Granite monoliths, waterfalls, alpine meadows—it’s no secret that Yosemite delivery some seriously big wow moments. But what is a secret is the bounty of awesome things you can see and do on your way to California’s showstopper national park. Each of the four major routes to Yosemite offers its own worth-a-stop finds: Gold Rush history, epic high-country landscapes, hidden wine country, and charming country towns (some with surprisingly hip food and shops). Many of these near-the-park towns are a great alternative for lodging, with choices ranging from historic country inns and B-and-B’s to uncrowded campgrounds.
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