Hotel at a Glance: Hotel Jeffrey
As many as 17 ghosts roam the hallways at Hotel Jeffrey, a historic "Old-West" hotel from 1850. The ghosts been heard, felt, and seen by guests in the dining room, on the back stairs, and in several of the guest rooms. Room 22 is particularly active—in the 1800s, a jilted lover hung herself from the rafters and has been seen walking the halls ever since; sometimes her shadow appears in photographs of the room.
- Most haunted rooms: 22, 19, and 6
- Ghost detecting kits: are available from the front desk, with advance notice.
- Famous past guests that don't haunt the place: Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and John Muir
- Eat this: the Cowboy Burger at Magnolia Saloon, a 1/3-pound beef burger with hickory-smoked bacon, fried onion rings, barbecue sauce, and swiss, jack, or american cheese
- Get some fresh air at Yosemite National Park, which is just about 30 miles east of the hotel; talk to the front desk at the hotel about the best routes
Coulterville, California: Historic Gold Rush Town Near Yosemite
In the early- to mid-1800s, rumors of profitable gold mines brought floods of people into California looking to strike it rich. Coulterville, which lies about 120 miles southeast of Sacramento, was one of the gold-rush towns that sprang up. Miners excavated the earth surrounding Coulterville for more than 50 years; the town even took its name from one of them, one Mr. Coulter.
The Coulterville of today in fact still resembles a western gold-rush town, with many original buildings intact. Some have been re-purposed—an old blacksmith shop now serves as a gas station—but others have stayed the same through generations. Visit the Coulterville Museum and you can browse old photographs and relics of the town's earliest days. Next door to the museum sits "Whistling Billy," an 8-ton locomotive that was used to transport gold ore.
Coulterville is also near Yosemite National Park. The town lies along the historic John Muir Highway, a route traveled by Muir himself as he worked to preserve the valley. It's one of the most scenic routes into the park from western California.