Yosemite is an international destination with much to offer. Just south of the main gate to Yosemite, is the sleepy town called Fish Camp. It’s a great place to stay when visiting the park because you avoid the hustle and bustle, the traffic, you still have cell phone coverage, and there are many activities to choose from. We tried and tested each of these “escapes” in just one day. They were affordable, kid-friendly and easy to access from anywhere in California.
FISH CAMP IN A DAY
Just a few miles past Oakhurst and Bass Lake, if you continue down the 41 Hwy, you will find the sleepy little town of Fish Camp. There is no doubt, the biggest resident is the spacious property of Tenaya Lodge http://www.tenayalodge.com. I always feel like I’m going home each time I stay there. The staff is very accommodating and there are so many daily activities throughout the year. There are so many activities and events, that you literally never have to leave the premises.
Start your day with a facial or massage at the newly opened, luxurious 10,000 square foot Ascent Day Spa, then skip to the breakfast buffet at Sierra Restaurant inside the hotel. The prices are reasonable and there are many food options to choose from, even for the pickiest of eaters.
Next, enjoy some of the activities on the premises like archery, sledding, snow shoes, cross country skiing, ice skating or even a sleigh ride. Or if it’s during the Spring or Summer, you can mountain bike one of the many miles of tree-lined trails on the property.
In the afternoon, take a quick trip down the road (depending on the season) and jump on the Sugar Pine Railroad www.ymsprr.com. This unique experience will be a life long memory as you ride this exciting, four mile excursion deep in the heart of the Sierra National Forest. There are multiple options from Jenny railcars to the “Moonlight Special” that includes dinner. Tickets range from $8 to $48 depending on the package. The train operates daily from March to October and runs every half hour.
Then head back to happy hour at Jackalope’s Bar & Grill inside the Tenaya Lodge where you will find a casual, comfy, cozy atmosphere and one of the best Long Island Iced Teas we ever had. Enjoy huge fireplaces, play board games, enjoy a cigar, or s’mores on the patio - slowly roasted over the big outdoor fire pits, as you relax and observe kids enthralled in a snowball battle.
Unwind from a long day of adventure at Embers – a fine dining restaurant inside the Tenaya Lodge that is open seasonally and changes their menu biweekly. One of our favorite things to order and enjoy is their Ceasar salad that is made at the table and the Bananas Diablo, the flaming dessert that is spectacular to observe as it’s being created. Executive Chef Frederick Clabaugh and Executive Sous Chef Dwayne McFann open up the kitchen to do cooking classes and various private events - which is a real treat.
This beautiful area of California gives you all the views that you yearn for, the adventure and activities to keep you active, yet you are still in a resort setting with full service, upscale restaurants, a day spa and far from “roughing it” unless, of course, you want to. It’s off the beaten path and well worth the trip.