15 Best Things to Do in Oakhurst, CA

Oakhurst, CA
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Located 14 miles away from the entrance of Yosemite Park, the small town of Oakhurst serves as a gateway to start your Yosemite adventures.

The town of Oakhurst isn't your traditional starting point for a trip to Yosemite National Park; it has something to offer everyone.

Despite being a small town, Oakhurst is home to many thrilling activities and stunning tourist attractions.

You should discover the treasures and hidden gems that Oakhurst keeps in its treasure chest when you come and visit this small, quaint town.

Check out the 15 best things to do in Oakhurst, California, and discover what you can do from a variety of activities that will keep you occupied from morning to night.

Have Fun Outdoors in Lewis Creek Trail

View of Lewis Creek Trail
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Get up, go out, and experience the outdoors in the Lewis Creek Trail.

This 5.5-mile trail that runs from Corlieu Falls to Red Rock is a perfect trail for beginners.

Enjoy a hike in Lewis Creek Trail and stop by at some of the marvelous spots, like the Corlieu Falls, an 80-foot waterfall, and the Red Rock Falls, with an expansive and powerful drop of water.

View of Lewis Creek Trail
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You’ll be enchanted by the trails to Red Rock Falls as you pass the path bordered by ferns, mossy boulders, and other plants that line up along the passage.

The ideal time to go to Lewis Creek Trail is during the spring where wildflowers start to bloom, and the waterfalls have an abundant supply of flowing water.

Relax in Oakhurst Community Park

Parks are very common recreational areas, and almost every town has them, but that was not the case for Oakhurst because they weren’t blessed with such.

The history of Oakhurst Community Park began when a small group of Oakhurst residents decided to reminisce their childhood memories on a park.

Since the Oakhurst Community Park is not a government-funded facility, the committees of this community have to raise a significant amount of money to improve its amenities.

What was once an idle land is now transformed into a place where families and friends hang out and spend time together.

The Oakhurst Community Park features a lot of space where you can do outdoor activities and sports, such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, and baseball. It also includes a pavilion with restrooms.

This park is one of the places that you should visit on your way to Yosemite National Park.

Plan a Roadtrip to the Scenic Route of Highway 49

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you’ll definitely love driving around the Scenic Route Highway 49.

Because of the rich history of the historic mining villages found along the paths of Highway 49, it was regarded as the "Gold Chain Highway” or "Gold Rush Trail."

You can enjoy the 300-mile highway that runs from Vinton to Oakhurst that offers panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Keep your eyes peeled for the breathtaking sceneries along the Scenic Route Highway 49 as you pass by the stunning landmarks around it.

Make sure that your tank is full of gas when you pass by Highway 49 and take your time, so you don’t miss any chance to spot all the attractions.

Try the Best Barbeques in Smokehouse 41

After a fun day out in Oakhurst, satisfy your hunger in Smokehouse 41 with their best-tasting smoked barbeques.

Have a taste of Smokehouse 41’s meats that are cooked to perfection and experience the great service provided by their welcoming and friendly staff.

The menu of Smokehouse 41 boasts its popular trip-tip that is smoked under a bed of hot coals, the Brontosaurus rib, which is a giant piece of rib good for two people, and their twice-baked potato casserole that is oozing with cheesy goodness in every bite.

Smokehouse 41 is a must-visit restaurant in Oakhurst that will never disappoint your taste buds.

Learn About the History of Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park

View of Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park
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The historic Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park recreate the nineteenth-century life of Oakhurst residents.

The museum complex is centered on two eighteenth-century residences that have been restored and furnished.

Both of these structures have been recognized as historical landmarks in Oakhurst because of their unique architecture.

View of Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park
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Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park is a hidden gem of Oakhurst, and the community has been working hard to preserve, restore, and maintain the buildings.

You can have a self-guided tour of this historical site and learn about the stories behind the Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park.

Try Some Oakhurst Spirits

Just twenty miles away from the entrance of Yosemite National Park, you will find the famed distillery facility in Oakhurst, California — the Oakhurst Spirits.

Oakhurst Spirits is a one-stop destination that houses a specialty distillery, a tasting room, and an arts center.

