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yosemite accommodation for california trip

(39 Posts)
applegate79 Wed 28-May-14 20:36:14

I am just looking into booking accommodation for when we head to california in October and am a bit clueless about yosemite, I know that it gets really booked so am keen to book asap. I had thought that we would stay in the park but there appears to also be a lot of accommodation available just outside the park which is much cheaper.
Has anyone any experience of staying there/advice as to how long or how much hassle it is getting in and out of the park as opposed to staying in it?We will be staying 3 nights. Thanks in advance smile

specialsubject Wed 28-May-14 22:04:18

it's a while back, but the gateway villages are fine and some are only about 30mins from the valley.

that said, October is quiet time so you may be able to stay in the park.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 28-May-14 22:07:09

Inside the park we stayed at Camp Curry which was very authentic but we didn't sleep a wink due to the high mumbers of over excited drunk American teenagers and I was scared of the bears There were very limted eating options and you can't cook yourself because of the aforementioned bears

So after two nights we wimped out booked into a hotel just outside the gates and had a hot shower, comfy bed and decent meal!

You will love Yosemite though - it is amazing!

applegate79 Wed 28-May-14 22:10:43

Thanks, 30 min doesn't sound too bad, thats really helpful as its difficult to get a feel of distances etc when you haven't done it before!

BitOutOfPractice Wed 28-May-14 22:17:33

It's hard to get an idae of the scale till you're there. We went to a restaurant just outside the gates that was so outrageously good and full of locals that we still talk about it now. Damned if I can remember the name though!

You'll have an amazing time whatever you do OP

specialsubject Wed 28-May-14 22:17:47

do check as it was a long time ago - suggest borrowing a rough guide from the library for the latest, also

the thing about bears is not a joke - cars overnight in Yosemite must be stripped of all food and fragrant items. Otherwise the bears break in.

Fishandjam Wed 28-May-14 22:23:33

A workmate of mine stayed in a casino hotel a 30 mile drive from Yosemite. She said the accommodation was lovely (and way cheaper than Yosemite proper) and you could easily avoid the gambling areas. If of interest I'll find out where it was.

applegate79 Thu 29-May-14 07:46:22

Thanks all would be great to know where that is fish.
I have got several guidebooks and have been ploughing through but had read about queueing to get into the park at busy times although I am hoping October wont be too bad. The difficult bit is working out what to do and what not to do while away!

Only1scoop Thu 29-May-14 07:52:21

We ended up staying at the Best Western at Oakhurst as we struggled as everywhere full. The drive was somewhat hairy along that route outblush

We drove from Death Valley and in through the Tioga pass which was wonderful.... Just check as they can close it quite early.

Happy hols

applegate79 Thu 29-May-14 08:07:38

We are hoping to leave vi Tioga pass driving to death valley too, and having found a website showing when it shut in previous years we should be okay but it is going to be a bit close.I think three years in the last 20 it has been closed at the dates we want to drive over it...fingers crossed!

Only1scoop Thu 29-May-14 08:16:34

All adds to the excitement grin

I will say I wish we had been able to actually stay in Yosemite itself. The drive in and out from Oakhurst really aged me 30 years and I'm not normally a wimpy kinda gal.

Are you staying at furnace Creek in Death Valley?

You'll have a fantastic time.

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Thu 29-May-14 08:25:17

We stayed at the Hotel Charlotte in Groveland just outside the park. We were there for 3 nights. It was very reasonable and pretty but the rooms were small. There is a bar opposite too and there was live music on the Friday I think which was quite noisy. But worth a look if you are just looking for somewhere to sleep.

applegate79 Thu 29-May-14 08:31:42

I haven't got as far as booking anything else yet so not thought about where to stay in death valley, I am just aware that yosemite needed booking sooner rather than later. Any recommendations for anywhere else including death valley are welcome, we are doing
2 nights monterey
3 nights in san Francisco
1 night in colombia
3 yosemite
1 mammoth
2 death valley
1 las vegas
2 palm spring
then onto family in la for 3 days!

homebythesea Fri 30-May-14 08:06:21

Try Yosemite View Lodge just outside the park but added advantage of pools and restaurants and laundry. It's not the most attractive of accommodation but really close to the gate to the park

As for your itinerary I would say one night in a Death Valley really is enough (Furnace Creek Ranch is good) and I would do more than 1 night in Vegas as there is loads to do and see there. I didn't think much of Monterey either but I know I may be alone in that view!

