Jun 29

There are lots of things to do and to explore during your visit to Yosemite National Park. You can also explore many events which are organized throughout the year. Millions of visitors come to enjoy activities in Yosemite every year. Some of the Upcoming Events in Oakhurst are listed below:

Boat Parade & Laser Light Show:

This year Fourth of July festivity on Bass Lake welcomes a new kind of show!

After dim, laser lights will light up the skies over Bass Lake in an awesome showcase of splendid hues and one of a kind outlines all choreographed to fun summer jams. An expert DJ will be above water amidst the lake, emanating the music in every heading for all to hear and appreciate the choreographed piece.

The Laser Light show will start at Bass Lake at approximately 9:15 p.m. and will last 20 minutes. The laser light show will take place at the same place where the firecrackers have always been positioned.

LaserLightShow 1024x768 Upcoming Events in Oakhurst

Despite the fact that the Fourth of July firecrackers presentation has been a long running tradition at Bass Lake, the Bass Lake Chamber feels that it is greatly critical to not put our woods and neighbors at risk during this unusually dry season. Therefore, a breathtaking Laser Light Show on the water has been anticipated for the this year.

You can enjoy the Boat Parade, guests will enjoy music beats to a live DJ while the Laser Light Show is prepared to debut. Enjoy the classics and sing along as the DJ rocks the boats and beaches. Bring your beach ball and be ready to dance!

Their biggest concern is to be sensitive to the Bass Lake community and to make sure everyone can feel safe and enjoy this year’s Fourth of July celebrations. If you are near Base lake or Oakhurst for this July then don’t miss this festival. There is no fees to participate in the Boat Parade.

Moonlight Melodrama:

The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is the restored railroad used for the Madera Sugar Pine‘s logging trains during the turn of the 20th century. It is located just south of the south gate to Yosemite National Park.

The evening will start with a BBQ dinner with a choice of New York Steak, chicken, or a vegetarian substitution. The meal is complimented with a summer corn salad, ranch-style beans, sourdough dinner roll, and dessert. Complimentary juice, coffee, and water is offered. There is a bar with sodas, beer, and wine for an additional cost. Guests will then board the logger steam train for a ride to the Melodrama, which will be “Bonnie Belles Best Bloomers” cheer the hero and boo the villain around the amphitheater stage. At the conclusion of the evening, guests will re-board the train for a memorable trip up the mountain in the night.
Board the lumberjack steam train for a ride to the Melodrama, which will be “Bonnie Belles Best Bloomers” performed live by our neighborhood Golden Chain Theater Company. Cheer the saint and boo the miscreant around the outside Lewis Creek Canyon Amphitheater. At the finish of the night, you will re-board the train for a noteworthy excursion up the mountain in the night.

This event is on July 19, 2015. So all can enjoy this ride by coming for the Moonlight Melodrama.

There are many attractions in Oakhurst and Oakhurst events which also offer a variety of lodging options. While visiting Yosemite stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates. Our hotel is located in Oakhurst.

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Jun 15

There is lot to see and do in Yosemite that a tourist loves to come back again and again! From mountaineering to rock climbing and enjoying the beautiful views, Yosemite has something amazing for everyone. Yosemite Valley or Yosemite takes barely about seven acres of the 700,000 acres of Yosemite National Park- the 16th largest National Park in the United States. It is surrounded on all sides by four National Forests: Sierra, Stanislaus, Inyo and Toiyabe. Millions of visitors come to enjoy activities in Yosemite every year. Top rated attractions are described below which are highly recommended by most of the visitors to Yosemite.

Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Fresno’s zoo is smaller, however it’s not little. You can spend a day there without feeling like you’re missing anything, while as yet being entertained by an assortment of creatures and shows.

The Chaffee zoo reflects the pride and support of the Fresno community. The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is a huge place to spend a morning. The animals are waking up and starting to make noises and move around. You can watch the feeding on some of the animals and you can take pictures of all their behavior. There is a good place to eat if you should get hungry and want to continue in the zoo.

