View of Yosemite from Merced River

Things to do and places to stay while visiting Yosemite Gateway

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Yosemite is famous all around the world for towering granite mountains, lush meadows, and astounding waterfalls. It would take a lifetime to explore all of the corners of this unforgettable wilderness destination. The surrounding area is also home to delicious restaurants, art galleries, and cozy lodging.  

This helpful guide will help you find the best attractions, hotels, and restaurants near Yosemite National Park and Better Place Forests Yosemite Gateway.


Iron Door Saloon in Groveland California Iron Door Saloon in Groveland, California


What to eat near Yosemite Gateway


All the restaurants listed below are in Groveland, California, just a short drive from our forest. 

  • Around the Horn Brewing Company: Grab a delicious beer at this friendly, family-owned brewery. Its rustic charm paired with tasty menu items like Brie grilled cheese, turkey Bahn mi, and pretzels with beer cheese make it a place not to miss while in the Yosemite Gateway area. 
  • Iron Door Saloon: The oldest saloon in California is just a short drive from our forest — located in Groveland, the Iron Door Saloon was built sometime before 1852 and was once a store. It’s been a bar since 1896, and these days you can stop in for a cold drink, a hearty meal from their extensive menu, and to enjoy live music or karaoke. 
  • Firefall Coffee Roasting Co.: If your favorite way to fuel for a hike is with a steaming cup of caffeine and maybe a pastry or two, then check out Firefall Coffee’s delicious menu of homemade, fresh-baked pastries and a cup of fair trade coffee or tea. 
  • Kevin and Randi’s Old Fashioned Meat Market: As their name suggests, this restaurant specializes in meat, serving up grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and wild-caught seafood in their huge sandwiches. They also serve salads and desserts, making it a perfect place to order takeout to enjoy on a picnic while enjoying the iconic Yosemite outdoors. 

Things to do in Yosemite


We highly recommend taking a day trip to see Yosemite National Park. There are countless sights to see and things to do in Yosemite. 

  • Hiking: Hiking Yosemite is the best way to experience the majesty of the area up close. Choose one of the many trails located throughout the park and get ready to see stunning views you’ll never forget.  
  • Take a guided tour: While hiking may be a great way to see the sights, it can be time-consuming to hike to everything you want to see. If you’re short on time and looking for things to do in a day in Yosemite, taking a bus tour is a great way to see a lot of the park quickly. Yosemite Hospitality offers multiple bus and tram tours year-round, ranging from two hours to a full 8-hour day tour. 
  • Ansel Adams Gallery: Operating in the park since 1902, this gallery offers guests a view of many original Ansel Adams photographs, along with books and crafts. The gallery is open seven days a week and is nestled in the heart of Yosemite Valley, where guests get a great view of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Glacier Point.
  • Merced River: In the spring and summer, the Merced River is the perfect place to take a refreshing dip. Grab your bathing suit to swim, fish, or raft on this iconic river.

Hotel Charlotte in Groveland, California

Hotel Charlotte in Groveland, California


Where to stay near Yosemite Gateway


Whether you stay in Yosemite National Park or in Groveland, California you can’t go wrong with these accommodations. 

  • Hotel Charlotte: Located in Groveland, this historic hotel boasts a unique Old West charm with cozy rooms to unwind in after a day exploring Yosemite Gateway. Traveling with your dog? Some of their rooms are pet-friendly, just ask when you call to book. 
  • Groveland Hotel: Just down the street from sister property Hotel Charlotte you’ll find another charming historic hotel, the Groveland. The rooms offer plush bedding and double-paned windows to help you get a peaceful night of sleep. 
  • Yosemite Valley Lodge: If you want to stay close to the heart of Yosemite’s attractions, this lodge is located right across from Yosemite Falls, and is a short walk to photo ops of Sentinel Rock and Half Dome. The lodge offers bike rentals for those who want to explore the area on two wheels, while it also serves as a meeting point for those wishing to take guided tours of the park. 
  • Yosemite Campgrounds: Perhaps you’d rather not have four walls and a door separating you from the legendary Yosemite wilderness. There are 13 campsites in Yosemite, seven of which require reservations, while others are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations go quickly for times during the peak season of May through September, so be sure to be online ready to book the first day that reservations become available. 

Choose a lasting legacy in Yosemite Gateway


Making end-of-life plans early relieves your loved ones’ burden and empowers you to take control of the process. At Better Place Forests Yosemite Gateway your ashes will be spread in an idyllic protected forest, surrounded by impressive vistas and legendary wildlife. It’s a beautiful legacy to leave where your family and friends will always be able to visit. 

Our stewards and customer care team get to know you and your wishes to help you select the perfect tree for your final resting place. Our goal is to give you an easy and stress-free end-of-life planning experience. For more information about our services or the Yosemite Gateway forest, schedule a free online forest tour

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