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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Staying 'Inside' Yosemite

    When my wife and I visited Yosemite a couple of years ago, she found (as is her wont) a great place that advertised itself as 'inside' Yosemite even though it wasn't. The trick was that it was inside the park gates but not in the park itself. The road, CA-41, leading into the valley from the south entrance actually follows the western boundary of the park pretty closely. That often brings it within feet of the adjacent Stanislaus National Forest. And national forests, unlike national parks, allow grandfathering of private land. So there is a community of homes just outside the park, that is only reachable via the park, and that are close enough to the main sites to allow you to visit them with ease. And since you can rent an entire house, complete with full kitchen, wifi, etc., it can be a better deal than staying in one of the franchised hotels in the park proper. Many of the homes in the community are available for rental through Yosemite's Scenic Wonders. They are not cheap, but neither is staying in one of Yosemite Village's hotels.


  2. Default

    thanks I will definatley check it out.
    would it not be enough to stay one night in Yosemite? Work collegue said that iff I am not going to hike then one night is enough.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    It kind of depends upon when you get there.

    Personally, I'd recommend trying to get at least a full day there - so if you get there early enough where you can look around around some on the afternoon of your arrival, and then still have some time the following morning before leaving again, that would be fine.

    Of course, it would be almost tough to spend too much time there.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Stay where you can afford to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sallysdream View Post
    would it not be enough to stay one night in Yosemite? Work collegue said that iff I am not going to hike then one night is enough.
    Sally, don't get paranoid as to where to stay. I have visited Yosemite three times, never hiked, and never stayed within the park. On one visit I stayed at the Yoasemite Bug (which I think you said is booked out), on another at a hostel in Merced, and the last time in a hostel at Mammoth Lakes. Each time I drove in early, and really enjoyed the drive and the park. All of it is lovely country there, around the Sierras.

    I know a great emphasis is put on staying within the park, but I have never stayed within a NP on my many visits to these parks, and frankly, I believe I have seen as much as those who stay within the park, including the sunset at the Grand Canoyon.


  5. #25


    I think someone already mentioned this above but the Monterey Aquarium could be a good stop, though I'm not sure if it will really give you the flavor of the area if that's your main focus. I'm in LA and have wanted to go there for a while now.

  6. Default update

    Hi everyone,

    sorry I was a bit quiet, but just got busy planning and re-routing the trip.

    Just some info on the thoughts you don't wonder what I have been planning here :-)

    Bearing in mind budget and Safety. I reviewed some of the Hotels and the areas, hence I change the one in Hollywood over to the Woodland Hills area, seemed safer to me and according to some reviews still near enough to the sights. We will still need our car to drive around their anyway or get hop on and off tickets.

    We build in the Canyons and Las Vegas now too. As we are travelling with 2 underage (6 and 17) we would like it to be a more "childfriendly" hotel in Las Vegas, that is cheap enough and yet have a good size pool to hang out for most of the day and then walk through the streets in the evening to look at the lights and have a meal.

    For Yosemite I thought driving Vegas through Death Valley (leaving early morning to avoid the heat) then stopping in Bishop, looks like a lovely little place and adequat for a one night stop over, leaving here early to go into Yosemite Park and driving through it to San Fran.
    Staying in San Fran 3 nights at Family Home.

    Leaving San Fran to go to San Simeon. Possibly driving through Monterey etc. (not too bothered about the Aquarium as we have a really big one here at home too, rather see the places)
    we decided not to stay over in Monterey , so that we have a relaxing end to the Holiday.

    Currently after San Simeon I have Palm Desert in, but wanted to have 2-3 nights somewhere were we could chill out after driving for 2 weeks and hang around a nice area and pool due the kids wanting to have some Pool Fun. Best Place that I could think off was Palm Sprigns/Desert, where they also seem to have adequate large rooms, so that my 17 year old gets some privacy too. So that before we go back on our 14 hour long haul flight we get to run around a bit :-)

    Does this sound, look ok to you all? also are the areas safe ? My 6 year old is a VERY friendly child and she likes talking A LOT and to stragers too, while we can't all toghter cut our the dangers, just want to avoid very scarey and dangerous areas. Nearly booked a Hotel in West Hollywood thinking its safe :-(

    From to Hotel
    18.08.2016 21.08.2016 Best Western Woodland Hills Inn, LA
    21.08.2016 22.08.2016 Days Hotel Flagstaff
    22.08.2016 24.08.2016 circus Circus, Las vegas
    24.08.2016 25.08.2016 Vagabond Inn Bishop
    25.08.2016 28.08.2016 San Fran, at Family
    28.08.2016 29.08.2016 San Simeon Lodge
    29.08.2016 01.09.2016 Residence inn Palm Desert

    grateful about all your input.


  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default West Hollywood is my kinda town.

    The only thing which pops out at me is the day from San Simeon to Palm Desert. That is probably further than you will be able to go. If you are looking to relax, have you thought of the beaches around Santa Barbara, Malibu or Santa Monica. If you particularly want a hotel, rather than a beach, have you looked at the Beverly Hills area.

    It will also leave you a much shorter run into LAX - which can be very busy to get to, depending on day and time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sallysdream View Post
    Nearly booked a Hotel in West Hollywood thinking its safe :-(
    When in Los Angeles, I always stay in West Hollywood. I love the area. The place I stay is half way between Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. As a solo senior female, even going out at 2am to pick up something to eat, has never caused me any concern.


  8. Default

    The Hotel I looked at West Hollywood was on Sunset Blvd. There was a lot of mixed review. So I thought better not book it.
    yes that run to Palm Desert does bother me slightly too, just that the prices and sizes of rooms are quite convinient somehow :-)

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    While there is nothing in your plan that wouldn't work, there are a few things that I know I would do differently if I was in your shoes.

    You are really shortchanging Yosemite with this plan. Bishop to SF via Tioga Pass is going to be about 7 hours on the road, and that's before you add in the drive back into the Yosemite Valley. You'll have almost no time to explore the park with this schedule.

    I'll also say that it's your trip, but the Monterey Aquarium is almost universally ranked one of the top 3 aquariums in the world, so I'd certainly call that one of the "places." I know I wouldn't plan a trip through here -especially with kids- without making some time for it.

    Circus Circus is ok, if you're looking at a budget hotel on the strip. I stayed there for a night last year, and it worked out, but it is a old, and pretty run down property, that's really quite a long distance away from most other places on the strip. You might find something like the Excalibur a little more to your liking. It's still on the lower end of the budget spectrum, and is relatively kid friendly, but it's a lot closer to most of the other strip attractions, and I suspect the pool and other amenities would be a little nicer.

    I don't really get the idea of driving all the way out to Palm Desert at the end of your trip. Hurrying to the other places on your roadtrip, and then driving all the way across the sprawl of LA, so you can "relax" just seems like a contradiction. Personally, I'd much rather take more time on the road, so you're not exhausted at the end of it. Spending the final leg of your trip on the coast could itself be quite relaxing too.

  10. #30


    You should go to San Diego as well :) there are many beautiful and touristic places you can go!

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