Fresno Chaffee Zoo Places to explore with your kids in OakhurstThe Chaffee Zoo has become a first class attraction. The exhibits are well maintained and attractive; the grounds are pleasant and not overcrowded. Special events are held periodically such as Ice Cream Zoofari, special Zoo nights, and other activities. Definitely a family friendly must see whether you’re a local or an out of town visitor. Beautiful zoo with lots and lots of animals, reptiles, and birds. Highly recommend seeing for yourself easy walking and lots of fun stuff for kids and adults. Plenty of shade and rest areas along with great refreshments too!

This zoo is wonderful and just keeps getting better with new add-ons. It’s in Roeding Park a place where many great Fresno memories have been made. If you have time there is Story land as well as Play land. Or just walk the surrounding park with tennis courts, playgrounds, skate areas, and an enclosed dog park with adjacent horseshoe pits. Lots of bbq pits with tables as well.

This place is a true hidden gem in Fresno. There are several beautiful gardens for kids to explore, and a family could easily spend a morning or afternoon here. They also have Saturday afternoon programs for kids ages 6-12. The museum has lots of animals to look at, feed and even touch. A lot of paths to walk around, gardens, a little Indian village set up, a sand area. The park is free, and the museum is $8 for adults, and $6 for kids, but less than 3 ages are free.

The Discovery Center

It’s not just for kids-a cool place to get up close and personal with snakes, lizards, tortoises, gophers, rabbits and birds–in a serene park setting. On the site of the oldest adobe building in Fresno, which is also the historic Roessler Winery, the center has the science center, a replica Miwok Indian site–complete with tipis, a historic cactus garden, a beautiful garden site. A great place for family picnics, corporate events, weddings or family gatherings, the small volunteer staff is knowledgeable, friendly and welcoming. Skip the crowds at the zoo–and come get close up with nature–and discover more at the Discovery Center! There is so much to do and see, and the museum is always adding new interactive science-based attractions!

Children are offered hands on opportunity to answer their science questions. The areas of science include biology, astronomy, Native American culture, weather, reptiles, music and much more. On the grounds are a pond and a large play area. One of the most remarkable features is the desert garden full of a wide variety of cacti. The facility and grounds are clean and parking is easy and convenient.

Working Hours:

Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

The Discovery Center is large enough to host birthday parties, picnics, reunions, and even weddings. Even though it sits on 5-acres of land, when you are there it feels secluded and private.

There are many attractions in Oakhurst which offer a variety of lodging options. While visiting Yosemite stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates.

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Jun 01

The visitor information center is situated in Oakhurst only 11 miles from the South entrance to the recreation center. Here you will discover information about the U. S. Forest Service, inns, restaurants, attractions and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The US Forest Service workers at this center can issue licenses for pit fires and fuel wood and wild allows. In addition to the information, the center has a few verifiable presentations portraying the encompassing territory. Complimentary espresso, tea and water are accessible.

Unbelievable source of information for Yosemite and the entire Madera County area.  The knowledgeable staff happily assists both tourists and locals with tips on hikes, restaurants, activities and many more! The Yosemite Sierra Visitor’s Bureau shares the construction with the Oakhurst Chamber of Commerce and the US Forest Service so just about anything you may need can be found here. Make the most of your trip to Yosemite with all the information and maps you need before your visit. Bring to a halt here to find out all you need to know about your visit to Yosemite.

New visitor center 2011 rs Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau   OakhurstThe people running this center are very knowledgeable and can help you plan your day in the park. Yosemite is beautiful and it is easy to drive through various sections of the park. If you need information about Madera County, including Chowchilla, Madera, Coarsegold, O’Neal’s, North Fork, Oakhurst, Bass Lake and many more.

Working Hours:

Monday- Saturday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Stop here to find out all you need to know about your visit to Yosemite.

