The Imperial Hotel
14202 Old Highway 49
Amador City, CA 95601
One of my favorite places to go for a meal is east to the Sierra foothills and the Gold Country of California. There are many well maintained airfields all along highway 49 as it winds north from Mariposa to Nevada City.
Amador City was founded in 1863 by a wealthy rancher Jose Maria Amador who prospected an unknown creek for its gold 1848-1849. Most of today’s buildings date back to the late 1800’s and the Imperial Hotel is no exception. Originally build in 1879 the walls are constructed of bricks, twelve bricks wide at the base tapering to four bricks at the top of the second story. The structure now serves as both a restaurant and hotel.
My friend and I picked a Thursday evening to fly into Westover Amador County (KJAQ) airfield; it was a quick 45 minute hop from Livermore. The trip from the airport to the hotel requires a cab ride provided by Pioneer Cab. The cab arrived in about fifteen minutes for the five and a half mile ride to Amador City.
There wasn’t a lot of activity, which made us wonder if they were open for business. What made it even more doubtful was that the main road through town, and in front of the hotel, was barricaded and trenched. Our trusty driver, Michelle, found the detour and got us to the front door. Once inside we were warmly greeted by a young man with a handlebar moustache who showed us to our table. The young lady who served our table could not have been friendlier or more helpful as we enjoyed great dinners, one of pork medallions and the other lamb chops. We finished off with warm, apple cobbler alamode, which gave me second thoughts as to whether or not we would be able to lift off the ground, for the flight home, after such heavy meals.
Amador City is a very small town (population less than 200) with a giant personality. It has a lot to offer, wine tasting, historic tours, food, and accommodations. It‘s a must see for anyone traveling highway 49.