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As you embark on your journey to discover Yosemite National Park’s splendor, it is essential to find comfortable accommodations and savor the local culinary delights.
In this guide, we will take you through the charming towns near Yosemite and recommend a budget, mid-range, and luxury lodging options, along with our top dining establishments that offer mouthwatering specialties you simply cannot miss.
- 1. Yosemite National Park At-A-Glance
- 2. Map of Best Places to Stay Inside and Near Yosemite National Park
- 3. Best Places to Stay Inside Yosemite National Park
- 4. 5 Towns Near Yosemite National Park with Best Places to Stay and Eat
- 4.1. Mariposa
- 4.2. Oakhurst
- 4.3. El Portal
- 4.4. June Lake
- 4.5. Groveland
- 5. Intrepid Scout's Tips for Towns Near Yosemite National Park
Map of Best Places to Stay Inside and Near Yosemite National Park
Best Places to Stay Inside Yosemite National Park
Staying within the heart of Yosemite National Park offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in its pristine beauty. However, these accommodations book at least a year in advance.
My recommendation is to check them out and see if there is anything available. If everything is booked then start exploring accommodations in some of the towns near Yosemite National Park
Here are accommodations inside Yosemite Nationa Park:
- The Ahwahnee: Nestled against the backdrop of granite cliffs, The Ahwahnee is a historic gem. Its architectural splendor and luxurious amenities complement Yosemite’s natural wonders. From elegant rooms to stunning views, this iconic lodge invites you to experience timeless elegance amidst nature.
The Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Valley Lodge: With an unmatched location near Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley Lodge offers breathtaking vistas right from your doorstep. Comfortable rooms, an inviting lounge, and proximity to iconic landmarks make it an ideal base for exploration.
Yosemite Valley Lodge (Dining Area) in Yosemite National Park
- Wawona Hotel: Step into the past at Wawona Hotel, a Victorian-era treasure. Surrounded by forested landscapes, this National Historic Landmark offers a glimpse into Yosemite’s history. Cozy rooms, a golf course, and a serene setting make for a charming stay.
Wawona Hotel in Yosemite National Park
Wawona Hotel in Yosemite National Park
- Curry Village: For an authentic outdoor experience, Curry Village offers canvas tent cabins amidst towering trees. Rustic and cozy, these accommodations provide a unique way to connect with nature without sacrificing comfort.
Curry Village in Yosemite National Park
- White Wolf Lodge: For those seeking a more remote experience, White Wolf Lodge offers rustic cabins surrounded by high-country wilderness. Away from the crowds, you can truly unwind and appreciate Yosemite’s untamed beauty.
- Tuolumne Meadows Lodge: The Tuolumne Meadows Lodge is located 60 miles from Yosemite Valley at over 8,700 feet above sea level. Here, you’ll find 69 canvas-tent cabins that are available from mid-June to mid-September, conditions permitting.
5 Towns Near Yosemite National Park with Best Places to Stay and Eat
The town of Mariposa is located near the western Arch Rock Entrance, which is also known as the Highway 140 Entrance, to Yosemite National Park. This entrance is one of the main entrances to the park and provides access to Yosemite Valley and its iconic attractions, including El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, and Yosemite Falls.
The distance between Mariposa and the Arch Rock Entrance is approximately 32 miles.
Advantages of Staying in Mariposa:
- Proximity to the Park: Mariposa’s strategic location right at the doorstep of Yosemite National Park grants you swift and direct access to the park’s main entrance. This convenience translates to more precious moments spent immersed in the park’s breathtaking trails, iconic viewpoints, and remarkable natural spectacles.
- Gateway to Yosemite’s Shuttle System: Mariposa operates a well-organized shuttle system that efficiently transports visitors to various pivotal points within the park. Opting to stay in Mariposa ensures seamless access to these shuttle services, eliminating the need to grapple with parking woes and congestion, particularly during the park’s bustling seasons.
- Expanded Outdoor Opportunites: Beyond the realm of Yosemite’s borders, Mariposa’s proximity opens up a realm of extended outdoor opportunities. Explore the adjacent national forests, bask in the tranquility of nearby state parks, and uncover the allure of other natural attractions.
- Comprehensive Amenities and Services: Mariposa caters generously to the needs of its visitors. An assortment of accommodations, dining options that reflect local flavors, rentals for outdoor gear, guided tours that offer expert insights, and a gamut of essential facilities converge to ensure your stay is comfortable.