  • FREE Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau visitors guide
  • Area brochures and restaurant menus
  • Yosemite Park Ranger (seasonal)
  • Local tips and favorite things to do
  • FREE coffee, tea and water
  • Road Conditions and weather forecasts

Places to see:

  • Yosemite
  • Bass Lake
  • Gallery Row
  • Madera Wine Trail
  • The Talking Bear
  • Sierra Mono Museum
  • Mono Indian Museum
  • The Cunningham School
  • Sierra Vista Byway
  • Little Church on the Hill
  • Wassama Round House
  • Fresno Flats Historic Park
  • Kings Vintage Clothing Museum
  • Children’s Museum Of The Sierra
  • Coarsegold Historic Village
  • Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad

Throughout the year is the best time to visit Yosemite and The Yosemite Sierra Visitor’s Bureau. It will give all the information regarding history of Yosemite. They organize the several events throughout the year.  So browse there website and plan a trip as you can enjoy your trip of Yosemite Sierra Visitor’s Bureau.  The information here is provided in several languages so it is the best part that visitors coming from different country can get the information. The information here is in German, Spanish and French and many more there main goal is to satisfy their guests.

The staff is overwhelmingly knowledgeable and friendly. They really do help in any way they can – from tickets, parking spots, places to see, restaurants etc.

There are many attractions in Oakhurst which also offer a variety of lodging options. While visiting Yosemite stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates.

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May 18

As the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite will be closing in the near future, this will be the second best place to see the giant sequoia. It’s a little confusing to get there and does require some walking but its well worth the effort. Be sure you wear comfortable walking shoes and bring your camera! One of the Sierras’ hidden jewels.

Nelder Grove is worth a stop. The loop trail passes not only sequoia, but a variety of other trees and flowering plants. The view is amazing. There is a one mile trail that is easy for any fitness level. There is a restroom facility on site and lots of peace and quiet! It is highly recommend making the trip here you won’t be disappointed! The weather was also perfect.

This is a wonderful peaceful place to be in the shadow of the Giant Sequoias without travelling into Yosemite. The road there is a pleasant wooded drive, but takes your time as it’s not paved all the way. There are several loops in the trail so you can shorten or lengthen your walk.

Nelder Grove is a grove of Sequoia trees in Madera County north of Oakhurst and before the entrance to Yosemite. To get there from Highway 41 take the Sierra Ski Ranch road 632 for several miles. When you turn off that main road you will be on a gravel road for maybe 3 miles. You then want to go to the Shadow of the Giants trail which is about a one hour loop walking trail. It is very well marked having plaques giving a lot of good information not only about the Sequoias but also other varieties of trees, etc. it is not a strenuous trail and quite enjoyable.

The trail is easy and level, the trees phenomenal. If you want to escape the crowds and have a leisurely stroll, this is the place to be. An additional bonus is the frequency of little signs telling you all about what you are seeing and what has happened to the sequoias. There is a little trail round the grove with excellent information boards. Take goose shoes and water and just enjoy the tranquility.

Once there, the trails are all of reasonable grade. Trees are nice, though not as numerous as other more popular groves. The big benefit of Nelder Grove is its quietness.

This secret place to see a Giant Sequoia Grove and the Bull Buck Tree 5th largest Sequoia is on the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway just outside of Oakhurst. It’s outside of Yosemite off Highway 41. It’s un-crowded and amazing! It’s a must see if you’re in the area and a very special place for my family to go and sight see in our backyard!

If you would like to feel like you just dropped into a fantasy movie set like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter than you need to visit Nelder Grove. It’s hard to imagine this really does exist. It’s full of switchbacks and not for the faint of heart but if you’re here for Yosemite gets used to it. Get a map and directions from the visitor’s center and even then you might not be sure you are going the right way but it’s worth the drive. You will never believe it unless you see it for yourself.

Nelder2 Nelder Grove   Oakhurst, California

This is a hidden treasure in the Sierra National Forest. Don’t miss the one mile easy hike through the giant Sequoia Grove and the walk to the 5th largest tree in the world. If you like quiet and away from the crowds in Yosemite, Nelder Grove is the place to go.

Beautiful scenery, no crowds, no garbage, peace and quiet in an extraordinary setting. This is the place to go if you really want to experience the Giant Sequoias like they should be experienced.

While visiting Yosemite stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates.

