Amador County

Daffodil Hill.

Daffodil Hill is a yearly tradition for many of my friends that live near us and I just haven’t caught the timing right to visit during the short season since we moved to El Dorado County. The season only lasts around a month, opening sometime in early March and usually closing towards the beginning of April. This year’s season was even shorter due to El Nino rainy weather.

I became obsessed with the ability to make the trek to see this brief performance of floral brilliance this year. I stalked Daffodil Hill using every form of social media, and found a day they were open from their Facebook page and we were available to go. When we got a brief break in the storms, that were coming in one after another, I grabbed some of our oldest friends and we set out for a fun day out in Amador County. The drive from El Dorado Hills takes about 1.5 hours and the roads aren’t for city folk. The country roads wind and dip through some of the most picturesque scenery around. Small towns, wine country and farmland keep tots noses pressed against the window for most of the drive.

The road to the farm is windy and the non-paved driveway becomes too dangerous for visitors during rainstorms and right after them so the farm closes frequently because of weather. Make sure to call or visit their Facebook page to make sure they are open to visitors because the trip to get there isn’t a short one.

Weather permitting, Daffodil Hill is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking and admission are free; donations are welcome. A large picnic area is available with shaded picnic tables.  Pets are not allowed. Outhouse style restrooms are available.  No running water.


Daffodil Hill is closed for the 2016 season.

Daffodil Hill is at 18310 Rams Horn Grade, Volcano, about 55 miles from Sacramento. Call 209-296-7048 for more information

Local Favorite. Andrae’s Bakery (Amador City, CA)

When we first moved to this area we had a child who would only nap in the car. I drove. Around our town. Around and around. I learned the best drives. Drives that were relaxing. Drives that were not relaxing. Drives that took exactly the amount of time he needed to nap. Drives that were to short. Drives that were too long. I drove and drove some more.

During these drives I found some amazingly gorgeous places and some hidden out of the way businesses that I can’t get enough of.

One area that is a nice weekend drive away is Amador City. From our house it’s about a 30 minute drive. Most people know Amador County as our local wine region and big bold zinfandels. A place steeped in Gold Rush history and out of the way antique stores. Amador City is all that and more. It’s a quaint picturesque town that held onto it’s history and has local businesses that make people like us make the trip out to visit.

At the end of the old Gold Rush era main street is a farm house style building. Andrae’s Bakery. We have been visiting this bakery for about four years and it’s one of those favorites that just doesn’t change. It’s perfectly amazing every time we go.

The bakery has a full coffee menu along with pastries, cakes breads and other specialities. There is a deli case full of sandwiches and salads. Shelves of local wines and beer. Jars of delicacies you won’t find anywhere else and a collection of cookbooks that makes me want to install a wall of shelves in my house just so I could collect them all.

There are plentiful tables out front and back and all the way around the side and even on a busy weekend morning you can score a seat. Locals line the front of Andrae’s along with cyclists and tourists. Occasionally a wine taster strolls through. It’s amazing to see the diversity of the patrons at this bakery and listen to conversations and stories pausing to take it all in.

I rarely find a place like this that just makes me slow down. Listen to what is happening around me. A place with a friendly family atmosphere that is genuine and honest. A place where when you arrive you instantly have that vacation vibe that makes you forget about everything that happened before you entered.

Our family favorites are the ham and Swiss croissants. They are made with locally sourced ingredients, German butter and applewood smoked ham. We pair them with the iced mochas that are so thick and syrupy you won’t believe you could drink them all. Our tots can’t get enough of the cookies and we like to demolish their leftovers. There are pre-made sandwiches in the refrigerator case and sandwich and lunch kits can be pre-ordered by calling ahead. Perfect for wine tasting trips.

Andrae’s Bakery can be found at 14141 Old Highway 49, Amador City, CA. There are restrooms on site and parking along the front of the bakery or in a gravel parking area behind the bakery.