One of the most visited national parks in the United States of America, Yosemite, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is situated in Sierra Nevada mountains, California. Recognized globally for its biological diversity, stunning granite cliffs, and massive sequoia groves, Yosemite welcomes around 4 million visitors every year.
Considered as one of the crown jewels of USA’s National Park System, Yosemite houses thousands of lakes and ponds and approximately 800 miles of hiking trails. Yosemite Falls, at 2,425 feet, is the highest waterfall in North America. Home to over 300 species of mammals, including around 85 native mammal species, Yosemite has a huge concentration of Black bears, mule deer, bats, and over 150 species of birds.
The best way to explore the National Park is to stay in one of the accommodation options within the park. However, these lodges tend to fill up fast, especially during Spring. In such situations, it’s best to know of some of the more popular towns surrounding Yosemite that can be used as a base for easily accessing the park.
We’ve explored some of the nearby towns so you can decide where to stay near Yosemite National Park. But first, let’s round up those accommodation options within the grounds of the park itself.
The Best Acommodation Within Yosemite National Park
The third-most visited national park in the United States, Yosemite is characterized by its massive, ancient sequoia trees and intriguing granite cliff formations. Yosemite Valley, a significant part of the National Park, attracts the majority of visitors in Yosemite and Tunnel View is the first view of the surrounding valley that the visitors get to enjoy. Home to innumerable granite cliffs, Half Dome, at the eastern end of the Valley, is known worldwide for its distinctive shape and a fascinating hiking destination. El Capitan, another significant granite formation in Yosemite, is among the most sought-after rock climbing destinations in the world, especially because of its year-round accessibility.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Glacier Point, John Muir Trail, Tuolumne Meadows, Olmsted Point, Pacific Crest Trail, Cathedral Range, and Badger Pass Ski Area.
- Yosemite Westgate Lodge – Strategically located on State Highway 120, a short distance from Yosemite National Park and Yosemite Valley, this 48-unit lodging facility promises the most spacious and furnished, modern guestrooms. Featuring unique photography masterpieces shot in the Yosemite National Park, accommodation options here comprise standard king and queen size rooms, king suites with jacuzzi, and ADA rooms. Guests can enjoy the heated outdoor pool, seasonal on-site restaurant, spa, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Family picnics in the surrounding park areas and gazebos can be easily arranged. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- The Majestic Yosemite Hotel – The only AAA® four-diamond hotel in Yosemite National Park, the Majestic Yosemite Hotel is one of the finest accommodation options. Known for providing the highest level of customer service and hospitality, the property dates back to the 1920s and is considered an architectural masterpiece that combines solitude with grandeur. Boasting a splendid location that features Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Glacier Point within close proximity, the Majestic Yosemite provides standard rooms, junior suites, hotel parlors, and cottages. Common facilities at the property include Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, outdoor patio, and on-site dining. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
- Yosemite View Lodge – Being true to its name, Yosemite View Lodge is arguably the closest hotel accommodation near Yosemite Valley. Carefully designed to span the banks of Merced River, most guestrooms at Yosemite View Lodge offer astounding views of the river from the comfort of their balcony or from the in-house spa. A few steps away from all the adventure and thrill of Yosemite National Park, the lodging facility remains in accordance to the encompassing nature that engulfs the property. Accommodation options at the property include king rooms, double queen rooms, and well-appointed suites. Taking luxury one notch higher, Yosemite View Lodge features four swimming pools (one indoor and three outdoor) and seven spas (one indoor and six outdoor). This pet-friendly lodge also houses a cocktail lounge, gift shop, on-site restaurants, and free guest parking. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
- Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite – A stunning four-diamond, all-season lodging facility nestled comfortably within the surreal High Sierra and near the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park, Tenaya Lodge is a premium destination resort that offers its guests the finest luxuries of life. Comprising 302 lavish guestrooms and suites, a world-class spa facility, three swimming pools, a skating rink, and five dining options, this opulent resort is the perfect place to enjoy a holiday with your family. For adventure lovers, the staff at the lodge can arrange mountain biking through the Sierra National Forest, horseback riding, guided flashlight hiking at the Rock Wall, and much more. Great for all kinds of luxury travelers.
