10 Things to Do in Portola That You Shouldn't Miss

January 18, 2018 Esmeralda Fenner

Portola is the only incorporated city in Plumas County, California, United States. The population was 2,104 at the 2010 census, down from 2,227 at the 2000 census. Portola is located on the Middle Fork of the Feather River, and was named after Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolá, despite his never having actually explored the surrounding area. The place name is generally mispronounced, with stress on the middle syllable, thus ignoring the accent mark in its namesake's surname.
Restaurants in Portola

1. Western Pacific Railroad Museum

700 Western Pacific Way, Portola, CA 96122-8636 +1 530-832-4131
Excellent
64%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 50 reviews

Western Pacific Railroad Museum

Historical railroad museum featuring a unique Run-a-Locomotive program, which allows anyone to rent and operate a train on the museum premises.

Reviewed By LarryM708 - Roseville, California

This is a volunteer-staffed organization and it shows. They have a LOT of equipment -- rolling stock and locomotives. But they clearly haven't the manpower to keep any but the few indoor items looking nice. The "museum" is quite haphazardly arranged. And I found the young woman manning the counter in the gift shop to be fairly unhelpful.

I wouldn't make the effort to go again, and can't recommend it.

2. Golf Club at Whitehawk Ranch

1137 Highway 89, Clio, Graeagle, CA 96106 +1 530-836-0394
Excellent
94%
Good
3%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 29 reviews

Golf Club at Whitehawk Ranch

This par 71, Dick Bailey-designed championship golf course ranked 18th best golf course in California by Golf Digest and was honored with the “Environmental Award” for its outstanding care and planning to preserve the environment.

Reviewed By Steve R - Roseville, California

This is just one spectacular mountain course near Graeagle, CA.

Filled with sights, sounds and smells of the mountains. Blowing Pines, Lakes, River (runs through it).

They have lots of inexpensive golf packages and the accommodations are very nice

The course is just tough enough and immaculate. I've never seen golf balls sit up on the top of the grass like they do here. In the beautiful fairways (if you can stay there). it's a perfect lie every time.

Great course, worth the drive.

3. The Brewing Lair

California 70, Blairsden, Graeagle, CA 96103 +1 530-394-0940
Excellent
70%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 26 reviews

The Brewing Lair

Reviewed By SacValleyGirl - Sacramento, California

We were in need of a little refreshment on recent ride through the "Lost Sierra" and found the Brewing Lair like we do most things - - Ask Google. Never one to shy away from trying something new, we pulled up the long dirt drive (you can almost miss the sign if you're going too fast), and found a spot to park the motorcycle. We were greated by the resident pooch and by another dog who was hanging with a construction crew - - looks like they were finishing another outbuilding. The Lair is self contained, with a small brewing operation on site and a great deck and play area. There are several levels of grassy areas, a fire pit, a disc golf course, and hidden dinosaurs for kids to play with. This is a really family friendly place. You can bring a picnic, or just hang with a cold one. The beers tend toward the West Coast IPA style. And it looks like they have 4-5 on tap at any given time. If you like hop-forward brews, this is your place. But if you're really just looking for a place to hang, like on the porch at and old ski lodge, this is the place. Nice people. Kick back place.

4. Dragon Golf Course at Nakoma Resort

348 Bear Run, Nakoma Golf Resort & Spa, Clio, Graeagle, CA 96106 +1 877-462-5662
Excellent
53%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 45 reviews

Dragon Golf Course at Nakoma Resort

We have many facilities including a brand new 42 room hotel, 12 villas, restaurant, bar and lounge, 18 hole golf course and much more.

Reviewed By Maureen R - Danville, California

Ok, Dragon is a bit of a schlep--but well worth it! This is the best golf value in the Tahoe area.

Highway 89 is in great condition. The views on the way up are very scenic. It is reminiscent of what this area was like many years ago. Ranches, mountains, open space and no crowds!!!!

We were greeted by Jason--very professional and customer focused. We could enjoy a nice breakfast--$12 average and the food was the best breakfast food ever at a golf course. We enjoyed sitting in the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright designed club house and had time to eat and explore the well stocked and appointed pro shop.

The golf course was fabulous. I played from the #2 tee-- it was perfect for my CH 16. I used every club in my bag because of the great design. This course has multiple tee boxes for all levels of golfers. The greens were in great condition and so were the fairways. This is difficult to accomplish in the harsh environment that is Tahoe.

We didn't stay in the lodge, but I would recommend it. To just hang out, far from the madding crowds is such a bonus. The clean mountain air, the great value, away from the chi chi overpriced resorts of Squaw and Northstar ( I love those places, too, for skiing and have been there courtesy of conventions, but when it's your own nickel, and want to get away--Nakoma and the Dragon is the place to go!)

The service and the attention to detail to create a great customer experience is to be rewarded.

Here is my day and what I recommend:

1. Arrive and have breakfast. The food was amazing for $12.
2. Nice practice facilities to get in the groove before you tee off.
3. Get the Klean Cantine for $21 and have free refills of non alcoholic beverages. These things really keep your beverages cold or hot.
4. Buy a yardage guide. Your Garmin's will work too, but I love to buy and collect paper yardage guides.
5. Get a score card. The Best Score Cards yet at a golf course. Beautiful color pics of the course, and hints to play each hole. (the hints are not on the yardage guide)
6. Enjoy the holes and THINK!
7. Enjoy the mountains, the vistas and being away from the crowds.
8. Excellent pace of play. We were done in 4 hours. Fellow golfers were great--one group let us play through-- we were not waiting on any holes, and the group was able to enjoy their round without anyone breathing down their back.

