I plan on taking my family (my wife and 10-year old and 3-year old daughters) on a Gold-Rush-and-beyond-California-history tour in May for 4 days and 3 nights.
So far we are planning on going to Sutter's Mill State Historic Park, Columbia SHP, Empire Mine SHP, Sacramento (and the California Railroad Museum), and Virginia City (because the Comstock Lode contributed so much to the growth of California).
What do you recommend as far as specific places to see that would help my 10-year old daughter gain a better appreciation for the the history of the state? Do you recommend any places to stay that are inexpensive (i.e. $100 or less per night)?
We have been to Old Town Sacramento a number of times, and we will go again when we go to the Railroad Museum. We are particularly interested in Chinese immigration, gold and silver mining, and the Union Pacific Railroad.
BTW, we will be driving up there from So' Cal', so ghost towns and other historical places along the way are welcome, also. We can either take I-5 both ways or go up I-5 and come back via I-395.