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May 04

Owned by Andrew and Laurel Quady, globally highly praised Quady Winery specializes in Muscats, Moscato, Port, Sherry, and Vermouth. Electra and Red Electra, 4% & 5% alcohol, is a light picnic style Moscato. Essensia, Orange Muscat and Elysium, Black Muscat, are dessert wines. Starboard is Quady’s euphemism for port. Vya Vermouth is a unique aperitif wine made with selected botanicals. Deviation is an Orange Muscat blended with Damiana and Scented Rose Geranium. Palomino Fino is an Amontillado style Sherry made from Biodynamic grapes. Purple is made from the Sunbelt grape. Located in Madera, CA, in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, an hour from Yosemite or Kings Canyon Parks. You can join for a wine tasting, tour our sustainable vineyard, and meet winemaker Michael Blaylock. Tasting Fee of $5.00 for groups of 10 or over.

In 1980 they decided to add an equipped white dessert wine to their line. The wine, from the obscure Orange Muscat grape variety was named Essensia and became a major success. In 1983, opportunity knocked when they were offered a crop of Black Muscat grapes which became the first Elysium.

Quady wines Discover Quady Winery near YosemiteThey are specialize in sweet wines so be warned. This is definitely a place to take new wine drinker. The Electra which is one of those award winning is Muscat and is one of best things you’ll find. They have a large selection of wines; the staff is friendly, and knowledgeable. It’s a fun place to check out either as a group, or just for some simple tasting. They have great quality wines and paired them nicely with cheese, chocolate shake shots and baklava.

Tasted all the Quady offerings at the Lincoln Child Center Culinary Stars event.  All of their dessert wines are easy to drink and not overly sweet. If you join their wine club, they choose the shipments for you, but that doesn’t bother me much since all their wines are terrific. The wines are excellent. They truly give importance and welcome their guest. Their wines are unique and delicious. Stop here if you are in the area!

Quady has become renowned for their excellent dessert wines. But their tasting room is a lot of fun also. They always have some special wine cocktail they’re serving. And there is always much laughing going on as well. Great wine and great tasting.

The wines have nice labels and great gift bags for presents. The variety covers different taste ranges. There are fun bottles with large wild cat prints that contribute to a local charity. If you like interesting jewelry, hats, purses, wallets, etc., they have great items made from cork. These items are good for gifts or the buyer, and reasonably priced. Quady makes award winning dessert wines. Their staff is friendly and familiar, and very welcoming. They make a great showing on the wine trail, and have several wine clubs and events for members. Check them out!

Quady Winery has many different kinds of wine and all are very good. Nothing like sitting down in the evening to a nice glass of Electra. They have too many to list but anyone in Madera should stop by and check this winery out. The atmosphere and wines at Quady Winery are some of the best in the state. And the wines themselves are fantastic, especially if you’re a fan of dessert wines. Highly recommended!

One of their wines is called Electra and it is made from the Orange Muscat grape, very low alcohol and a little sprits. On a hot day it would be really great served chilled.

There are many attractions in Oakhurst which also offer a variety of lodging options. While visiting Yosemite stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates.

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Apr 10

minaret mountain range 2 1024x680 Tony Krizan’s Discover Yosemite’s Forgotten Trails Series minaret mountain range Tony Krizan’s Discover Yosemite’s Forgotten Trails Series

Saturday, April 18, 2015 – Minaret Mountain Adventure

At the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites located at 40644 Highway 41 in Oakhurst from 7:30 to 8:30 pm.

Tony Krizan, local adventurer, author & photographer shares his 30 plus years of hiking experiences and photos with this exciting series.  Experience this 30 minute show as Tony brings to life, a nine day 47 mile lope starting at the Mammoth Trailhead at 7,495 feet, just above Clover Meadow.

Tony’s “Minaret Mountain Adventure” takes you over to the east side, around Minaret Lake and a special preview at 9,810 feet, the Minaret Mine established in 1878.  He’ll continue back through the Minarets skirting around the two tallest peaks – Mt. Ritter at 13,143 feet and Mt. Banner at 12,942 feet.  Then from Lake Catherine dropping in elevation following the North Fork of the San Joaquin River to the Iceberg Pass Trailhead.  This free slide show event reviles the hidden beauty and history concealed within our Sierra Nevada Mountains.

yosemite national park 125th anniversary 747x1024 Tony Krizan’s Discover Yosemite’s Forgotten Trails Series

Tony Krizan’s Sierra Nevada Mountains Series

Join the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites, Crab Cakes Restaurant, REI of Fresno and the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau in honoring the 125th Anniversary of Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.  We will be hosting Tony Krizan, local photographer, author and avid hiker as he takes you on a spectacular photo journey of hiking trails in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

This 7-event series features wilderness hiking trails within the mountains surrounding Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park.  The slide show presentation will allow you to experience the trails and endless views as if you were there, and learn about their history.

