks: Tri-tip, turkey, hamburgers, wraps, and homemade potato chips are most popular. Although not on the menu their ... More

3. Meander into downtown Ione

Stretch your legs and take a walking tour of this charming old street. The entire area is only one city block in length but there's still plenty to see and do. Start with some drinks at The Golden Star Saloon.

4. Clos du Lac Cellars

If wine is your cup of tea then Clos du Lac is probably a worthwhile place to visit while in Ione. Reviews found on the net are excellent. Their Sangiovese and Petite Syrah come highly recommended. Hours of operation are listed online at closdulac dot com or call 209-274-2238.

5. Optionally, make a stop in Fiddletown, California

A tiny countryside town that is somehow quite memorable. A quick excerpt from wikipedia: "The town was first settled by Missourians in 1849 and in the 1850s served as a trading center for a number of mining camps in the area. The town also had one of the largest Chinese communities in the state (over 2,000 in the 1860 census)."