- Yosemite Cedar Lodge – The perfect, budget-friendly getaway to Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Cedar Lodge offers spacious, well-furnished accommodation within a short drive from Yosemite’s entrance. Featuring cozy guestrooms and suites with four-poster beds, cable TV, coffee machine, refrigerators, and private bathrooms, the lodge is one of the most family-friendly properties in the area. Additional amenities at the property include free parking, a communal guest lounge, a sports bar, an on-site family-style restaurant with loft, indoor and outdoor pool, and a rejuvenating spa. If the scenic vistas around the property aren’t enough to keep you entertained, visit the Mariposa History Museum located nearby or get your heart pumping at the Yellowstone Zip Line. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
- Big Trees Lodge – Arguably one of the most authentic mountain resorts in California, Big Trees Lodge dates back to 1856. A National Historic Landmark, the property is situated closely to quite a few famous attractions such as the Pioneer History Center and the Mariposa Grove. Essentially, Big Trees Lodge offers two kinds of accommodation – rooms with private bathroom and rooms with shared bathroom facilities. All the rooms at the property are decorated in Victorian style with period décor and warm colors. These rooms have no TV, telephone, or internet to maintain peace and solidarity. A golf course, an outdoor swimming pool, a sun room with pristine views of the surroundings, and well-manicured lawns are some of the features that the guests can enjoy. A wonderfully-designed dining room welcomes guests to a broad selection of food and wine. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- Yosemite Valley Lodge – Open throughout the year, Yosemite Valley Lodge is regarded as one of the best lodging choices for group travelers and families visiting Yellowstone National Park. Surrounded by enchanting mountains and plush greenery, the lodge provides bewildering views of the nearby Yosemite Falls. The property features 245 newly remodeled guestrooms, including 4 family rooms that consist a king bed, a bunk bed, TV with DVD player, private bathroom, coffee maker, and dining space. Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. A ranger/naturalist talk is held at the lodge amphitheater every night during the summer months. Guests can enjoy hiking and biking through the nearby mountains, rafting down the Merced River, and swimming in the on-site pool. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
- Yosemite Ridge Resort – A few miles away from the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite Ridge Resort is located in Buck Meadows and is operational all year. Enfolded by the pine covered mountains of the picturesque Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite Ridge Resort offers accommodation in one-bedroom garden cottages, standard and family-sized cabins, and full-hookup RV sites with 30/50-amp service, satellite TV, and unadulterated views of the mountains. Garden Cottages at the property also feature BBQ facilities and picnic table. Recreational activities near the lodge include rafting the Tuolumne River, hiking and biking across Moores Creek, and an authentic steam train ride on coaches that date back to the 1800s. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- Buck Meadows Lodge – Located on Highway 120 in Buck Meadows, the lodge is a short distance from Yellowstone National Park and is perfectly suited for backpackers and budget travelers. Set on the last major road before entering the National Park, Buck Meadows Lodge offers 10 well-appointed guestrooms (including two king cabins) adjacent to its sister property, the Yosemite Westgate Lodge. All rooms are equipped with comfortable beds, LCD TV, a seating area, and private bathroom. ADA facilities can be found all over the property. Guests can replenish themselves at the on-site café or enjoy a hearty meal at the full-service service restaurant. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
- Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort – Tucked away under an oak and pine grove within an enclosed valley with a stream, Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort offers a magical experience to visitors. Boasting a world-class health spa, a highly famous restaurant, and multiple meeting spaces, “The Bug” provides a variety of accommodation options within a relaxed and serene atmosphere. Keeping in mind the park’s diverse types of visitors, the resort offers well-appointed modern hotel-style rooms, international-level dormitories, budget private rooms with shared bathroom, log furniture glamping cabins, family dorm rooms, and vacation houses with housekeeping facilities, all set on the dreamlike hillside. Among the top-rated lodging facilities for Yosemite’s winter explorations, “The Bug” offers wonderful opportunities for hiking, sightseeing, and skiing around the area during the colder months. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
- Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite – Less than a couple of kilometers from the entrance of Yosemite National Park, Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite offers well-appointed guestrooms and cottages with comfy beds, patio, fireplace (in cottages only), and private bathroom with free toiletries. Guests can refresh themselves at the outdoor swimming pool while their kids have a fun time at the children’s playground. Suitable for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 6 members.
- Yosemite Riverside Inn – Set along the Middle Tuolumne River, Yosemite Riverside Inn features charming cottages and guestrooms with brilliant amenities and a stunning view of the neighboring mountains (in selected rooms). Guests can enjoy barbecue on-site and avail hiking and fishing opportunities that can be arranged by the staff at the property. Yosemite’s entrance is just 10 minutes’ drive away. Great for all kinds of travelers.
The Best Towns to Stay Near Yosemite National Park
A beautiful neighborhood set in Tuolumne County, Groveland is regarded among the most popular getaway towns to Yosemite National Park. This charming town is a great base to explore the National Park which is only about half an hour away. Visitors to this neighborhood can enjoy the authentic local cuisine at one of the many diners here. For a nice evening in town, head to Iron Door Saloon, one of the oldest drinking places in California. For a quick lesson in the history and origins of this town, pay a visit to Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Rainbow Pool, Pine Mountain Lake Golf Course, and Mary Laveroni Community Park, and Groveland Jail.