Six of the presentations will be in the lobby of the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites located at 40644 Highway 41 in Oakhurst from 7:30 to 8:30 pm.  There will be a special presentation at the REI at River Park in Fresno.

Schedule of Presentations:

April 18, 2015     Minaret Mountains (Yosemite Southgate Hotel, Oakhurst)

May 9, 2015        Wawona Stagecoach Road (Yosemite Southgate Hotel, Oakhurst)

June 13, 2015     Great Sierra Mines, (Yosemite Southgate Hotel, Oakhurst)

July 11, 2015      High Sierra Passes (Yosemite Southgate Hotel, Oakhurst)

August 8, 2015    Lake Italy Loop (Yosemite Southgate Hotel, Oakhurst)

September 19, 2015   Lost in Kings Canyon (Yosemite Southgate Hotel, Oakhurst)

September 29, 2015   Minaret Mountains (REI of Fresno)

All presentations are open to the public and free of charge.

Guests can enjoy a complimentaryvariety of hors-d’oeuvres for each presentation at Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites provided by Crab Cakes Restaurant in Oakhurst.   In conjunction with presentations, REI of Fresno will display various kinds of extreme hiking equipment in the Southgate Hotel lobby.  The same type of equipment Tony would use on one of his many adventures.

After the presentations, autographed copies of Tony’s two books on hiking the historic Yosemite Trails will be available.  For more event information you can go to the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau website at: www.yosemitethisyear.com and for more information on the Yosemite Anniversaries go to: www.nps.gov/yose/anniversary.

 Yosemite Southgate Hotel Tony Krizan’s Discover Yosemite’s Forgotten Trails Series

Crab Cakes Restaurant Tony Krizan’s Discover Yosemite’s Forgotten Trails Series


 REI Logo Tony Krizan’s Discover Yosemite’s Forgotten Trails Series

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Apr 07

A great place to go for a road trip or to stop by if you’re traveling on Hwy 99. Truly a great piece of history. Mr. Forsetiere was an amazing, smart man. Definitely before his time. He did the majority of the work creating the underground gardens. Before the tour they give you a brief biography of the Forestiere family and how the underground gardens came to be.

Forestiere Underground Gardens are a true earth environment that remains somewhat untouched from their original beginnings. The tour grounds have small rooms and narrow passageways, which cannot accommodate throngs of visitors. Dirt pathways have some uneven areas and good walking shoes are recommended.

To preserve the character of the grounds and ensure a safe and pleasant visit for everyone, the number of visitors at each tour hour is may limited. To ensure a spot on the tour, be sure to arrive on time. Late-comers will be asked to wait for the next tour.

This is a must see attraction! To think that someone took dozens of years to build an underground compound with gardens and living space. You can’t see it from the street because it is underground. But up close is beautifully done. So much history here you need to take the family and see how great it is! These gardens are absolutely incredible and well worth seeing.

This really is a one-of-a-kind attraction. The host does a nice job of taking visitors through a tour of the underground rooms and explaining the history and undertaking behind this sprawling structure. A visitor gets to walk through most of the remaining building and can easily imagine what it was like to live there. The dug-out living quarters contain a unique mix of ruggedness, ingenuity, and practicality. It reminded me more of visiting ancient ruins than pretty gardens. Although called “gardens,” it really is more of a fascinating living space interspersed with a variety of fruit trees. Each tree has access to the surface through some type of window or hole. It also provides a break from the hot Fresno sun. If you are visiting Fresno, it’s worth a peek.

Forestiere Underground Gardens Explore Forestiere Underground GardensIt’s an amazing story, and quite a gem to see. It’s a place you’ll want to take lots of pictures so take your cameras to click good pictures. The story of how and why this gem was created is in itself worth the trip. But to actually walk the underground passages is like nothing else.

