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oakhurst vs. mariposa

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Omaha, NE
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oakhurst vs. mariposa

Can anyone steer me in either direction? I'm not saying I want something as ridiculously over-developed as Estes Park, but I think I might prefer Mariposa. I'm assuming the longer drive to YNP will be outweighed by a better selection of restaurants and cheesy souvenir shops. Any input would be appreciated. Also, any thoughts on the motels in these areas?

Thanks in advance.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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1. Re: oakhurst vs. mariposa

I'd check into staying at Curry Village. That would put you in Yosemite Valley overnight. They have motel cabins and other less fancy options. More expensive would be Yosemite Lodge (in the valley) or Wawona (nearer to the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias). The valley has lots of eating options and gift shops.

Oakhurst is a nice little town, but I've never stayed there (always headed straight into the park).

It might depend on where you are driving from ... choosing where to stay, I mean.

Yosemite / Sierra...
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2. Re: oakhurst vs. mariposa

Mariposa is a quaint little town and has a couple of great restaurants. Oakhurst is not so quaint, has mostly strip shopping centers, but also has one fabulous expensive resataurant - Erna's Elderberry House. Mariposa is closer to Yosemite Valley - about a 35 minute drive. The drive from Mariposa along the Merced River canyon via 140 to the Arch Rock entrance is fabulous! Oakhurst, on the other hand, is closer to the Mariposa Giant Sequoia Grove which is about 2-miles from the southern entrance. This drive via 41 is also nice but very dense with trees. And it is about a 90 minute drive to Yosemite Valley from Oakhurst.

You might visit www.yosemite.com and click on the lodging page. It lists all of the entrances and the distances to the various attractions inside the Park. You might also try www.VRBO.com if you would prefer something other than a motel. I personally prefer staying outside the Park as there are fewer crowds in the evening. I also prefer a better choice of restaurants.

Enjoy your visit!

Fremont, California
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for San Francisco
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3. Re: oakhurst vs. mariposa

Ah yes - the East Coast versus West coast National Park Syndrome....

I really did not understand this question until I visited Great Smoky Mountains last year and realized what was meant by better selection of restaurants and cheesy souvenir shops in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

What you will find in California is a different experience than the natonal park experience on the east coast. its actually better to be in the park in the limited # of lodging choices....Ahwahnee, the Lodge, camp curry, Wawona, Tenaya Lodge.

After that you can find places, but they are "not" where you reeally what to be unless you cannot find lodging in the park.

Its not really worth the longer drive to the park.....to stay outside it unless you are on the way in or out, or you cannot find an alternative lodging solution In the park Yosemite West, etc. is an option.

Yosemite / Sierra...
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4. Re: oakhurst vs. mariposa

Oh dear...I really do disagree with the previous post. If you really enjoy good food, restaurants inside the Park just don't make the cut. I love having lunch at the Ahwahnee, and not for the food, but for the atmosphere and the views if seated near a window. I never recommend having dinner there, but everyone has different likes and dislikes. I rarely have had a good meal inside the Park. All the places offer okay food, but just okay and nothing better. Many people believe that you visit Yosemite for it's beauty and food should not be an issue. I agree to a certain degree, but if I can find good food, I will even if that means staying outside and the Park and driving a bit more. To each his own....

You might check out the restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor for Yosemite and the surrounding areas.

Enjoy your visit!

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5. Re: oakhurst vs. mariposa

The Ahwahnee is great for brunch, the ambiance is really nice there. We enjoyed a nice brunch on New Year's Day there. Oakhurst has the Shilo Inn, a Best Western and there is El Cid for good Mexican food there.

Bass Lake is closer to Yosemite, we like to stay at the Pines Resort, they have chalets there that are inexpensive. The resort is very nice with views of the lake, a swimming pool, access to the village, jacuzzi. They also have two very good restaurants, Ducey's on the Lake and the Bar & Grill for more casual food. Have fun on your travels! :)

Yosemite National...
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6. Re: oakhurst vs. mariposa

Mariposa is more "quaint" and it is much closer to the park. It is about a 1/2 hour drive along the beautiful Merced River (where you can swim if it is hot) to the park gate at Arch Rock. It is then just a 20 min drive into Yosemite Valley, again along a beautiful river in a deep canyon scenic canyon.

Oakhurst is about 20 mins to the park entrance and then about 40 mins to Yosemite Valley. This road is very narrow, curvy and not all that scenic. And now you have to share it with all the buses that used to go in Hwy 140.

7. Re: oakhurst vs. mariposa

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