- Yosemite Inn at Pine Mountain Lake – A short drive from Yosemite National Park’s entrance, Yosemite Inn at Pine Mountain Lake features fully-equipped holiday homes with modern amenities such as a dishwasher, microwave, oven, TV with satellite channels and DVD player, fireplace, dining area, and a lot more. Additional facilities include a wrap-around deck, free parking, and barbecue area. Suitable for families and big groups of up to 6 members.
- Hotel Charlotte – A peaceful half hour drive from Yosemite’s entrance, this pet-friendly hotel features wonderfully-decorated guestrooms with cozy beds, telephone, TV with satellite channels, free Wi-Fi, and private bathroom. The on-site restaurant and bar offer a delightful menu, including specialty cocktails and local wine. Pike Mountain Lake is only 5 minutes’ drive from the hotel while the airport is only 10 minutes’. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- The Groveland Hotel – Featuring opulent air-conditioned accommodation with spa baths (in selected rooms), this historic hotel in the heart of Groveland is a scenic drive from Pine Mountain Lake Airport and Pine Mountain Lake. The pet-friendly property also features complimentary Wi-Fi and allows guests to use the free parking facility. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
Not to be confused with the state by the same name in Mexico, Sonora is a small neighborhood and the county seat of Tuolumne County. Once known for its mining and timber industry, Sonora’s main claim-to-fame is its proximity to Yosemite National Park. Regarded as the closest city to Yosemite, Sonora is a former Gold Rush town. Set in the foothills of the magnificent Sierra Nevada mountains, Sonora is popularly referred to as the “Queen of the Southern Mines.”
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Columbia State Historic Park, Tuolumne County Museum, Dragoon Gulch Trail Head, Heaven for Kids Playground, and Table Mountain.
- Country Inn Sonora – Featuring a seasonal outdoor pool, a 24-hour reception, a sun terrace and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property, Country Inn Sonora offers comfortable guestrooms with modern amenities such as extra-large double beds, air-conditioning, cable TV, and private bathroom. Guests can spend their leisure time at the common lounge which includes plush sofas and a fireplace. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- Bradford Place Inn (California) – Set in the heart of Sonora, this elegant hotel features exceptional guestrooms and suites with state-of-the-art facilities. Guests can start their day with a fabulous made-to-order breakfast before heading out to explore the neighborhood. A well-manicured garden is the perfect place for a nice stroll in the evening. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
- Best Western Plus Sonora Oaks Hotel and Conference Center – A short drive from Columbia Airport, this fascinating property welcomes guests to experience luxury at its best. Start the day with a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool followed by a sumptuous complimentary breakfast. Spend the day hiking, fishing, or boating around the area, and then return to enjoy a wonderful evening of BBQ and karaoke. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
A former California Gold Rush town, Jamestown is regarded as a historical landmark in the state of California. About an hour’s distance from Yosemite National Park, the neighborhood is home to the extremely popular Railtown 1897 State Historic Park and the Sierra Railway, an iconic railroad museum which offers visitors a chance to explore the historic Sierra Railway and this one-of-a-kind area. Jamestown and its surrounding locations have been featured in several movies and TV shows, including Hidalgo and The Wild Wild West.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Preservation Virginia, Jamestown Church, Archaearium Archaeology Museum, Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg Winery, Chippokes Plantation State Park, and Veterans Park – Kidsburg.
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jamestown – Famous for its wonderful location in Jamestown, this outstanding property features well-appointed guestrooms fitted with cable TV, coffee machine, telephone, and private bathroom. Guests can enjoy themselves at the indoor pool or stay in shape at the on-site fitness center. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
- Comfort Inn Jamestown – A short drive from prominent attractions of Jamestown such as Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center and Chautauqua Lake, Comfort Inn Jamestown offers pet-friendly accommodation options with beautifully-furnished rooms. Guests can work out at the on-site fitness center and enjoy a delicious breakfast afterwards. The 24-hour beverage center at the lobby keeps visitors replenished at all times. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- Best Western Plus Downtown Jamestown – Featuring an indoor swimming pool with hot tub, a fitness center, a common lounge/dining area, and daily complimentary American breakfast, this brilliant hotel offers well-appointed accommodation within 20 minutes’ drive from Midway Park Amusement Park. Guests can also use the laundry facility and free on-site parking. Perfect for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
Formerly known as Fresno Flats, Oakhurst is a charming little neighborhood in Madera County and is set in the foothills of Sierra Nevada mountains. A short drive from Yosemite National Park’s South Entrance, the town is among the most densely populated areas around Yosemite. Situated along the banks of Fresno River, Oakhurst was once home to the extremely famous video game developer company, Sierra On-Line.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Children’s Museum of Sierra, Oakhurst Community Park, Fresno Flats Historical Park, and Bass Lake.
