In a National Park, you may expect a certain level of…rusticity, if you will; Yosemite has this in spades. But what you might not be expecting is the opportunity for opulence that this 1,190-square-mile (3,081-square-km) park has to offer. From historical landmarks like the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly the Ahwahnee Hotel) to tent cabins at White Wolf Lodge, Yosemite has a wide range of options for you to lay your weary head after a long and satisfying day in the park. When visiting Yosemite, the best way to get close to the action is to stay within park boundaries.
Inside the Park: Yosemite Valley
The most popular area in Yosemite is on the valley floor and, as a result, there a good selection of lodging options, several that are park attractions in and of themselves. The historic Majestic Yosemite Hotel and Yosemite Lodge boast amazing perspectives of iconic sights--Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and Glacier Point, to name a few--if you'd like a room with a view. For a central location, check out Curry Village--it's a starting point for many hikes and excursions in the Valley and has welcomed guests for the past 100 years. Keep in mind that Yosemite is one of the most popular National Parks in the country; lodging fills up quickly and you'll need to make reservations in advance.
Inside the Park: Outside of Yosemite Valley
Staying outside of the valley gives you less crowded options without sacrificing any of the spectacular scenery. Tuolumne Meadows offers tent camping and is a central location for embarking on many activities. The Wawona Hotel dates back to the 1800s and is the most historic lodging facility in the park; it's conveniently located near the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. For a taste of backcountry travel without the hassle, Yosemite High Sierra Camps allow you to explore Yosemite's vast high country without dealing with a backpack. Accessible only by foot or saddle, the High Sierra Camps are spaced roughly 5.5-10 miles (8.85-16 km) apart along a loop trail so that you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery without worrying about setting up camp each night.