The area surrounding Yosemite National Park has a fascinating history. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains are home to many small towns and villages with a big past – for this is the heart of Gold Rush California. In the late 1800s thousands of people looking to get rich quick made their way to the miners’ camps here to go gold prospecting. Many of these camps are now modern towns or villages, and there are plenty of historic buildings and museums to visit.
Historic Hotels near Yosemite National Park
Choose a hotel in Coulterville, Sonora, Mariposa or Jamestown if you would like to stay in a historic hotel in Yosemite National Park. Whether you’re looking for proximity to historic sites and museums, or you’d like to stay in an original 19th century building, there is a historic inn, lodge or motel in Yosemite for you.
Soak up the History of the Gold Rush Era
Visit the town of Bodie – California’s official Gold Rush Ghost Town – and walk through its deserted streets, exploring original shops and imagining what it was like as a bustling town full of gold prospectors over 100 years ago. For even more detail, hit some of the excellent Gold Rush museums in the area: try the Tuolumne County Museum in Sonora, the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa or the Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum.
Jamestown: Historic Hotels and Vintage Engines
The centre of Jamestown is a great base for history fans. It’s full of period buildings, including some historic hotels. While you’re in town, visit the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park and check out a superb collection of old steam trains, many of which have been used in Hollywood films.
Delve into Local History at Yosemite Village
To learn about the history of Yosemite National Park head to the visitor centre in Yosemite Village. The nearby Yosemite Museum is full of fascinating exhibits focusing on the culture history of the native Miwok and Paiute people, including live demonstrations of traditional skills.