BEtreat - California

For the ninth year we will be running our focused workshops for social learning leaders in our home in Grass Valley, California. We work with you over a period of four days to explore the latest models and frameworks for communities of practice and networks in relation to your specific project.

We work intensively with social learning leaders, who often share similar challenges across different sectors, in a relaxed and inspiring setting. We work together to generate new insights, share a language, and form meaningful connections with others in the field.

Two BEtreats in California in 2019

State-of-the art

For a systematic overview and firm grasp of current principles and practice in social learning as it applies to your context.

July 16 – 19, 2019


For people who have experience of existing social learning models and want to develop more pioneering aspects of the field.

July 23 – 26, 2019

Research & Evaluation

Because of the BEtreats in Portugal this year, we are not planning to offer this BEtreat in California unless there is enough demand.

Contact us to request a research BEtreat

California location

The face-to-face portion of the workshop takes place in Grass Valley, California. It is a charming historical mining town located in the “Gold Country” in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.  There are street fairs in the summer, tasting rooms for local wineries, and beautiful hiking and swimming at the nearby Yuba river.

It’s a great place for a family holiday. Your partner or kids are welcome to join us for dinner in the evening.

Click here for general information about BEtreats, including formats, pricing, and FAQs


Lodging Rates
Free wifi Walking
The Holbrooke From $119 yes 3 minutes Historical landmark hotel (Mark Twain was a guest there), with the all charms, quirks, and downsides of old buildings (Reports are the internet is not good, so we recommend reading online reviews first)
Grass Valley
Courtyard Suites
From $159 yes 5 – 6 minutes Luxury boutique inn with swimming pool, fitness facility, breakfast, and day spa as well as some cooking facilities in most rooms
Sierra Mountain
From $99 yes 5 minutes Cozy family-owned motel, very friendly and comfortable, with kitchenettes in most rooms
Gold Miners Inn From $169 yes 10 minutes Newer business-type hotel, recently renovated with a historical theme after joining the Choice Hotels chain
Lamb’s Victorian Inn From $135 yes 10 minutes Victorian Style Bed & Breakfast, very comfortable
Swan Levine
From $100 yes 12 minutes Bed and Breakfast owned by two local artists
Elam Biggs From $85 yes 13 minutes Victorian Style Bed & Breakfast
The Pines Motel and Cottages From $75 yes 20 – 25 minutes Small newly renovated motor lodge style motel
Coach N Four
From $65 yes 20 – 25 minutes Very affordable motel, but you get what you pay for

You can also find private accomodation for very reasonable prices through Airbnb.

And check out the reviews of Grass Valley hotels on Trip Advisor.



If you are flying to northern California on your way to Grass Valley, the best airport to fly into is Sacramento airport (SMF). It is a very convenient airport, not too big, easy to get in and out of, but served by all major US airlines. It is usually not any more expensive to fly there than to fly into San Francisco (SFO) and it is a lot closer. It takes about one hour to drive to Grass Valley from Sacramento airport, but almost three hours from San Francisco.

Transportation from the airport

Unfortunately, there is no public transportation from Sacramento airport to Grass Valley. We recommend using Lyft or Uber, which costs about 80 dollars. Taxis and shuttles to Grass Valley are rather expensive. All major car rental companies serve the airport.


If you are driving to Grass Valley, here are the directions from both Sacramento and San Francisco airports:

1.A   Driving from Sacramento airport …

  • Follow the signs for the airport exit until you get to interstate highway 5. Enter the second ramp on the 5, going south toward Sacramento
  • Drive south on 5 until you reach the exit for interstate highway 80. Follow the signs for Reno (80 east)
  • Then follow directions 2.

1.B   Driving from San Francisco airport …

  • From SFO, follow the signs for 101 north toward San Francisco. Then follow the signs for 80 East (Bay Bridge).
  • After the bridge stay on the left and follow Interstate 80 East toward Sacramento.
  • At the second bridge, you will have to pay a toll. Make sure you have at least 5 dollars in cash with you (no credit card).
  • Just before Sacramento, take the Reno exit for the 80 East so you by-pass Sacramento.
  • Then follow directions 2.

2. … on to Grass Valley

  • Stay on 80 going east, past Sacramento, until you get to Auburn (about 30 miles).
  • In Auburn, exit onto 49 toward Grass Valley. At the light at the end of the ramp, turn left and stay on 49, traversing the suburbs of Auburn, then slowly starting to climb the Sierra foothills through more rural areas, toward Grass Valley (24 miles).
  • In Grass Valley, exit on 174 (exit 182a). Take the ramp and turn left at the stop sign onto South Auburn Street. Go under the freeway and keep going straight. Turn left onto Main Street (second set of lights) and continue straight on. The street goes up the hill and 426 is on your right. It is a victorian house with two big tress in the front yard. You will know you have arrived when you see a white garage door on your right, at street level under the sidewalk.


Things to do in the area


Grass Valley is located in what is known as the Gold Country, which is where the gold rush took place in 1849. The town is full of historical buildings from that era.

The Empire mine was California’s largest hard quartz gold mining operation. It closed in the 50’s, but you can visit the Empire Mine historic state park and museum in town.

The Malakoff Diggins Historical State Park lets you explore the methods and effects of hydraulic mining.

Nevada City is a couple of miles away. It is another charming mining town, which has maintained a strict building code to keep the architecture from the gold rush period. Even the street lights are still operated by gas.

The Bridgeport state park has the longest surviving single-span covered bridge in the world.

Dining and more

For small town, Grass Valley has a good selection of restaurants. Many serve new California cuisine. For a gourmet experience, try Sergio’s on Mill Street. There is also Kane’s on East Main, and Cirino’s in West Main, which by the way has probably the best veggie burger we know (order the Ortega). We are told that Pete’s Pizza has the best gluten-free pizza ever. If you like Thai food, Taste of Thai has delicious offerings at reasonable prices.

The historical Holbrooke hotel has a bar downstairs with live music on most evenings.


The Sierra Foothill is becoming a well-known wine-growing area. Downtown Grass Valley and Nevada City have many local wine-tasting rooms open to the public. You can also visit the wineries themselves.


Just down the street from the venue is Grass Valley’s Center for the Arts, which holds concerts and events of a quality you would not expect for such a small town. Every July, the Center organizes California WorldFest, a festival of world music with a great line-up of international musicians. Date this year: July 12-15, 2018.

Every Thursday night in the summer, there is a street fair in Grass Valley, with several music stages as well as food and craft vendors.


The south fork of the Yuba river is close by, with beautiful rock formations and great swimming holes.


The Yuba River has very beautiful hikes. The Independence Trail was built for wheelchair on an old flue dug along the hill to bring water for gold mining.

If you want to venture a bit further, Lake Tahoe is a little over an hour’s drive. It is a gorgeous alpine lake, surrounded by mountains. It offers great swimming. You can also rent boats and bikes. Worth the trip.

Grass Valley is located in the foothills of Sierra Nevada mountain range, which runs along the eastern edge of California. The Sierras have lakes, camping grounds, and countless hiking trails of various lengths.

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