This amazing attraction is such a testament to what hard work and a dream will get you. It is cooler underground so you may want a light sweater. What you will find once you’ve entered is incredible craftsmanship. The family is still working on the upkeep of this unique home and the fruit from the trees.

Working Hours:

Monday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Admission Fees:

Adults: $15

Seniors: $13

His work and genius was very interesting and in many ways reminded me of the work of Gaudi. This Italian touch, the religious references and this whole crazy project.

The place does not look impressive from the outside. There is a chain link fence around some dusty trees. When you enter you will be greeted by one of the gracious staff and wait for the next tour. Awaiting you under the surface is an impressive creation by an intriguing man. It is a one of a kind creation by an unusual artist with mysterious motivations.

This wonderful hidden gem was more than expected!  The staff was amazingly friendly, knowledgeable, and fun.  Some of the fruit trees were over 100 years old and looked amazing as they grow from their sheltered underground planter pots.

This is a lovely place for a family visit, especially during the hottest time of the year. The temperature underground is nice and cool, so if you go in summer, its perfect place to beat the notorious Central Valley heat.

If you’re looking for something to break up the drive back from Yosemite to LA, this is a great pit-stop with some fun history and stories of a man that worked nearly 40 years to create an underground resort for the early 20th century Fresno residents.

While visiting Yosemite stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates and which are closer to the above attractions and there are more to explore in Yosemite.

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Mar 23

Take a quick tour of some of most popular Yosemite attractions, including amazing natural scenery.

Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau

This visitor information center is located in Oakhurst just 1 minute from the Yosemite Southgate lodge and 11 miles from the South entrance to the park. Here you will find information about the U. S. Forest Service, hotels, restaurants, attractions and things to do in Yosemite. The US Forest Service employees at this center can issue permits for campfires and fuel wood as well as wilderness permits. In addition to the information, the center has several historical displays depicting the surrounding area. Complimentary coffee, tea and water are available.

The knowledgeable staff happily assists both tourists and locals with tips on hikes, restaurants, activities and so much more! The Yosemite Sierra Visitor’s Bureau shares the building with the Oakhurst Chamber of Commerce and the US Forest Service so just about anything you may need can be found here.

Working Hours:

Monday- Saturday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Stop here to find out all you need to know about your visit to Yosemite.

Help you with the following:

  • FREE Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau visitors guide
  • Area brochures and restaurant menus
  • Yosemite Park Ranger (seasonal)
  • Local tips and favorite things to do
  • FREE coffee, tea and water
  • Road Conditions and weather forecasts


Fresno Chaffee Zoo

There is continuous upgrading and new exhibits are being built. Animals are well cared for and the grounds are kept up and clean. Although a zoo, Chaffee thinks it’s also an aquarium with its water exhibits, especially Sea Lion Cove. Don’t miss it.

Fresno Chaffee Zoo Attractions near Yosemite

Give yourself a few hours here if you want to see everything. Small children can quickly get tired, though, as there is lots of ground to cover and so much to see. Take time out and get a snack at the zoo cafe in the middle of the park. Everyone that works here is so kind and excited to be there and share info about the animals and the zoo. If you like ducks and geese you can feed a million of them in the grassy area across from the zoo entrance.

The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is the crown jewel of Fresno, especially due to all the improvements and additions over the last several years.  This zoo had a surprising variety of animals. A large amount of knowledgeable volunteers to talk about the different animals, and great exhibits like the reptile house and Sea Lion cove make this a terrific family outing.

Fresno’s zoo is smaller, but it’s not small. You can spend a day there without feeling like you’re missing anything, while still being entertained by a variety of animals and shows.

It already features zebras, kangaroos, Malaysian tigers, elephants, an anteater, a host of colorful birds, otters and a variety of other exhibits. There’s a “stingray bay” where you can touch stingrays for a modest extra fee, and there’s a petting zoo, too.

Roeding Regional Park

This is a beautiful park, Lush grass lawns, mature trees, winding roads with plenty of spaces and features to discover and explore. This is the park that has the zoo, Rotary Play land, and Story land. It’s a large, regional park that has been around for decades.