Another thing to bear in mind- you might look at mileages and calculate driving time as per usual speeds in this country. However most zuS roads are limited to 55 or lower and particularly coming out of Yosemite the roads are twisty windy and speed limit is 30-40. So your driving times are way longer. Your trip looks to me like too many stops to really appreciate where you are and get a flavour

Fishandjam Fri 30-May-14 11:41:56

The casino hotel is the Chukchansi Gold resort. It's one of those run on a tribal reservation.

glorious Sat 31-May-14 16:10:13

In October the drive should be quicker than on very busy summer weekends when there can be significant queues. But it really depends what you want to do - if you want serious walking then having to drive home at the end of a long day might be too much, but if you more want to mooch around and see a few different places then not such an issue. We did heaps of walking and stayed in a cute log cabin in Curry Village. No noise but very expensive.

LadyCybilCrawley Sat 31-May-14 16:18:07

That's quite the itinerary - a lot of driving.

Be careful how you book Yosemite - there are rip off sites - only book thru official website

Where you stay is dependent upon the type of people you are, your budget and age of children, and whether you want to self cater or eat out. If you can provide those details i can link some suggestions here for you.

Yosemite lodge is Devine but pricey. The Sunday brunch is to die for.

HolidayCriminal Sat 31-May-14 16:46:59

30 minutes outside the valley will wear you down, in my experience (my family stayed 30 minutes away from rim of the Grand Canyon).

If you can afford it, I'd stay a lot closer.

Something I was so stupid about is that most hotel rooms have 2 double beds; so effectively a single double room often suffices for 4(+?) people.

applegate79 Sat 31-May-14 17:22:36

Hi, thanks for all of the comments. It is a packed itinerary but we want to get in as much as we can . We have 3 dc 15,8,7 who are excellent travellers we have done trips before with lots of driving and they have been great. I am hoping that we can book double rooms in most motels and fit us all in, maybe with a rollaway.
I know some places will let you squeeze an extra child in.
Having spent a lot of time over the past couple of days looking I am wondering about a cabin or stonemasons cabin at curry village? ? X

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 31-May-14 17:32:00

Yep that is certainly a packed itinerary; perhaps you should re-examine this because you could end up spending the whole holiday driving from place to place. Distances as well can be vast.

I would add more time in Las Vegas and less time in Death Valley (one night there would be enough).

US rooms either have one king or two queen beds (double beds); a rollaway could be provided (at extra charge). A room with two queen beds and a rollaway in it will not give you all a great amount of space.

HolidayCriminal Sat 31-May-14 17:44:38

Sleeping mat & sleeping bag for kid 5 on the floor of the 2xdouble room? A lot of rooms we found had a sofa which was big enough for a 7yo to sleep on (tis where my 9yo slept in preference to sharing with his 6yo brother).

applegate79 Sat 31-May-14 17:58:20

I had wondered about popping a sleeping bag and mat in for the smallest one, it sounds like it may be a good plan, I would rather we were tight on space but were all in one room.
Thanks for advice re only one night in death valley and an extra one in las vegas. ..I had been wondering whether we needed two in death valley or not and it sounds like prob not.

LadyCybilCrawley Sat 31-May-14 19:55:49

Ok, here's some ideas:

2 nights Monterey
Not high end, but clean and warm with kitchenettes and room for the children to run around - 5 minutes drive to the Monteray Aquarium

Tips: be there when the aquarium opens to get the full experience, buy sandwiches at a shop on the way and put in your backpack because lunch in the café onsite will run you about $20 per head (if you are lucky)

3 nights in San Francisco
High end but great location
Typical San Francisco Experience - excellent location
Still in an ok location, holiday inn is a more generic experience

Tips: Book Alcatraz as soon as you know your dates - tours book up - get the earliest boat over you can, and spend the day - take your own food and drink

3 yosemite
The Ahwanhee is devine if you can splurge - plan your trip so you are there for the Sunday Brunch. Otherwise the cabins in Curry Village are a unique experience. There is unlikely to be drunk teenagers in October. It will also likely be chilly in the evening in October so you'll need to layer. I would stay in the park - you are only here for such a short time and the driving will get old quickly.

Tip: have cash ready for the park entrance fee

1 las vegas

Las Vegas is a conundrum - marked as Disneyland for adults, don't underestimate how much your children will visually be exposed to pictures of scantily clad women with phone numbers for a good time. At present, I go there about once a month for work, and when I leave I always want a good bath! Having said that, you can get a good hotel relatively cheaply. I would recommend the Mandalay Bay because the swimming pools are great:
But if you want the whole experience, book at the Bellagio and make sure you ask for a Fountain Facing Room

Tip: wear flat shoes and don't underestimate how long it takes to walk everyone - these hotels/casinos are huge

Good luck

LadyCybilCrawley Sat 31-May-14 19:57:58

oh, and I would reduce Yosemite down to two nights and increase Las Vegas to two nights to allow you all to go to the Grand Canyon

clam Sat 31-May-14 20:13:51

Check out Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite. We stayed there. Lovely.

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