Best Places to Stay in Mariposa
- The Yosemite Inn
The Yosemite Inn is situated in the town of Mariposa amidst the Sierra Nevada foothills and it offers picturesque views and peaceful retreat after a day of exploration.
What I like about it is that it provides easy access to the Arch Rock Entrance of Yosemite National Park.
You will find a range of room types, from cozy standard rooms to more spacious suites. The rooms that I stayed in were clean and comfortable, however, a bit outdated. What is nice is that breakfast is included.
Towns Near Yosemite / The Yosemite Inn in Mariposa
- Best Western Plus Yosemite Way Station Motel
Another place that I stayed at is Best Western Plus Yosemite Way Station Motel. It is a good lodging option that caters to travelers seeking proximity to Yosemite National Park.
The motel offers a variety of room types, accommodating different group sizes and preferences.
The amenities include complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool, enhancing the overall stay experience.
Places to Eat in Mariposa
- Charles Street Dinner House
My go-to place in Mariposa is Charles Street Dinner House. It has a nice charming ambiance and the food is wholesome. Make sure to try baby back ribs, and do not miss their burgers. Also, all the daily specials are worth checking out. Finish off your meal with Mocha Fudge Ice Cream Pie.
Savoury’s is a culinary gem in Mariposa. The restaurant prides itself on offering a diverse menu featuring a blend of fresh ingredients and creative preparations. Make sure to try chicken marsala in mushroom sauce. Their warm bread with olive oil and balsamic is addictive.
Nestled on the doorstep of Yosemite National Park, Oakhurst is an ideal base for exploring the park’s natural wonders.
- Proximity to Yosemite’s Majesty: Oakhurst’s strategic location places you just 14 miles away from Yosemite’s South Entrance. This entrance offers direct access to the awe-inspiring trails, iconic viewpoints, and captivating natural marvels of Yosemite’s renowned Yosemite Valley.
- Seamless Shuttle System: Oakhurst is seamlessly connected to Yosemite’s shuttle system, which efficiently ferries visitors to key park points. Choosing to stay in Oakhurst grants you effortless access to these shuttle services, relieving you of parking concerns and congestion hassles during peak seasons.
- Explore Beyond Yosemite: Beyond Yosemite’s bounds, Oakhurst opens doors to other places to explore. Check out adjacent national forests, and neighboring state parks.
- Abundant Amenities and Services: Oakhurst is a treasure trove of visitor amenities and services. You will have an array of accommodations and dining options.
Best Places to Stay in Oakhurst
- Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn
I stayed at Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn several times. It has a convenient location to Yosemite’s South Entrance. The rooms are clean and comfortable. However, it is an older hotel and a bit outdated. I always get a room on the 2nd floor since it has a balcony where you can sit and relax. The breakfast buffet in the morning is good. Make sure to check out the pool after a long day of hiking.
Towns Near Yosemite / Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn in Oakhurst
- Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites
This is where I stayed at Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites the last time I visited Yosemite. I have to say that I was very impressed with Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites. All of the amenities are nice: pool, wet sauna, dry sauna, and full breakfast each morning. My room was clean and comfortable with modern furnishings.
Towns Near Yosemite / Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst
Places to Eat in Oakhurst
- South Gate Brewing Company
Be prepared for a wait, but it is all worth it. South Gate Brewing Company has lots of great items on the menu, but I always end up ordering fish and chips, but burgers and sweet potato fries are delicious as well. The beer is brewed on-site and can be sampled for $10 for 3 pours.
- El Cid Mexican Cuisine
If you like Mexican food then El Cid Mexican cuisine is a great option. I love their chips and salsa. Enchiladas are top notch and the portions are huge so be prepared to take some back to your hotel.
Nestled along the Merced River and just moments from the park’s entrance, El Portal is a perfect gateway to Yosemite National Park.
- Seamless Access to Yosemite: El Portal’s prime location places you in close proximity to the Arch Rock Entrance of Yosemite National Park. This entrance, located just about 4 miles away, grants swift access to Yosemite Valley and its iconic attractions, allowing you to maximize your time in the park.
- Riverside Location: The Merced River winds through El Portal creating a tranquil ambiance, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration.
- Escape from Crowds: Staying in El Portal allows you to experience the park’s wonders while enjoying a quieter retreat. Away from the hustle and bustle of larger park accommodations, El Portal offers a more intimate and peaceful stay.
