What are the five best things to see and do in Tahoe & Yosemite?

Yosemite and Tahoe’s infinite variety are enough to keep anyone busy for a lifetime, so it’s no task to spend a vacation soaking up the area’s wild beauty. Given all the activities you can pursue here, it’s hard to pick just five of the best things to see and do in Tahoe and Yosemite. Here are the things you definitely shouldn’t miss seeing, though:

1. Explore Yosemite National Park. In the spring and summer, Yosemite is home to some of North America’s highest and most breathtaking waterfalls, including famed Yosemite Falls. Take a park shuttle and walking tour around the falls, and be sure to keep an eye out for bears.

2. Lake Tahoe. If it’s summer, get out on Lake Tahoe. You can do something as quiet and peaceful as a dinner cruise, or rent a Sea-Doo and go wild, but either way, enjoying the water is paramount.

3. Take a hike, literally. Whether you’re near Lake Tahoe or in the middle of Yosemite, this area is home to some of the nation’s loveliest and best maintained hiking trails, and you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t see at least one or two of them.

4. Yosemite Valley Moonlight Tour. For an exciting nighttime adventure, don’t miss the Yosemite Valley Moonlight Tour, a late-night open tram ride through the park that allows you to see some of the park’s most iconic landmarks, including El Capitan, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls.

5. Tour the Ansel Adams Gallery. Walk around the space, which displays the acclaimed artist’s original photographs. It’s fitting that Adams’s memorial gallery is in the park, since his iconic nature photography put Yosemite on the map. It’s also amazing to see the photos in their “home,” and an excellent way to grab a moment of reflection during what could otherwise be a very busy vacation.

  • On May 27, 2012
    Château du Sureau answered the question: Château du Sureau

    What Tahoe & Yosemite restaurants are best for brunch?

    Here are some of the best restaurants for brunch in the Oakhurst area:
     
    1. Erna's Elderberry House (Sunday brunch; located in Oakhurst).
     
    2. Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room (Sunday Brunch; located in Yosemite Valley, approximately a 90-minute drive from Oakhurst).
     
    3. Woody's (Sunday brunch with Cajun-style cuisine; located in Oakhurst).
     
    4. Nativo's (Sunday brunch; Italian restaurant at Chuckchansi Casino Resort; approximately a 20 minute-drive drive south of Oakhurst). 
  • On May 27, 2012
    Château du Sureau answered the question: Château du Sureau

    What are the five best romantic restaurants in Tahoe & Yosemite?

    Due to our location in the countryside, the choices for different restaurants are rather limited. But here are a few romantic restaurants in the Tahoe and Yosemite area
     
    1. Erna's Elderberry House Restaurant. One of the best restaurants in California, sitting on the outside patio and enjoying a wonderful dinner under the stars with the lit-up fountain and Château du Sureau in the background will definitely be a memory you will cherish forever.
     
    2. Narrow Gauge Restaurant. The cuisine here is American with Alpine influences, and it’s served in a cozy chalet-like atmosphere (on Road 41, near Sugar Pine Railroad; approximately a 20-minute drive north of Oakhurst).
     
    3. Savory's Restaurant. This spot serves international cuisine (in Mariposa; approximately a 40-minute drive west from Oakhurst). 
  • On May 27, 2012
    Château du Sureau answered the question: Château du Sureau

    What are the five best kid-friendly restaurants in Tahoe & Yosemite?

    Here are our top restaurants to bring kids in Oakhurst:
     
    1. El Cid's for Mexican fare.
     
    2. Crab Cakes. This restaurant serves home-style cuisine, with mostly seafood specialities.
     
    3. Di Ciccho's for Italian fare.
     
    4. Ducey's Bar and Grill on the Lake. There’s an upstairs outdoor dining area overlooking Bass Lake.
     
    5. Time for Tea. A small and cozy tea house with a fairy tale tea room for kids. Plus, the service is extremely friendly. 
  • On May 27, 2012
    Château du Sureau answered the question: Château du Sureau

    Where can I go to watch sports in Tahoe & Yosemite?

    A few good spots to watch sports in Tahoe and Yosemite are in the Grand Salon of Château du Sureau; El Cid's, a Mexican Restaurant located on Road 41, at the northern end of town; Ducey's Bar and Grill on the Lake, at Bass Lake, located approximately 25 minutes from Oakhurst. Pizza Factory in Oakhurst.
  • On May 27, 2012
    Château du Sureau answered the question: Château du Sureau

    Where are the best places to hear live music in Tahoe & Yosemite?

    Oakhurst's live music scene is rather limited, please here a few suggestions:
     
    1. Queen's Inn. A wine Tasting Bar with occasional live music in Oakhurst.
     
    2. Tom Bopp, a pianist at the Wawona Hotel. Enjoy some true Yosemite entertainment at the bar of the historic Wawona Hotel (only during the summer months; approximately a 40-minute drive from Oakhurst).

    3. Jazz on the Lake (Bass Lake) during the summer months (approximately a 25-minute drive from Oakhurst).
  • On May 27, 2012
    Château du Sureau answered the question: Château du Sureau

    What is the best Tahoe & Yosemite nightlife?

