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What is Murphys like?

Nationally recognized as the “Queen of the Sierra”, Murphys is a picturesque and charming gold rush era town. Murphys has also been recognized as one of the top ten coolest small towns in America. The town is a mix of quaint historic structures and refurbished newer buildings in keeping with the gold rush architecture. Boutique shops of specialty retail are blended with many restaurants, wine tasting shops, old-timers museum, several inns and entertainment venues. President Ulysses S. Grant once stayed at the Murphys Hotel.

Where is it?

Murphys is located between the town of Angels Camp, ten minutes to the west, and Arnold, fifteen minutes east, and is in the south/central area of Calaveras County. The communities of Douglas Flat and Forest Meadows golf resorts are nearby. A 2,000 foot elevation creates a year-round comfortable climate of mild summer evenings and light snow that rarely lasts more than a couple of days. The setting is country character with a blend of oak & pine trees and an abundance of open-space.


Murphys Community Park

What are the Transportation routes?

Highway 4 is the primary regional road with Murphys Grade Road and Sheep Ranch Road providing access to other County towns. Gold Chain Highway 49, a short ten minutes west connects several other historic gold rush era including the town of Columbia twenty minutes south via Parrotts Ferry Road.

How does the community envision Murphys in the future?

Historic Murphys Hotel on Main Street

Understanding that some growth will happen, the community desires that the future architecture and settings will blend in keeping with the existing quaint character of today.

What does the Community envision for Economic Development?

Future commercial developments will be small-scale venues that complement small town living along with casual tourist oriented attractions.

Vineyards and wineries are the majority commercial offering. Ironstone Winery is the largest business in Murphys. The Kautz family created and operates one of the finest winery, tourist and entertainment venues emblematic of California’s original wine country. The attractions are many including: state-of-the-art wine production, ageing caverns, tasting room and gourmet delicatessen featuring the monumental 42-foot stone fireplace and historic oak bar, music room with the restored Alhambra Theatre Pipe Organ, and culinary exhibition center for community banquets and events. The heritage museum and jewelry shop showcase fine jewelry and objects d’art, intertwined with a collection of gold rush treasures. The museum is the spectacular setting for the magnificent forty-four pound Crystalline Gold Leaf Nugget—the largest in the world. All around Ironstone are beautiful landscaped grounds with several park settings, picnic areas, a duck lake for casual strolling or solitary pondering. Topping off this wonderful treasure is the fabulous Outdoor Amphitheatre, which can accommodate 6,000 guests. Many nationally recognized entertainment artists have adorned its stage such as Willie Nelson, Boss Skaggs, BB King, Doobie Brothers, and many more. Ironstone Winery also sponsors the Concours d’Elegance one of the finest classic car shows of its kind.

Beautiful Home in Murphys

How can the residential character of Murphys be described?

The residential character of Murphys ranges from town living, neighborhood homes, ranches, and sparsely populated open-space with a mix of styles including a blend of fabulous architectural homes and settings.

What does the Community want to be known for?

The community is extremely proud of one of its own: Albert Michelson the first American to win the Nobel Prize. After attending school in Murphys, he earned his Ph.D in physics. While working at the U.S. Navel Academy in Annapolis, he measured the speed of light—the accomplishment for which he earned his prestigious prize. In later years, Albert Einstein stated that he based his theory of relativity on Michelson’s work.

Murphys residents and merchants are committed to remaining a quaint & charming town symbolic of its identity as the “Queen of the Sierra”.


Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys