Being easy to reach from a number of major cities, Yosemite is one of California’s most famous national parks. As Yosemite has five entrances, you’ll arrive at this beautiful nature spot in less than 5 hours from San Francisco, Los Angeles, or even Las Vegas.
However, with multiple entrances and so many spectacular Yosemite attractions to see, it can be a bit confusing to decide on the most suitable Yosemite lodging destination. The best way to choose where to stay near Yosemite is to determine which entrance is closest to you.
There are a few lodges within the park, but these become fully booked very quickly. So we recommend choosing one of the nearby towns as your base instead. The hotels in the surrounding towns are usually cheaper, and you’ll still be close enough to tick off all the sights on your Yosemite bucket list.
Best Areas to Stay in Yosemite
With various towns circling the national park, choosing where to stay near this national park will depend on the entrance you enter from. Additionally, each of the following five neighborhoods will offer a unique spin on your Yosemite experience.
- Mariposa: Best for convenience
- Oakhurst: Best for families
- Groveland: Best for culture
- Mammoth Lakes: Best for winter sports
- Fresno: Best for budget-conscious travelers
- Yosemite National Park Lodging: Best for staying in the park
Don’t miss: Planning on traveling beyond Yosemite? You know I’ve got you covered with plenty of California trip planning guides.
Best Places to Stay Near Yosemite (and in)
These handpicked options offer a diverse range of Yosemite accommodation to cater to all types of travelers and to suit all budgets. So, from whichever direction you are coming from, you’ll find a comfortable place to rest your head at night.
Best area to stay in for convenience
Mariposa is a small historic town, just an hour’s drive from the El Portal/Arch Rock entrance, the entrance that brings you right to Yosemite Valley. Choosing to base yourself here is a good balance between proximity to the Yosemite attractions and accessing the amenities you need.
This quiet town has an “old west” feel due to its significant role in the Gold Rush period. It’s not the most happening town, but there is a good selection of characteristic B&Bs and inns, most housed in historic buildings. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants and shops and even two museums.
Top Picks for Mariposa
You won’t find any 5-star resorts in this small town, but if you’re looking for a touch of luxury, you’ll indeed find this homely, private bed and breakfast to be a divine option. The highly-rated Yosemite Plaisance is famed for its mouthwatering gourmet breakfast and peaceful surroundings. Here you can enjoy relaxing in the hammocks or playing a game of table tennis.
Each room boasts a private entrance with a patio and BBQ facilities. The traditional rooms are not modern luxury by any means, but the hosts are fantastic, and you will be treated like royalty here nonetheless.
Mid-Range: Mariposa Lodge
The Mariposa Lodge is a clean, comfortable, and affordable hotel right in the center of town. An outdoor pool onsite is handy for the summer months, and the 24-hour front desk is run by friendly, helpful staff.
All rooms have a private bathroom, desk, fridge, and microwave. You can upgrade to the deluxe king room for more space, a private balcony, and additional amenities like a coffee maker.
Budget: Miners Inn
Miners Inn is a fantastic choice for those staying in Mariposa on a budget. There are some excellent facilities, such as a swimming pool and hot tub. Plus, the hotel restaurant is open all day and serves a delicious daily breakfast, including freshly made waffles.
Several room options are available, including the king room that features a modern spa bath and a small private balcony. The luxury king room has the same amenities with the addition of a fireplace.
Best area to stay in for families
Oakhurst is one of the largest towns near Yosemite and is just a 30-minute drive from Yosemite’s South Gate. So, if you’re coming from Los Angeles or Las Vegas, Oakhurst is ideal.
It’s also a popular choice with families as you will find everything you need here. There is a shopping mall, a vast array of dining options, and some fab bars, too. What’s more, there is a wide choice of accommodation in the town, including some luxurious inns that you cannot find in the smaller neighborhoods.
Top Picks for Oakhurst
Marriott’s Fairfield Inn & Suites in Oakhurst is a modern, stylish accommodation choice for families. Double queen rooms are available, sleeping up to 4 people. All rooms have desks, coffee machines, refrigerators, microwaves, and flatscreen TVs. Plus, pets are allowed here, so you can bring your furry friend along for the adventure.
Fairfield Inn puts on a splendid breakfast buffet where every family member will find their favorite dish. There’s also a snack bar, perfect for the nighttime munchies. During the summer, you can enjoy the outdoor pool and sun loungers, too.
Mid-Range: Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites
Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites is an affordable accommodation choice with excellent onsite facilities. Along with a 24-hour reception, there is a laundrette, outdoor pool, and hot tub. In addition, the hotel offers a grab-and-go style breakfast, so you get an early start in the park.
Budget: Hounds Tooth Inn
If you want to reward long days of hiking in Yosemite with some lavish pampering, head to Hounds Tooth Inn. This premier inn is closer to Yosemite Forks than Oakhurst, so it is not in the center of town but close enough. Plus, at just 72.4 km from the national park, you’ll be able to experience the incredible Yosemite sunrise and sunset.
All rooms have a TV, desk, microwave, fridge, and tea/coffee making facilities. The mini-suite has a sofa bed, sleeping up to 4 people, and the family room has two queen-size beds. As this hotel caters primarily to families, they also provide a roll-away bed for an additional cost.
Best area to stay in for culture
Groveland is a small town full of history and one of the best areas for those visiting from San Francisco. It’s just a 30-minute drive to the park’s northwest Hetch-Hetchy entrance but approximately one hour away from a number of other top Yosemite attractions. It’s also the closest town to the Big Oak Flat entrance which is about 25 miles from Yosemite.
Like Mariposa, Groveland was founded during the Gold Rush and certainly seems like it is stuck in that era. Upon entering Groveland, you’ll feel as if you have traveled back in time, so it is a super intriguing place for anyone into history and culture. You can learn more about the town’s past at the Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum here.
Although it’s a somewhat sleepy town, you’ll find all the amenities you need here, from coffee shops to burger bars to pizza joints. Most of the lodges are traditional rather than modern, but there are still some great choices.
Top Picks for Groveland
Luxury: All Seasons Groveland Inn
Experience a touch of luxury at this 1899 All Seasons Groveland Inn, where history meets modern. What’s so unique about this bed and breakfast is that each room has a different theme. Some have a warm cabin style with wooden walls and fireplaces. Others are granite-themed with a slate waterfall and canvases that mimic El Capitan.
Another winning feature of Groveland Inn is that all rooms have trendy tiled bathrooms with spa baths and elegant bathrobes. Select rooms also have private balconies.
Mid-Range: The Groveland Hotel
The 3-star Groveland Hotel is another Yosemite hotel with individually decorated rooms, creating a personalized stay for every guest. In addition, the hotel has an on-site bar and restaurant and a stylish tiled patio where you can enjoy a refreshing drink after a long day in the park.
The modern rooms have wooden beds with comfy mattresses and ensuite bathrooms with bathtubs. Large families particularly like the queen room with queen bunk beds, allowing their children to share. And if you’re into paranormal activity, you’ll want to book the superior king room that has had various reports of strange goings-on!
Budget: Berkshire Inn
Berkshire Inn bed and breakfast Is located south of Pine Mountain Lake Marina and 4 km from Yosemite’s North Gate. You’ll enjoy the buffet breakfast, including homemade bread, as you sit out on the patio in this peaceful spot. The traditionally decorated rooms have private entrances, ensuite bathrooms, and mountain views. Family-size rooms are also available, sleeping up to four people.
Best area to stay in for winter sports
If you’re heading to Yosemite in winter, Mammoth Lakes is undoubtedly the best choice, but it’s also ideal for anyone coming from the east as there is only one eastern entrance to the park, Tioga Pass Entrance. Mammoth Lakes is a ski town to the east of Yosemite and is full of winter sports and upscale resorts.
Many people choose to base themselves in Mammoth Lakes to enjoy the skiing opportunities here and venture out for a day of Yosemite sightseeing while they’re in the area. As a ski town, the scenery here is breathtaking. But there is also tons of entertainment so you will never get bored if you choose to stay in Mammoth Lakes.
Top Picks for Mammoth Lakes
Luxury: The Westin Monache Resort
The 4-star Westin Monache Resort features stylish suites with warming fireplaces and incredible views of the snow-covered mountains. You can opt for a room on a higher floor or a suite with a private balcony. Plus, you can warm up in the heated outdoor pool and two hot tubs and enjoy a gourmet dinner at the on-site Whitebark Restaurant.
Mid-Range: Empieria High Sierra Hotel
The uber-modern Empieria High Sierra Hotel has an indoor pool and hot tub, 24-hour reception, and even a fitness center. The rooms feature laminated wood flooring, a leather couch, a bathtub, and a shower. The rooms also have many additional amenities to enjoy, like a 42″ flatscreen TV with cable channels, a state-of-the-art coffee machine, and luxury toiletries.
Budget: Alpenhof Lodge
Alpenhof Lodge offers clean, modern rooms for an affordable price and features an outdoor pool with a jacuzzi and an indoor hot tub and sauna. The rooms are simply decorated and have decent amenities, such as a mini-fridge, a safe, and an iPod docking station. As many of the resorts in this area are pricey, Alpenhof Lodge offers an affordable option to stay in Mammoth Lakes.
Best area to stay in for budget-conscious travelers
Suppose proximity is not a significant component in your decision of where to stay near Yosemite. In that case, you can find cheaper motels and inns in large towns and cities over an hour away, like Fresno. Fresno is less than 90 minutes south of the national park and a good option for budget-conscious travelers coming from Los Angeles as it’s closest to Yosemite’s South Entrance.
The city is so huge it even has an airport, the closest one to Yosemite. So, it’s also a popular choice for visitors coming from further afield or overseas. With malls, museums, leisure and entertainment complexes, you can extend your Yosemite trip to enjoy the city’s highlights.
Top Picks for Fresno
If your reason for staying in Fresno is not to save money but rather to be in the heart of the action, check out DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Fresno. The upscale restaurant boasts stylish king suites with two spacious rooms, a bedroom, and a lounge. You’ll also enjoy a 42-inch HDTV, a barista-style coffee machine, and complimentary toiletries.
The hotel has an indoor/outdoor pool, jacuzzi, gym, and 24-hour reception. They also provide an extensive American-style breakfast buffet each morning to fuel your Yosemite adventures.
Mid-Range: Courtyard by Marriott
Courtyard in North Fresno is a highly-rated mid-range hotel with some fab facilities. Here you can enjoy the outdoor pool and sun loungers, comfy patio seating with a firepit, onsite bar, and a minimart. The spacious rooms have stylish decor, sofa beds, desks, and ensuite bathrooms with showers.
Days Inn is a pet-friendly, affordable hotel in the city’s far north. Here you’ll have a modern, comfortable room to rest ahead of your Yosemite adventure and a hot American breakfast to start the day. The air-conditioned rooms feature free WiFi, a flatscreen TV, a microwave, and a desk.
Yosemite National Park Lodging
Luckily Yosemite also has some options to stay in the park that aren’t camping! Like I mentioned above, they do full up quickly so get on it fast if staying in Yosemite is a must for your trip to Yosemite.
All of these accommodation options are run by Yosemite Hospitality and include everything from camping to luxurious rooms in historic hotels such as The Ahwahnee which you can also visit without staying for a night.
Top Picks for Yosemite Lodging within the Park
Luxury: The Ahwahnee
The only luxury hotel within the park, The Ahwahnee is more than just luxe accommodation. It’s here that you’ll walk into a piece of history and may even run into a haunted soul in one of the rooms. But don’t let that scare you, there is also fine dining, fabulous architecture and it’s a great location in the park. This hotel is open year-round too!
Mid-Range: Yosemite Valley Lodge
A great choice for families and groups, the Yosemite Valley Lodge has stunning views of Yosemite Falls through its large windows that bring nature right to the edge of the lodge. A number of accommodation options are available with a pool, dining options, and a shuttle service offered here. This option is also open year-round.
Budget: Wawona Hotel
Wawona hotel will transport you back in time to the Victorian era with antique furnishings and period decor. This historic hotel was one of the first mountain resort hotels and today you can still enjoy the charm with piano performances happening during the evenings as you wind down from your day in Yosemite. Wawona Hotel is open seasonally and has dining options, a pool, a horse stable, and more.
Other options within the park include cabins, canvas-sided tents, and even a winter lodge for cross-country skiing.