    Oakhurst is not really considered a place where you can have a “great night out in town.” It tends to get quiet down as the sun disappears (even during the summer months). However, some of the spots where you might be able to enjoy a little bit of a “nightlife feeling” are:
     
    1. Queen's Inn. Wine Tasting Bar with occasional live music in Oakhurst.
     
    2. Tom Bopp. A pianist at the Wawona Hotel. Enjoy some true Yosemite entertainment at the bar of the historic Wawona Hotel (only during the summer months; approximately a 40 minute-drive from Oakhurst.
     
    3. Jazz on the Lake (Bass Lake) during the summer months (approximately a 25-minute drive from Oakhurst).  
     
    4. Chuckchansi Casino (approximately a 20-minute drive from Oakhurst).
  • On May 27, 2012
    Château du Sureau answered the question: Château du Sureau

    What are the best places to stay in Tahoe & Yosemite?

    Here are our suggestions for hotels in the area:
     
    1. Château du Sureau. A highly acclaimed Relais & Chateaux property, which will definitely exceed your expectations by providing you with the feeling of Old World Europe.  
     
    2. Houndstooth Inn. A cozy B&B in Oakhurst.
     
    3. Tenaya Lodge. A bigger property at the Southern Entrance of Yosemite National Park with a lodge atmosphere.
     
    4. Ahwahnee Hotel. A famous hotel in Yosemite Valley.
  • On May 27, 2012
    Château du Sureau answered the question: Château du Sureau

    What are the best Tahoe & Yosemite museums?

    Our area's biggest attraction is the natural beauty of Yosemite National Park and the surrounding Sierra Nevada, but there are a few noteworthy museums: Mariposa Museum and History Center in Mariposa, California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa, Yosemite Museum about the culture of the native Miwok-Indians (located next to the Yosemite Visitor's Center) in Yosemite Valley and Columbia State Park (history of the California Gold Rush) in Sonora.
  • On May 27, 2012
    Château du Sureau answered the question: Château du Sureau

    What should I pack for a trip to Tahoe & Yosemite?

    Our area is considered very outdoorsy, so you should definitely bring lots of clothing for hiking and, depending on the season, cool or warm clothing. The summers in the Oakhurst area can get very hot (temperatures are often in the high 90s and sometimes in the low 100s); in winter, we have low temperatures with occasional snow. Nearby is Bass Lake (approximately a 20-minute drive from Château du Sureau), which offers a great spot for water sports. A little farther away is Shaver Lake (located at a higher altitude), which also offers swimming at milder temperatures. Since we also have a lovely pool on our premises, we definitely recommend that you bring your swimming costume.
     
    The winter months in Oakhurst are quite mild. However, most of the guests would like to enjoy Yosemite National Park at that time. We do suggest that you bring warm clothing and comfortable shoes with you in order to explore the area.
     
    Dining at Erna's Elderberry House Restaurant is a classic and elegant affair, and we'd love to see the Gentlemen wearing a coat. If you opt to bring your tie, we'll gladly welcome it to our restaurant, but we understand if you would only like to wear a dress shirt.
  • On May 27, 2012
    Château du Sureau answered the question: Château du Sureau

    What is the best way to see Tahoe & Yosemite in two days?

    The distances in our area are quite big, so it is necessary to bring a car to explore it all. If you do not want to drive a car yourself (either your own car or a rental car), we can certainly arrange for a car with driver/guide who will show you the beautiful corners of the Sierra Nevada. In order to see most of the area, we suggest that you plan for two full days — you will definitely have to attribute one day to see Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point (this will also enable you to do some short hikes), and one day to see Mariposa Grove (where you’ll find hundreds of giant sequoias), hike Lewis Creek Trail and/or enjoy some water sports at Bass Lake. Many of our guests opt to have a massage at our beautiful Spa du Sureau after a long day out in nature, or they simply enjoy some relaxation time at our Pool.
  • On May 27, 2012
    Château du Sureau answered the question: Château du Sureau

    What is the best way to see Tahoe & Yosemite in one day?

    We would suggest an early start in order to see all the highlights of Yosemite National Park (please be advised that you will definitely need your own car; if you do not want to drive yourself, we can certainly arrange a car and driver/guide who will be able to show you the beauty of our area).
     
    It would be the best to drive into the park via the South Entrance (Road 41). You will want to stop at Mariposa Grove (where you’ll find hundreds of giant sequoias); take a short walk through the lower part of the Grove and then continue to Glacier Point. Next, drive down into Yosemite Valley and stop at Tunnel View, Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite Village (you can tour the small Yosemite Museum, which displays beautiful woven baskets and jewelry from the Miwok Indians; the Visitor's Center, which gives you a lot of insight on the geological background of Yosemite; and you can purchase a nice souvenir at the Ansel Adams Gallery). If time permits, you could pay a short visit to the Ahwahnee Hotel and enjoy a coffee or a drink, and then drive out of the Valley by passing El Capitan (stop your car there and have a look at the granite wall; you will be able to see some brave souls who make it their project to climb this giant). In order not to take the same road back to Oakhurst, you could continue on Road 140 to Mariposa (along the Merced River) and then merge onto Road 49 to Oakhurst.
     
    We recommend that you order an Elderberry House gourmet picnic for your Yosemite trip, since the restaurants and cafeterias in the park do not reflect the same splendor as its nature. There are lots of great spots for having a picnic in the park (and don't worry, so far none of our guests had to share their picnic with a big, brown furry friend — that's why we don’t include honey in our picnics.
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