Best Place to Stay in El Portal
- Yosemite View Lodge
You can’t beat the location of Yosemite View Lodge. The proximity to the park’s entrance makes it a great choice. The last time I stayed at the lodge, my room was a good size, clean, and very comfortable. What I like about the lodge is that the rooms have a little kitchen area in which we could make our own food on the stove, mini fridge, microwave, sink, and dishes.
Towns Near Yosemite / Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal
Best Places to Eat in El Portal
- Parkside Pizza
Parkside Pizza is your best choice in El Portal. After a long day of hiking, their pizza hits the spot. It is hot, a bit greasy, but if the options are limited, then who cares. They have a patio and you eat your pizza right out of the box with paper plates and plastic cutlery. And, did I mention the view? It is awesome!
June Lake is one of my favorite places. I keep coming back to June Lake whether I am visiting Yosemite or not. It is just a great spot.
- Scenic Escape: June Lake’s beauty is unparalleled, with its shimmering lakes, towering mountains, and dense forests. Whether you’re seeking tranquility or adventure, the stunning natural surroundings provide a perfect backdrop.
- Year-Round Activities: Regardless of the season, June Lake offers an array of activities. From fishing, kayaking, and swimming in the summer to skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing in the winter, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
- Gateway to Yosemite’s Eastern Side: June Lake serves as a gateway to exploring Yosemite National Park’s eastern side. It is situated approximately 25 miles from the eastern entrance to the park. It is a convenient base for those who want to experience the high country, Tuolumne Meadows, and the unique landscapes of this part of the park.
Best Places to Stay in June Lake
- Double Eagle Resort and Spa
Double Eagle Resort and Spa is a great place to stay! The resort has both guest rooms and cabins. My recommendation is to rent a cabin. If you like fishing then, you will love their stocked catch-and-release pond. I am recommending that you check out their restaurant which is super convenient after a long day of exploring. All the other amenities like an indoor pool with a jacuzzi and a full gym are top-notch. To top it off, they make cookies and put them out around 4 pm.
Towns Near Yosemite / Double Eagle Resort and Spa in June Lake
- Heidelberg Inn
Another good choice in June Lake is Heidelberg Inn. Originally opened in 1928, and had many famous celebrities who stayed there. Even though it is an older place, it is very well maintained. It is home to the famous four-sided fireplace in the lobby. The rooms are cozy, clean and have kitchenettes which is very convenient.
Towns Near Yosemite / Heidelberg Inn in June Lake
Best Places to Eat in June Lake
- The Silver Lake Cafe
The Silver Lake Cafe is an awesome place for breakfast. I love their blueberry pancakes! The portions are huge so be prepared to take some food with you to the hotel.
- Eagle’s Landing Restaurant
If you are looking for a place to have dinner in June Lake, then Eagle’s Landing Restaurant is a good choice. First of all, the views are great! As far as food, make sure to try wedge salad and ribs. My daughter likes their pasta!
Tucked in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Groveland is a welcoming town that serves as a gateway to Yosemite National Park.
- Proximity to Yosemite’s West Entrance: Groveland’s is stated about 24 miles from Yosemite’s Big Oak Flat Entrance. This entrance offers direct access to Yosemite Valley, where you’ll find iconic landmarks like El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, and Half Dome.
- Historic Charm: Groveland boasts a historic downtown area with preserved buildings and a quaint atmosphere. Explore its historic sites, and immerse yourself in the town’s Gold Rush legacy.
Best Places to Stay in Groveland
- Yosemite Westgate Lodge
Yosemite Westgate Lodge has modern, clean, and spacious rooms. Actually, the rooms look like they were recently renovated. All rooms have a microwave and a fridge, which is very convenient. If you are up for a swim then check out their swimming pool, which is nicely maintained. There is a restaurant next door called Lucky Buck that serves great food.
Towns Near Yosemite / Yosemite Westgate Lodge in Groveland
- Blackberry Inn
Blackberry Inn is situated right next door to Groveland in the town of Buck Meadows. First of all, it is a very elegant place. The rooms are comfortable, good size with all the amenities. You will love the grounds that are immaculately taken care of.
To top it off, a delicious daily breakfast is delivered to your room each morning!
Best Places to Eat in Groveland
- Lucky Buck
Lucky Buck is located right next to Yosemite Westgate Lodge and you can’t go wrong with this place after a long day of exploring the park. I am recommending chicken fried steak, plus biscuits and gravy. Be prepared, portions are huge!
- Two Guys Pizza Pies
When you are in Groveland then you need to stop at Two Guys Pizza Pies. They know what they are doing. Just awesome pizza!