We will be back! I come to Tahoe frequently (own a vacation home in South Shore) and the Dragon Golf Course and Nakoma Lodge is an absolute gem.

5. Grizzly Ranch Golf Club

4375 Grizzly Rd, Portola, CA 96122-5431 +1 530-832-4200
Excellent
93%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 36 reviews

Grizzly Ranch Golf Club

Grizzly Ranch Golf Club is the #1 Ranked public-accessible golf course in the Sierra Nevada (Golf Digest 2014). Established in 2005, this is a Bob Cupp-designed championship course that can stretch out to 7400 yards but with five sets of tees can provide challenge and enjoyment to every level of player. Located in Northeastern California just 45 minutes North of Reno, NV and Truckee, CA, Grizzly Ranch Golf Club is everything a mountain course should be .. majestic views, impeccable conditions, tough but fair. Director of Golf, Van Batchelder, strives to make every guest's visit a memorable and enjoyable experience. Grizzly Ranch Golf Club is not to be missed.

Reviewed By jroach1042 - San Diego, California

Grizzly Ranch is every golfers dream! Beautiful scenery, amazing layout, perfectly manicured course conditions, and a superb staff! This was my second year back to play Grizzly Ranch with the Gonzalez Group and like the previous year the course was amazing:) I've played and been on many of golf trips but by far Grizzly Ranch is my favorite course:) This is a must play!

6. Nakoma Spa

at Nakoma Resort, Clio, Graeagle, CA +1 877-418-0880
Excellent
51%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
12%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 8 reviews

Nakoma Spa

Reviewed By scoeyd - Reno, Nevada

Loved the pool & steam room, as well as the relaxation room in the Mens' locker room, complete with big flat screen, fireplace, comfy couches, etc. Sauna wouldn't work, & the exercise room is pretty tiny - a nautilus-type machine, elliptical, & a few free weights.

7. Eco Bike Adventures

2634 County Highway A23, Portola, CA 96122
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 7 reviews

Eco Bike Adventures

Located on an 1800 acre private ranch, where the breathtaking Sierra Nevada Mountain range meets the beauty of high desert, we have professionally guided e-bike adventures for groups of 2-12, ages 10&Up. We ride 2015 Santa Cruz mountain bikes with integrated electric pedal-assist. Be ready to explore the Sierras with your whole family. Further, Faster, Fun for Everybody.

Reviewed By CupcakeCandyQueen - Halifax, United Kingdom

Excellent mountain biking adventure. They tailored the day to our experience level on mountain bikes. Challenging, exciting and great guides. Amazing scenery. A really enjoyable activity. They provide you with gloves, back packs, chilled water and snack bars. Worth a trip out for a great time!!

8. Eureka Peak Brewing Company

72056 Highway 70, Terrace Suite building at Chalet View Lodge, Portola, CA 96103 +1 530-832-5528
Excellent
75%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 4 reviews

Eureka Peak Brewing Company

Whether you like your brews hoppy, dark, or fruity—or just something that tastes good with bratwurst— our onsite taproom, Eureka Peak Brewing Co. offers it all. Stop by to sample one of our 10 beers on tap or 20 bottled beers accompanied by artfully prepared dishes made with local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients.

Reviewed By ggintruckee - Truckee, CA

Open weekends. Great variety of beers on tap brewed right there on site. I prefer the porters and stouts. Now servings some great saisons as well. No food, only beer...so bring food or snacks with you if you like! We try and stop in whenever we are this way on the weekends!

9. Explore! Sierra Touring Company, LLC

2634 County Road A23, 72056 Hwy 70, Graeagle, CA 96122 +1 530-832-5450
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 18 reviews

Explore! Sierra Touring Company, LLC

We are an outdoor adventure company specializing in guided ATV and Snowmobile tours. Our ATV tours are staged on the 1750 acre Diamond S Ranch in beautiful Sierra Valley, CA. In the winter we stage at Chalet View Lodge near Graeagle, CA and tour the awesome Lake Davis Recreation Area. Our tours are customized to fit your skill level, we guarantee fun! Bring the whole family!

Reviewed By Christina W - Harwich, Massachusetts

Vacationing we wanted a trip to remember Nevada/California. We choose ATV and what an awesome experience one that would definitely repeat for years to come. The terrain, dust, rocks, peaks,valleys. Hell the view was wicked. Definitely one of those memories you never forget and are thankful for having experienced Special thanks to our guide Chris..

10. Bank Club

190 Commercial St, Portola, CA 96122-9636 +1 530-832-0466
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Bank Club

Bar located in Historical down town serving Portola's finest since 1934. Full liquor, wine, and beer selections. Friendly atmosphere with, 2 online dart boards, 3 pool tables, juke box, live music events, and sports on t.v.

Reviewed By WinoExtreme - San Francisco, California

If you are looking for a fun local dive bar, this is the place in Portola, full bar and darts, have fun!

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