Hotel at a Glance: The Groveland Hotel
Constructed in 1849, The Groveland Hotel is one of the oldest buildings in town—a distinction that helped it land a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The adobe hotel served as a gambling parlor and saloon during the California Gold Rush, when it was known as “the best house on the hill.” A saloon installed in the 1860s harks back to those days, providing a taste of history as well as a selection of local microbrews. If vino is more your thing, the Cellar Door Restaurant currently holds Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence for a collection that includes more than 600 labels.
- Ask for a recommendation: Innkeeper Peggy Mosley will gladly recommend selections from the wine list. She also enjoys telling guests about local history and her personal connection to Elvis Presley.
- Local eats: The dinner menu at the Cellar Door changes seasonally to highlight regional cuisine. Some of this getaway’s options come with a $35 dining credit as well as champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries in the room.
- Wine tasting: A chance to sample the wares at Gianelli Vineyards is included with all options.
- Eco-friendly perk: Hotel guests can charge Tesla cars for free at the charging station in the east parking lot.
- Driving time to Yosemite National Park: 30 minutes
Groveland, California: Historic Town near Yosemite National Park and Ski Areas
After the gold rush subsided, Groveland’s next era of growth was from 1915 to 1935, when it served as the base of operations for the Hetch Hetchy water project, a massive plan to bring fresh water to San Francisco. These days, natural resources remain the area’s biggest draw. Groveland borders nearly 1 million acres of woodlands and miles of rivers at Stanislaus National Forest.
The small town has remained a popular stop on the way to Yosemite National Park, which lies about a 30-minute drive east. A year-round destination, the park has seasonal activities ranging from hiking and fishing in the summer to skiing in the winter. “About the only thing you can’t do in Yosemite is surf,” Frommer’s says, citing the rock climbing here as some of the world’s best thanks to the sustained cracks in the canyons. Winter in Yosemite is a tranquil period as traffic decreases, allowing you to take in the snowy mountainscapes at your own pace.