There are tennis courts, dance and roller skating pavilions, picnic areas, horseshoes, and even a dog park. Lots of parking and lots of area to walk.

Beautifully landscaped with cool blue lakes, huge groves of trees, rolling green lawns, and dotted by flower gardens, the park contains eight championship tennis courts, two dance pavilions, horseshoe pits, slides and playgrounds, and many picnic areas, complete with picnic tables, and barbecue pits.

The park is characterized by a sweeping lawn punctuated by informal groupings of mature specimen trees. The land is subtly contoured, shaped out of flat topography through extensive grading. A gently-curving thoroughfare bisects the park, with smaller, radiating secondary roads. Water features include a chain of lily ponds and Lake Washington, located in the southwestern corner of the park.

Roeding Park is a regional park covering 90 acres of trees, ponds and picnic areas. The park houses the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and the Japanese War Memorial.

There are lots of attractions available in the location which also offers a variety of lodging options.

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Mar 09

There’s something for adults and kids at Yosemite. Check out these two must visit places in Yosemite National Park:

Westbrook Wine Farm

At Westbrook Wine Farm we grow eight red Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon (11 clones), Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carmenere, Saint Macaire and Gros Verdot from which we co-ferment our two Estate Grown field blends, Fait Accompli and Museum. We also produce wines from grapes sourced from other growers of quality and conscience. Wines poured personally by appointment only by the winemakers.

WWF makes fine premium wines, many sourced from the best local vineyards.  The winemaker and owner (Ray) has a genuine love for the craft of wine making, and loves to expound on all things wine-related as he pours the fruit of his labor! His wines never fail to impress at each function.

If you want to taste excellent wine by an excellent winemaker then you must make a leisurely visit to Ray and Tammy Krause’s Westbrook Wine Farm. Of the Fresno/Madera wineries that focus on table wines, Westbrook Wine Farm is the best.  WWF flagship is their Fait Accompli, which is composed of six of the eight official Bordeaux varietals that Ray co-ferments.  Ray controls the maturation process of the different estate grown varietals by meticulously pruning some back, while letting others grow.  In this way, all six of the varietals are ready to harvest together.

All of Ray’s wines are individually crafted – none of his wines have a similar taste, as you may have experienced at some other wineries in the general vicinity.

The other reason for visiting WWF is Ray and Tammy.  They are a delight and will show you a great time. Ray will give an overview of how each wine was made and the reason why he made the decision.  Ray has a wonderful personality and has given other wine makers, in the area, the benefit of his many years in the wine industry.  He has been making wine over 46 years and has an encyclopedic knowledge of wines and their history.

The setting is beautiful, the wines are amazing and the winemaker Ray Krause is as knowledgeable as he is entertaining. Westbrook Wine Farm is a gem in the Sierra Foothills.

California State Mining and Mineral Museum

The era of Gold Rush led to extensive mining activities in California, and this museum commemorates the era with an intriguing collection of artifacts and minerals. Established in 1999, the museum’s exhibits take you through the thrilling era when people from all over the world were landing up in the state in the hope of landing a rich haul. Besides this, the museum also houses a rich collection of gems and minerals from the state.

California State Mining and Mineral Museum Two Must Visit Places in Yosemite

There are many different rocks and minerals from all over the world. The best part is the mine dug into the mountain attached to the museum. Great collection, some nice specimens.  Old and tired displays, but certainly worth a look through.

Great place to see some excellent samples of minerals from California and around the world.   Really cool replica of a Gold Rush era mineshaft.  Staff was very helpful and informative.  Low admission, $4 per adult, for a great couple of hours of learning.   Plus it is located right outside historic Mariposa main street area.  Between the two, you can spend the better part of a morning or afternoon.

They have a long tunnel you can walk through which is an example of what mining life was like. There is a warning on the door that there are mold inside and people with severe allergies should not go inside. It is like the gold mine ride at Knott’s Berry Farm, but much mustier and moldier. A very interesting place to visit, and gain some local history about minding for all kinds of minerals.

The museum is divided into three themes – with a simulated underground mining display to give you a sense of what it is like in a mine, a large area devoted to explaining what mining is; what mining has occurred and is occurring in California; how man uses minerals, and of course an equally large area with displays of specimens of minerals with an emphasis on California.

