Yosemite National Park is loved for its spectacular scenery of rugged cliffs and mountains, waterfalls, meadows and giant sequoia groves. Located on the western slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada, it has been designated as a World Heritage Site.
There are over a thousand miles of roads and hiking trails to help you explore famous landmarks like the Mariposa Grove, El Capitan and Half Dome, Yosemite and Bridalveil Falls, Mirror Lake, and the Mist trail. Truly beautiful in any season, the genuine wilderness is also famously home to a huge diversity of wildlife from bobcats to black bears.
There’s a great range of accommodations available, within the national park itself and in surrounding Mariposa County. Most lodges, boutique resorts, quirky inns and cozy cabins have a rustic and wilderness theme that makes a stay here even more magical. Here are the best cool and unusual hotels in or near Yosemite, California (in no particular order)…
1. Sierra Sky Ranch, Ascend Hotel Collection – a stunning rustic-chic boutique hotel perfect for nature lovers
A boutique hotel nestled among the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, Sierra Sky Ranch takes you back to the glory years of the west, using a converted 140+ year old mountain ranch to create a completely unique themed hotel.
Just 10 miles from Yosemite National Park, enjoy a choice of 28 rooms that offer modern luxury surrounded by historic details, taking you back to the ranching life without compromises.
On-site dining and superb service make staying at this hotel a real pleasure, an experience you will never forget.
- To book, check prices or availability for Sierra Sky Ranch
2. Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite – a sophisticated and homey lodge nestled in the woods where visitors can benefit from a seasonal pool
Featuring 88 cozy cabins, Evergreen Lodge sits within the lush green woods on the edge of Yosemite National Park, a historic hotel resort that brings stunning views and classic old west style together with fine dining, modern comfort and a raft of professionally led activities to enjoy.
Offering accommodation to railway workers, travelers and explorers since 1921, you have a choice of cabins to suit all tastes and needs, with retro style and modern comfort to enjoy.
Dining is a pleasure, with superb service and fabulous food, while a pool bar and tavern give you options. If you want to head out and see nature this is a fantastic place to start every day.
- To book, check prices or availability for Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite
3. Red Tail Ranch – an adult-only boutique B&B located in a unique environment surrounded by nature
Set within 50 acres of its own land and offering stunning views of pine and oak forests with the majesty of Yosemite behind, Red Tail ranch has access to hiking and biking trails right from your front door, with comfortable, relaxing accommodation and a real taste of the western lifestyle.
A choice of cottages offers full kitchens, decks, outdoor grills, hot tubs and more, so whether its cycling, hiking or just exploring the wonderful places in and around Yosemite, you have somewhere relaxing to return to and recharge every night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Red Tail Ranch
4. Hotel Charlotte – a historic old-west boutique hotel set in the heart of downtown Groveland, CA
A wonderful historic hotel located right by Yosemite Park, it is full of old west charm and boutique hotel touches that make your stay so special. That begins outside, as you approach the California Gold Rush Era property, which looks like the set of a classic western movie.
The hotel has been operating in the same building since 1921, and inside rooms have classic old west details while retaining the convenience of the modern hotel, it is a fascinating mix.
Charlotte’s Tavern is the hotel restaurant, offering great food in a pre-prohibition setting, serving classic American cuisine.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Charlotte
5. Heidelberg Inn – a quirky-chic resort that offers panoramic mountain views
First opened in 1927, Heidelberg Inn is a boutique hotel offering 24 condo type suites that provide independent living with the benefits of hotel amenities to make your stay hassle free and fun.
Each condo is unique in décor and ambience, giving you plenty of choice to find a room to suit your tastes, each having great views, full kitchens and more.
On site, you benefit from movie rentals, games console rentals, a recreation room with pool table, hot tub, sauna, a barbeque and deck and more. A unique and quirky hotel experience that gives you the freedom to set your own itinerary.
- To book, check prices or availability for Heidelberg Inn
6. The Groveland Hotel – a cute, charming and cozy hotel close to great parks and attractions
With just 18 rooms, this boutique historic hotel gives you everything you need for modern, comfortable travel with a taste of the history of the region. Beginning life as a trading post in 1849, it has been everything from a gambling house to a ranger station, every wall can tell a hundred stories.
Rooms feature period furniture and modern materials, but you are always surrounded by the details of this historic building, reminding you of the fantastic place you are staying.
Indoor and outdoor dining lets you enjoy the stunning vistas surrounding the hotel. If you love travel and exploring nature, this is a fantastic place to stay.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Groveland Hotel
7. Mariposa Hotel Inn – a charming and unique inn with quirky chic decor that provides complimentary airport transfers
The oldest hotel in Mariposa, founded in 1901 and offering a slice of turn of the century California with the service and comfort of a modern hotel.
With just six rooms, this quaint hotel offers a personal experience, each room full of period details and extremely comfortable to stay in.
Full of character, each room is unique, while the continental breakfast sets you up for a day of exploration in this incredible location.
Whether exploring Mariposa itself or heading into Yosemite, history is found at every turn, and when staying at the Mariposa Hotel Inn, you can blend all that history with modern convenience for the perfect vacation hotel.
- To book, check prices or availability for Mariposa Hotel Inn
8. Lake Front Cabins – trendy and funky but homely cabins that is fully equipped with amazing amenities
Sitting on the shores of Juno Lake, this wonderful site features 10 lakefront cabins that bring history to life.
