In Coloma, California there is a park where a fellow can pan for gold, free! Yep, on the north bank of the American River running staight through the park you can take a pan and have some fun. You cannot bring automated tools, not even hand tools. You may use your hands to dig. Even though the park is very clear about what you can and can’t do, it is a beautiful place. And, I found a tiny nugget and one placer flake, too! I’ve got photos along with all the details at the link above. Give it a try.