This museum houses minerals and gems of all kinds. It has a reproduction of a mine to walk through and has a 100 year old model of an ore processing plant.

While visiting Yosemite stay at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites in Oakhurst and get rooms at very affordable rates and which are closer to all the above attractions.

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Feb 27

Yosemite National Park is home to some truly amazing natural landscapes, including famous spots such as the Grand Canyon and the Niagara Falls, which technically straddles the border between the US and Canada. It is also home to some stunning National Parks where the true beauty and serenity of natural country has been preserved, such as Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite National Park found in what is affectionately known as “America’s Golden West”. Yosemite Valley was formed as long ago as 10, 000 years when the Tioga glaciations initially carved up what is now known as the Sierra Nevada.

Yosemite National Park 300x225 Why Yosemite National Park Is a Fascinating LocationYosemite National Park History:
The history and culture that surrounds Yosemite National Park is quite interesting with its oldest inhabitants the Anwahneechee Native Americans dating back centuries prior to the first American-European contact in 1833. In fact these Native Americans could have inhabited Yosemite as long ago as 7000 to 10, 000 years ago. However, it is believed that it was around 3, 500 years ago that the people began to settle in the Valley permanently. These Native Americans heritages can be found all across Yosemite National Park. Upon arrival in the mid 1800s many European travelers were challenged by Yosemite’s rugged and rough landscape, with as few as 650 travelers between 1850 and 1860 surviving the journey on horseback. By 1907 Yosemite Valley Railroad from Merced to El Portal provided an easier route and increasing visitation.

Given below are some of the special places that are must visit while on a trip to Yosemite:

Yosemite Valley:

This is where you will find most of the waterfalls. You should plan your visit during spring if you want to catch the most spectacular runoffs but if you go there during late summer or fall, you will barely find water. However, the waterfalls are not the only attractions at this Yosemite Valley. You will have the opportunity to have some of the best views at the Tunnel View. From here, you can see El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall and Half Dome in the distance. You can see the Cathedral Rocks from El Capitan Meadow.
Other places of attraction in this valley include the Valley View, the Yosemite Chapel, the Sentinel Meadow and the Sentinel Bridge.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias:

Located close to the South Entrance of the national park, Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is some 36 miles to the south of the Yosemite Valley. This is where you will find the ‘big tree’s as the giant sequoias or Sierra redwoods are called. Only skiers and hikers can access this place between November and April when the road is closed for the vehicles to pass.

Glacier Point & Badger Pass:

You have to just take a short walk to go to the viewpoint at Glacier Point from where you can have special views of the rest of the valley and half dome. The road is usually ploughed just up to Badger Pass which is a ski area between November and June.
If you have enough time in hand, you can also visit the Hetch Hetchy, Crane Flat, as well as the Tioga Road and the Tuolumne Meadows situated in this Yosemite National Park.

Wildlife and Plant Life:

When it comes to wildlife and natural landscapes Yosemite National Park is second to none, it boasts of a 195-mile escape from Urban San Francisco or a 315-mile journey from Los Angeles. The park covers a staggering 747, 956 acres or 1, 169 square miles and is home to many wildlife species and plants. It is designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984 it is also known for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, and biological diversity. There are two wild and scenic rivers that Yosemite National Park is host to, the Tuolumne and Merced rivers, they both begin in the park and flow westwards to the central valley. Yosemite supports 400 species of vertebrates, including fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals. There has even been the recent discovery of two insect species believed not to exist anywhere else in the world. Across the park there is also a variety of plant life, with vegetation changing from oak woodlands to chaparral scrublands, to lower montane and upper montane subalpine and alpine environments.

In Additional, National park has lot to offer including rafting in Merced River, hiking, photography, biking, horseback riding, skiing and snowshoeing at Badger Pass and camping. Stay at the Yosemite Southgate Suites & Hotel in Oakhurst when you travel to Yosemite. This south entrance hotel provides free parking, breakfast, and Wi-Fi access. For more details on hotel reservations in Oakhurst. Visit:  http://www.yosemitesouthgate.com/

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