The town of Placerville or Hangtown, as it was commonly called during the California Gold Rush, is a beautiful little town with a gold rush flavor that currently attracts many tourists. Perhaps the largest attraction in the area is known as "Apple Hill". It is an area consisting of a series of small apple orchards which cooperate to host a festival celebrating all the many products of this delicious fruit each fall at harvest time. The festival coincides with apple harvest season and generally lasts from September into early November. Although apples are the biggest attraction today, that was not always the case, and Placerville was not originally founded by ranchers hoping to grow apples. It was once a wild and wolly gold rush town full of miners seeking their fortunes in the surrounding hills.
The town does celebrate its gold rush heritage, and although gold is no longer mined, a few tourists do try their hand panning in the local creeks. Back in the early gold rush days, the town consisted of one long straggling street of wooden board houses and log cabins, built in a hollow along the side of a creek, and surrounded by high and steep hills.