We are leaving San Francisco on the 31st March to start our journey to Yosemite via the gold rush route and then on to the coastal drive back to San Francisco before we return home to the UK. We have a 9 year old who is very keen to discover gold - so as well as going on a gold panning session in Jamestown (the following day) I am wondering what the best route is from Fairfield (after visiting the jelly belly factory if not too crowded) Will it take much longer if we go via Sacramento up to Placerville - I quite like the sound of the Gold Bug park mentioned on some forum posts. Then the drive down route 49 to our stopover near Columbia State Historic Park sounds like it has some interesting places (Angels camp included). I was originally going to travel via Lodi but am now thinking of the Sacramento Route. If we leave Fairfield around 1pm how much do you think we can pack in before we arrive in Columbia (before dark if possible!) All advice much appreciated!