Classic wooden cabins each with unique décor, they all feature kitchen areas, outdoor spaces and comfortable, welcoming furnishing, everything you want after a day exploring.
Outside, there are fire pits that keep you cozy as you sit under the stars, picnic tables for outdoor dining and all the benefits of lakeside living, including boating, kayaking and more.
A rustic hotel experience that delivers stunning views and some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world, if you love lakeside life, this is your next destination.
- To book, check prices or availability for Lake Front Cabins
9. Echo Adventure’s Yosemite Basecamp – easily one of the coolest hotels to stay in Yosemite perfect for Millennials and Gen Zs
Just a few miles from the Yosemite North gateway in Groveland, Echos Adventure’s Yosemite Basecamp offers a rustic hotel experience that offers constant reminders of the history surrounding the location, superb service and an unforgettable experience.
Rooms are extremely comfortable with a blend of period pieces and modern convenience giving you a true Yosemite experience.
Continental breakfasts include a vegetarian option, while a garden area, barbecue and a sun terrace let you make the most of the stunning scenery. For no fuss stay with express check in and out, this is a great place to stay when exploring this incredible area.
- To book, check prices or availability for Echos Adventure’s Yosemite Basecamp
10. Shaver Lake Village Hotel – a romantic, unique and quirky place to stay in Shaver Lake where guests can have the ultimate relaxation stay
At the heart of the quaint village of Shaver Lake, the hotel sits within the Sierra National Forest at an elevation of 5,370 feet, giving you clean air, spectacular views and a world of outdoor activities to explore.
From mountain biking to sailing, water skiing to hiking, if you love the outdoors, you’ll love Shaver Lake.
A stunning intimate hotel, there are 8 rooms, 4 cabins, 7 suites and 3 glamping tents to choose from, each delivering cozy, comfortable surroundings with style.
Quality furnishings and great amenities combine with excellent service to create a high-quality hotel experience. The perfect location and a quirky hotel that offers a fantastic place to come back to after along day adventuring.
- To book, check prices or availability for Shaver Lake Village Hotel
11. Yosemite’s Hidden Haven – one of the most Instagrammable holiday homes in Yosemite great for large groups
With 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and spacious accommodation for all including a fully featured kitchen and seating area, this holiday home is just a few miles from Bass Lake and Shaver Lake, giving you access to the stunning scenery and incredible outdoor sports that the area is known for.
Cycling, hiking, water sports and more are all on your doorstep, with the house having stunning mountain views, a barbecue area, wonderful garden and terrace to enjoy in the evenings. If you prefer independent living on your vacation, this fantastic house is a real home from home.
- To book, check prices or availability for Yosemite’s Hidden Haven
12. Rising Sun Retreat – an upscale vacation home that features a children’s playground, ideal for families
Just 2 miles from the Yosemite North Gateway in Groveland, Rising Sun Retreat is a beautiful holiday home with 4 bedrooms, featuring a lovely deck area and stunning mountain views.
Perfect for vacation with a larger group, it has a fully fitted kitchen, plenty of space and quality furnishings both indoors and out on the deck for comfortable, spacious living.
Surrounded by majestic trees and lush slopes, you have wonderful cycling and hiking trails to explore on the doorstep, while the barbeque is perfect for eating under the stars after a day of adventure. A beautiful place to stay, and a beautiful place to be.
- To book, check prices or availability for Rising Sun Retreat
13. #317 – a cool and spacious condo where pets are welcome, available for extended stays
A stunning condo that brings the wonders of outdoor living to your doorstep, whether hiking and cycling in the summer or ski-in ski-out convenience in the winter.
A rustic hotel experience with its roaring fire, wooden walls and eclectic décor, it’s a comfortable, welcoming home that offers easy access to all the attractions of the area.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist routes while remaining just 24 miles from Lee Vining in Mammoth Lakes, you can enjoy the quiet life while always be within reach of adventure when you want it. Surrounded by stunning scenery, it’s a superb choice for those who love the outdoors.
- To book, check prices or availability for #317
14. #544- Luxury Village 3BR – a trendy and modern hotel that is within walking distance of popular attractions
Just 3 miles from mammoth Mountain but a would away in style, blend the convenience of the best of Mammoth Lakes on your doorstep with the luxurious urban living of this impressive modern hotel.
Each room is furnished with wonderful luxury touches and the sleek urban style you expect in a modern city hotel, with all rooms having their own kitchens, patio area and more.
For ski season the gondola is just a short walk away, and in summer the spectacular scenery is perfect for hikers, mountain bikers and outdoor sports enthusiasts of all kinds.
- To book, check prices or availability for #544-Luxury Village 3BR
15. New luxury vacation home – one of the best holiday homes in Groveland that is steps away from the beach
Just a 10-minute walk from the beach in Groveland, this new luxury vacation home offers spectacular living among the natural wonders of the area, with majestic trees, trails and natural woodland right on your doorstep.
Steps from the golf course, it features 5 bedrooms, a patio and all the latest amenities including a barbecue and sun terrace.
On site there are restaurant options, a children’s playground and a casino, while the beach offers a range of watersports, picnic areas and more for you to explore. A real home from home, this is lakeside living at its finest.
- To book, check prices or availability for New Luxury vacation home
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My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my rescued Greek street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Laos, California and the surreally beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.