Deemed one of the “8 California Small Towns to Visit Right Now,” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Murphys (located in Calaveras County), is an unrivaled and incomparable historic Gold Country town nestled in the Sierra Foothills a mere 2.5/3 hour drive from San Francisco, Oakland or San Jose and 1.5 hours from Sacramento.
Murphys’ Main Street, appropriately named, uh, well… “Main Street,” is a 1/2 mile long walkable stretch home to a bevy of things to do in Murphys, from incredible restaurants (we recommend Doke Sushi), drinking establishments, unique purveyors of fine retail goods from gifts, kitchen essentials, toys to fun, fashionable, kitschy, and backcountry camping and hiking clothing.
And there are the some 25 wine tasting rooms representing approximately 30 or so different local wineries.
As you saunter Main Street, you seem to time travel between the present day and long gone historic eras. Perfectly maintained and preserved historic architecture from the mid-1800’s blends seamlessly with the old-world-ambience-combined-with-the-new-world-charisma of newer architecture.
During Murphys’ construction expansion of the early 1990s, business owners came together to ensure the town would maintain its unique western character and appeal. The newer construction, designed in a “miner’s exchange” style complements the existing western “false front” and placer and field stone buildings which were so very common in the varied architectural makeup of mid to late 1800’s western towns.
One is hard pressed to differentiate a building of historic appearance constructed in the 1990’s from another actually constructed in the 1850’s. This leaves visitors with a sense they’re meandering a town blended from movie sets and backdrops pulled from Deadwood, Silverado, Wyatt Earp and Westworld combined with the relaxed and casual atmosphere and elegance of Sonoma and Napa of the early 1970’s.
Many visitors report that after arriving in Murphys, the one and only other time they’ll get back in their car is days later when it’s time to depart for home.
The best part about Murphys is the weekend always starts on Thursday.
Like clockwork, visitors and second home owners always arrive early on Thursday and the fun begins promptly on Thursday night.
Whether it’s live music at The Watering Hole or Murphys Irish Pub or Trivia Night at the Murphys Pourhouse, the town’s never-ending entertainment options kick into gear on Thursday afternoon and continue right up to when everyone starts to depart for home on Sunday evening.
From Friday through to Sunday, there can be, at least, 15 or more entertainment options at Main Street tasting rooms, and pubs, wineries on the outskirts of town such as Stevenot Winery, Folk and Americana music acts to live Shakespeare at Brice Station, to exhilarating concerts by leading touring multi-platinum Country or Rock and Roll acts at Ironstone’s incredible 6,900-capacity outdoor amphitheater.
And then there are the special annual street fair festivities that draw revelers from near and far such as The President’s Day Wine Weekend in February, The Murphys Irish Day Street Fair in March, the, The Murphys Grape Stomp and Gold Rush Street Fair in October, El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in November, The Murphys Open House Christmas Parade in December, and, the reason you’re reading this, The Murphys Witch Walk festival, which (if not for the pandemic), takes place every third Saturday of October.
While Murphys is very much a joyous, fun and festive “entertainment town,” it never loses or even dilutes its quaint character and charm, which are it’s most endearing and attractive characteristics, hence maintaining it’s well deserved title of “Queen of the Sierra.”
The Annual Murphys Witch Walk was founded in 2016 by Teresa Rodriguez, owner of Murphys’ Potted Plum gift shop, as a means to increase awareness, tourism and retail sales throughout the Main Street retail shopping and dining district. Since its inception, the Murphys Witch Walk has grown to attract thousands of costumed revelers, shoppers, families, and oenophiles to Murphys to explore, shop, dine and learn about this unique and historic Gold Country town.
In the few short years of its existence, the Murphys Witch Walk has grown to become the town’s #1 cosplay party that just happens to include a full day of shopping, dining and wine tasting.
“It is a fun and friendly event with less drinking… It brings LADIES out helping out businesses. Each year the event and organization has improved.”
Kristine’s Clothing on Main Street.
“I expected an increase, but this was huge! The promoters were very thorough. It’s a fun concept that the majority of the participants enjoyed.”
Murphys Irish Pub
“It was better than last year and the year before. Keep up the good work. Sales were up.”
Murphys Motor Cycle Company
Regrettably, the Fifth Annual Murphys Witch Walk, which was to be held in October 2020, was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The producers of the Murphys Witch Walk had big plans for the 2020 party and started planning in January 2020, working on the logistics and details to add more vendors, live music and entertainment, costume contents, and family-and kid-friendly events, and activities. But, the pandemic regulations caused the postponement of many events, including the 2021 Murphys Irish Day getting pushed back to March 2022, but, fortunately, the November 2021 El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is moving forward, but a bit more scaled back.
Fortunately, the 5th Annual Murphys Witch Walk came off without a hitch on Saturday, October 16, 2021. It proceeded as a scaled back soiree in where it was more of an "All the World's a Stage" gathering of costumed revelers where you, the attendees, were the show. Check out the press coverage in our newly launched PRESS ROOM.
Thank you all for attending!
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