8 Unusual Places to Stay Near Yosemite National Park

While staying a familiar national chain hotels may be your default, we encourage to stop and stay at some of the unusual and fabulous lodging options along the way to Yosemite.

Photo: Getty Images

You can stay in a modern Airstream,  find yourself at an Art Deco resort, or reminisce in a restored travel trailer. Here are our top 10 places to stay in the Yosemite area, if you are seeking unforgettable, adventurous experiences.

1. AutoCamp Yosemite

Airstream interior at AutoCamp Yosemite
Airstream interior at AutoCamp Yosemite (Photo: by Aaron Leitz Photography courtesy of AutoCamp)
Glamping tent at AutoCamp Yosemite
Glamping tent at AutoCamp Yosemite (Photo: by Aaron Leitz Photography courtesy of AutoCamp)

See the area’s newest, hip lodging and stay in custom Airstreams with spa-inspired bathrooms, cabins with modern interiors and kitchens or rough it a little in tents with wood-burning stoves. Located in Midpines, California, near historic Mariposa, there’s a heated pool, community fire pits, a mid-century modern club house and more at this fun resort. Curated food and beverages are sold on site, but tea and coffee are complimentary.

For more information:
(888) 405-7553
6323 CA-140, Midpines, CA 95345

2. Glamp in a Classic Avion Trailer

Stay in a retro trailer at Yosemite Pines
Stay in a retro trailer at Yosemite Pines Photo: Courtesy Yosemite Pines RV

Do you want to relive some of your childhood vacation memories? Yosemite Pines RV Resort will set you up in a mid-century trailer with nostalgic furnishings. You can pick from classic trailers that have been carefully restored, or stay in a brand-new trailer with retro-styling. You’ll have all of the fun without having to drive a trailer up Highway 120.

Want to go further back in time? Yosemite Pines also has Conestoga wagons.

For more information:
Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging
20450 Old Highway 120, Groveland, CA 95321

3. Old-Time Resort and Spa with Art Deco Flair

Bug sculpture at Yosemite Bug Hostel.
Bug sculpture at Yosemite Bug Hostel.Flickr/Orin Zebest

Some call it a resort and spa. Others, a hostel. One thing for sure is that it’s unique. The Yosemite Bug is a magical place 26 miles from Yosemite on Highway 140. It features a wild variety of lodging from tent cabins, to bunkhouse dormitories, to private hotel rooms, a hand-crafted homesteader house, and a barn studio apartment. The Bug also has venues for live concerts, weddings, yoga, and classes. All this among whimsical artwork of bugs, a spring-fed hot tub, and an organic kitchen, the June Bug Cafe.

For more information:
Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort
6979 Highway 140, Midpines, CA 95345

4. Christmas Spirit All Year Long

The Christmas Cabin at Yosemite's Scenic Wonders Vacation Rentals
The Christmas CabinCourtesy Yosemite’s Scenic Wonders Vacation Rentals

Many park visitors don’t realize that there are private cabins for rent inside Yosemite. In the Wawona area near the Mariposa Sequoia Grove are dozens of vacation rentals including the Christmas Cabin. The red-roofed, red-door home has a holiday theme with stockings hanging on the stair railing, plaid tree-adorned bed quilts, and even more red accents throughout. But the decorations are tasteful giving it a warm and welcome feeling for a family gathering any time of year.

For more information:
Christmas Cabin at Yosemite’s Scenic Wonders Vacation Rentals
7413 Yosemite Park Way, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

5. Ski to a Backcountry Hut

Glacier Point Ski Hut in Yosemite.
Glacier Point Ski Hut in Yosemite.Photo courtesy of DNC

Winter visitors with an appetite for cross-country skiing should check out the two ski huts inside Yosemite. After a 10.5-mile trek to reach the Glacier Point Ski Hut you’ll have breath-taking views overlooking Yosemite Valley and Half Dome. If you spring for the sleeping bag rental, it will be waiting for you at the hut.

The historic Ostrander Ski Hut is also a 10-mile swish but it has steep slopes above Ostrander Lake that require experience and endurance. This hut is so popular that there is a lottery in November.

For more information:

Glacier Point Ski Hut

Ostrander Ski Hut

Related story: Backcountry Huts for X-country Skiers and Snowshoers

6. Stay in an Old Gold Rush Town

Visitors enjoying Columbia State Park.
Visitors enjoying Columbia State Park. (Photo: by Menka Belgal courtesy of Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau)
The City Hotel in Columbia State Historical Park near Yosemite
The City Hotel in Columbia State Historical Park near Yosemite (Photo: by Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group via Getty Images)

The town of Columbia is a living Gold-Rush town encompassing Columbia State Historic Park. Imagine riding a time machine back to the 1850s and experiencing gold panning, blacksmithing, and stagecoach rides. That’s Columbia. There are two 19th-century hotels and three charming cottages available to visitors. The rooms are as true to period as possible while still being comfortable. Enjoy antique furniture, lithographs on the wall, and authentic decor. But forget about the outhouse. Each room has a half bath with a shower room down the hall.

For more information:
Columbia State Historic Park Hotel and 3 Cottages
22768 Main Street, Columbia, CA

7. Turn-of-the-Century Guest Rooms

National Hotel in Jamestown, California
National Hotel in Jamestown, California (Photo: Getty Images)

The town of Jamestown is known for its train museum, antique shops, and Gold-Rush history. It’s only fitting that the luxurious National Hotel calls it home. Established in 1859, the historic hotel will make you feel like you struck it rich. The brass beds, pull-chain toilets, ornate papered walls, and a balcony overlooking Main Street take you back to a time when they knew how to pamper travelers. Try the Soaking Room with an antique claw-foot tub sized for two.

For more information:
National Hotel & Restaurant
18183 Main Street, Jamestown, CA 95327

8. Crazy About Apples

In an organic apple orchard south of Yosemite National Park is the Apple Blossom Inn. Johnny Appleseed couldn’t love apples more than the owner of this bed and breakfast who themed each room with an apple theme such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious. If you wake to the smell of baked apples, it’s not a dream. The inn’s kitchen is busy making flower-shaped Apple Blossom Pancakes, Cheesy Apple Blossom Quiche, Apple Cider Sausages, or Candy Apple French Toast for breakfast. The later is named after the owner, Candy Arthur.

For more information:
Apple Blossom Inn Yosemite
(559) 642-2001
44606 Silver Spur Trail, Ahwahnee, CA 93601

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