by: Melanie Warner

Yosemite is an international destination with much to offer. Just south of the main gate to Yosemite, is the sleepy town called Fish Camp. It’s a great place to stay when visiting the park because you avoid the hustle, bustle and traffic, you still have cell phone coverage, and there are many activities to choose from. We tried and tested this “escape” in just one day. It’s affordable, kid-friendly and easy to access from anywhere in California.

Just a few miles past Oakhurst and Bass Lake, off the 41 highway, you will find the sleepy little town of Fish Camp. There is no doubt, the biggest resident is the spacious property of Tenaya Lodge. I always feel like I’m going home each time I stay here. The staff is very accommodating and there are so many activities and events, that you literally never have to leave the premises.

Start your day with a facial or massage at the newly opened, luxurious, 10,000 square foot Ascent Day Spa, then skip to the breakfast buffet at Sierra Restaurant inside the hotel. The prices are reasonable and there are many food options to choose from, even for the pickiest of eaters.

Next, experience some of the activities on the premises like archery, sledding, snow shoes, cross country skiing, ice skating or even a sleigh ride. Or you can mountain bike one of the many miles of tree-lined trails on the property in the Spring and Summer.

Unwind from a long day of adventure at Embers – a fine dining restaurant inside the Tenaya Lodge that is open seasonally and changes their menu biweekly. Jackalope’s Bar is also onsite, and also offers a casual, comfy, cozy atmosphere with lunch or dinner. Enjoy huge fireplaces, play board games, enjoy a cigar, or s’mores on the patio – slowly roasted over the big outdoor fire pits, as you relax and observe kids enthralled in a snowball battle.

This beautiful area of California gives you all the views that you yearn for, the adventure and activities to keep you active, yet you are still in a resort setting with full service, upscale restaurants, a day spa and far from “roughing it” unless, of course, you want to. It’s off the beaten path and well worth the trip.