- Oakhurst Lodge – A short drive from Yosemite National Park’s South Entrance, the pet-friendly Oakhurst Lodge features lavish guestrooms with free Wi-Fi, cable TV, private bathroom, and striking views of the surrounding mountains. Guests can start the day with a complimentary continental breakfast and try their hands on making Belgian waffles. A 24-hour reception staff takes care of all your special needs. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
- Yosemite Sierra Inn – A short drive away from Bass Lake and Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Sierra Inn offers a rejuvenating outdoor pool, a well-equipped business center, and a delightful continental breakfast to every guest. Rooms here are fitted with comfy beds, air-conditioning, cable TV, and private bathroom. Guests wake up to the beautiful vistas of the neighboring mountains and start their day with a quick read of the free guest magazine to plan their day. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
- Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn – Boasting an outdoor and an indoor pool, an on-site restaurant, a fully-functional fitness center, a guest launderette, and a business center, Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn offers luxurious guestrooms decorated in bright colors and original artworks and fitted with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV with cable channels (including HBO and ESPN), coffee machine, and ensuite bathroom. A mouth-watering complimentary breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 6 members.
Madera, the county seat of Madera County, is set in the San Joaquin Valley, California. Geographically, the southeastern-most section of Yosemite National Park falls on the northeastern section of the county. Home to a significant Latino community, the neighborhood derives its name from the Spanish word for “wood.” Though agriculture is the primary business in the area, Madera houses a great many vineyards, most of which offer vineyard tours and wine tasting tours to visitors.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Lions Town & Country Park, Rotary Park, Madera County Historical Society, Quady Winery, and Where the Palm Meets the Pine.
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott Madera – Situated near the shopping and dining neighborhood of Central Valley, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Madera boasts of a heated pool and world-class fitness center. The artistically-designed suites at the property come with free Wi-Fi, LCD TV, iPod docks, and kitchenette. Guests start their day with a nourishing breakfast at the dining area and then go on to exploring Yosemite and other popular attractions nearby. Suitable for couples, families, and groups of up to 5 members.
- Holiday Inn Express Madera – A couple of kilometers from Madera County Fairgrounds, Holiday Inn Express Madera features bright and spacious guestrooms and suites equipped with latest facilities. Start your day with an energizing workout at the on-site fitness center followed by a refreshing dip in the pool or the jacuzzi. Later, head to the dining area for a filling breakfast before you set out to explore the area. Enjoy the Madera Wine Trail and walk through many family-owned wineries that surround the property. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Madera – A short drive from Madera drive-in theatre and Madera Golf Course, Hampton Inn & Suites Madera features wonderfully-decorated guestrooms with avant-garde amenities. Guests can enjoy facilities such as an on-site fitness center, a business center, a tour desk, and a spacious parking facility. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
Spanish for “ash-tree,” Fresno is among the most densely populated neighborhoods near Yosemite and is the county seat of Fresno County. Situated in the heart of San Joaquin Valley, the city is named after the ash trees that line the banks of San Joaquin River. Once established to serve as a railway station, Fresno has transformed into a major economic center, focusing primarily on large-scale agricultural production. Other notable attractions around the area include Sierra National Forest, Kings Canyon National Park, Bass Lake, Sequoia National Park, and Huntington Lake.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Forestiere Underground Gardens, China Peak, Woodward Park, Island Water Park, Kearney Mansion Museum, Fresno Art Museum, Veterans Memorial Museum Inc, and Shinzen Friendship Garden Inc.
- Best Western Village Inn – Within a short driving distance of Yosemite National Park and King Canyon National Park, Best Western Village Inn is a splendid hotel set in the heart of Fresno, California. With well-appointed rooms, great daily complimentary breakfast, and free Wi-Fi access throughout, it is one of the most preferred properties in the area. Additionally, guests can enjoy the outdoor pool and hot tub to revitalize themselves. Great for all kinds of travelers.
- Days Inn Yosemite Area – Within a few kilometers from Fresno State University, this wonderful pet-friendly property features tasteful guestrooms with facilities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV with cable, comfy double beds, tea/coffee maker, and private bathroom. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
- San Joaquin Hotel – Featuring a swimming pool with poolside cabanas, a hot tub, a garden conservatory, and a fully-equipped fitness center, this luxurious all-suite pet-friendly property features opulent guestrooms with latest facilities and services, including hardwood floors and granite countertops. Guests can also make use of the next-day laundry and dry-cleaning services. Popular attractions such as River Park Shopping and Fresno Chaffee Zoo are a short drive away. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.