Stops on the Way to Yosemite

Our top picks for nearby towns and attractions to visit for the best outdoor activities, sightseeing, cultural attractions, dining, and more.

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Bishop County, CA – Eastern Sierra

The perfect home base for your Eastern Sierra adventure between Yosemite and Death Valley national parks with a mix of small town hospitality and modern conveniences. Read More...

Wine tasting at Standing Sun Wines. Photo courtesy of Buellton Visitors Bureau

Buellton, California – Top 7 Things to Do

Peel off the coastal Hwy. 101 to a town made famous by the film Sideways that follows two men on a weeklong vacation in wine country. Read More...

Big Sur on California's Central Coast

California’s Central Coast – The Original Road Trip

Boasting 350 miles of coastline, the Central Coast stretches from Ventura County just north of Los Angeles to Santa Clara County south of San Francisco. Read More...

Phil McGrath in the fields. Photo courtesy of McGrath Family Farms

Camarillo, Calif. – Pick Produce and Pay Tribute to a President

Pick your own strawberries, tomatoes, winter squash or pumpkins, then go see a piece of the Berlin Wall and a replica of the Oval Office. Read More...

Enjoying a wine tasting at Cima Collina Winery in California. Courtesy photo

Cima Collina Winery & Tasting Room near Carmel, CA

Artisan wines from hand-selected fruit grown in small Monterey County vineyards. Historic tasting cottage is perfect for picnics, events, or an afternoon tasting. Read More...

The sun sets over a tractor in the fields outside of Visalia, Calif. Photo by Troy Williams via Flickr

Fields of Dreams Border Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Discover more than the biggest trees and the tallest mountains. Find out how the areas nestled against Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks feed the world. Read More...

The Pyro Chefs in Gourmet Alley serve up sizzling calamari at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Courtesy photo

Gilroy, CA – Garlic Capital

The annual Gilroy Garlic Festival has grown into one of the nation’s most famous food fests. Also visit historic buildings and Gilroy Gardens Theme Park. Read More...

Groveland's Iron Door Saloon and The Groveland Hotel. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

Groveland & Hwy 120 – Northern Gateway to Yosemite

Stop by Groveland’s visitor center for info on recreation at Yosemite and the area. Scenic Highway 120 traverses Yosemite and the entire Sierra Nevada. Read More...

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Inyo County – Mt. Whitney, Death Valley, and Museums

Inyo County is a land of extremes. It claims the highest (Mt. Whitney) and lowest (Death Valley) points in the lower 48. Read More...

Vineyards near Lodi, California. Photo courtesy of Visit Lodi!

Lodi, CA – Behind the Wine

With 85 wineries and more than 300 labels, Lodi knows a thing or two about wine. But our story only starts there. We’re also a favorite for lovers of the outdoors and food. Read More...

Flower fields in Lompoc, Calif. Photo by Chelsea Cochran courtesy of Lompoc Valley Chaber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

Lompoc, Calif. is a Walk in the Park

From wine to La Purisima Mission State Historical Park, Lompoc offers an authentic taste of the area. Stroll down Art Alley through 30 outdoor murals. Read More...

Bass Pro Shop in Manteca, California. Courtesy photo

Manteca, CA – Hook, Wine, and Sneakers

Nestled along routes to Yosemite, California redwood forests, and unique valley and foothill destinations. Read More...

A classic car show and cruise in Modesto, California. Courtesy photo

Modesto, CA – Classic Car Cruising Capital

World-class entertainment, a vibrant art scene, and rich with local history and contemporary attractions. Read More...

Mono Lake State Tufa Reserve is home to Gulls, Loons, Osprey, and other waterfowl.

Mono County – Lake Tufas, Devil’s Postpile, and Ghost Town

Just 12 breathtaking miles from Yosemite’s East Entrance. The “East Side” of Yosemite is a sensational place to start and end a trip to the national park. Read More...

Hiking at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Monterey County, California

Monterey County – Beaches, Hiking & Pinnacles National Park

Cruise the top road trip along the Big Sur coastline. Explore iconic Cannery Row. Hike and climb in Pinnacles National Park. All and more in Monterey County. Read More...

Oakdale California's Cowboy Parade

Oakdale, California – Cowboys and Chocolate

Established in 1871 and nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Oakdale is a charming town at the gateway to Yosemite, and the perfect place to unwind. Read More...

Pismo Beach Sunset on Pier

Pismo Beach, CA – Waves, Wine, and Butterflies

Pismo Beach is a classic California beach town, located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, off Pacific Coast Highway 1 & Highway 101. Read More...

Petroglyphs near Ridgecrest, California. Courtesy photo

Ridgecrest, CA – Ghost Towns, Naval Museum & Petroglyphs

The most fun route between Yosemite and Death Valley goes through Ridgecrest, California.. Read More...

Sacramento RiverTrain. Courtesy photo

Sacramento RiverTrain

Taste local wines, sample some of Northern California’s best craft brews or experience a Wild West train robbery aboard the Sacramento RiverTrain. Read More...

Vineyards in San Benito County. Courtesy photo

San Benito County – Wineries, a Mission, and Pinnacles

Here you’ll find the awe-inspiring Pinnacles National Park, San Juan Bautista, California’s largest mission, and some of California’s finest wineries. Read More...

Baker Beach near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

San Francisco, CA – 12 Fun Things to Do

See bison in Golden Gate Park, tour the famous Alcatraz prison, cruise in the bay, and meet sea life at the aquarium before heading to Yosemite. Read More...

Stroll through a California vineyard. Photo by Jeff Dow courtesy of Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce

Santa Maria Valley – BBQ and a Lost City

Savor our legendary Santa Maria-style barbecue and acclaimed wines along our friendly winery trail. Then discover the movie set buried under the sand. Read More...

The Skunk Train from Fort Bragg to Willits, CA. Courtesy photo

Skunk Train from Fort Bragg to Willits

40 miles of railroad run through majestic redwood forests, scenic mountain meadows, and over 30 trestles bridging the mountain waters of Northern California. Read More...

Aerial view of Stockton, California. Courtesy photo

Stockton, CA – Where Rivers and Culture Come Together

A 2-hour drive to the park, Stockton is an ideal launching point for any Yosemite trip. See the Buddhist temple, Haggin Museum, and cruise the waterfront. Read More...

Fog on Mt. Diablo at sunrise. Photo courtesy of Visit Tri-Valley

Tri-Valley’s Wine and Beer Trails near San Francisco

30 miles east of San Francisco, Tri-Valley enjoys an average of 264 days of sunshine a year. Sip on California wines or sample at 10 stops on the Beer Trail. Read More...

Groveland's Iron Door Saloon and The Groveland Hotel. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

Tuolumne County – 8 Things to Do in Yosemite Gold Country

More than half of Yosemite is in Tuolumne County, where visitors will also find rich and colorful Gold Rush history, High Sierra vistas, and state parks. Read More...

Prop house at Warner Bros. Studio Hollywood. Courtesy photo

Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Hollywood

Go behind the scenes of the world’s busiest motion picture and television studio! Explore inner Hollywood on a 2-hour, 15-minute cart tour. Read More...

Yosemite's Half Dome in Autumn

Yosemite | Mariposa County

You’ll love the breathtaking views in all four seasons. Stay at an amenity-rich vacation home in the park, or find yourself in a quaint bed and breakfast in Mariposa County. Read More...

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Yosemite Sierra – Madera County

Find adventure on the Fossils to Falls Trail through California’s Gateway to Yosemite. Download the visitor’s guide. Read More...