You can have a tour around the distillery and have a taste of their whiskeys, gin, rum, vodka, bourbon, and other spirits that they craft.

The adjacent art gallery is also open for visitors, where you can buy merchandise such as t-shirts, caps, and tasting glasses with an imprinted logo of Oakhurst Spirits.

The art gallery also features artworks created by local and international artists.

You can explore the distillery and watch the distilling process that the products have to go through.

Be Entertained by the Golden Chain Theatre

The Golden Chain Theatre was established in 1967 when a group of Oakhurst residents decided that the town had to have something that could charm the tourists to visit Yosemite Park and stop by at Oakhurst.

Golden Chain Theatre is committed to providing and producing quality theatre productions and musical plays that uphold the traditional Summer Melodrama and Traveling Shows.

You can choose among the wide variety of shows held in Golden Chain Theatre, from historical dramas to mystery thrillers.

If you get hungry in the middle of the performances, you can grab some snacks and drinks at the Golden Chain Theatre’s Saloon.

Indulge yourself in the high-quality entertainment of Golden Chain Theatre that contributes to the artistic community of Oakhurst.

Drink and Dine at South Gate Brewing Company

Spend the night at the quaint Southgate Brewing Company, which serves delicious meals and craft brews.

Located on Enterprise Drive, the Southgate Brewing Company serves delectable dishes and a wide variety of original beers in a modern and elegant setting.

You can enjoy a couple of handcrafted beers with your friends at Southgate Brewing Company.

Experience and savor the highest quality ingredients sourced locally from nearby farms that reflect the richness and abundance of Oakhurst.

Have a seat in the restaurant’s home-life dining room, where you can see the scenic views of the Deadwood Mountains.

Practice Your Aim at Yosemite Axe Throwing

Need a place to release your pent-up rage while having fun in a safe environment?

If yes, Yosemite Axe Throwing is the perfect location for you.

This facility features nine throwing lanes indoors and six throwing lanes outdoors.

You can enjoy the fresh air and lots of shades on the outdoor lanes while having so much fun throwing axes.

Yosemite Axe Throwing area also offers a picnic area and two cornhole games for you to have a good time.

Bring your friends and family to Yosemite Axe Throwing for a simple yet unique experience.

Listen to the Talking Bear

Situated in the small town of Oakhurst, you will find a life-sized replica of a Californian Grizzly Bear.

Made up of solid fiberglass, the Talking Bear is like a real bear with its beady eyes and a furious growl.

This Talking Bear is not just a decorative statue on the corner of Highway 41; it is an informative monument that speaks when a button is pushed.

The sound of the recording is loud enough to be heard in the traffic, and it is also clear and can be easily understood.

It begins with a loud roar and then provides information about his own kind — the Californian Grizzly Bears.

You can stop by and listen to the world-famous bear talk.

You can also take a picture with it.

Buy Something Sweet in Reimer's Candies, & Ice Cream

For over fifty years, Reimer’s Candies, Gifts, and Icecream store have been providing the community of Oakhurst with handmade sweets.

Located on Highway 198 Sierra Drive, this candy store radiates a historical vibe.

Reimer’s Candies, Gifts, and Icecream Shop boast a huge collection of chocolates with more than eighty variations of gourmet desserts.

The store also offers different kinds of candies such as homemade peanut brittles, sours, licorice, chews, and many more.

Your sweet tooth will love Reimer’s Candies, Gifts, and Icecream Shop, so go ahead and grab a little bit of everything in the candy store.

Other Things to Do Nearby

After checking out all the activities and destinations in this small town, head on to the nearby attractions around Oakhurst, California.

Cast Your Fishing Rods at Bass Lake

View of Bass Lake
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You can drive 17 minutes from Oakhurst to Bass Lake, where you can do some popular activities on the lake, such as swimming, fishing, boating, and other water sports.

The lake has been marked as an official recreational area, and there were developments of campgrounds and picnic areas for the visitors’ use.

View of Bass Lake
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You might encounter a group of bikers from Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) on your visit to Bass Lake since the lake has been the annual destination for their gatherings.

There are so many things to do in Bass Lake, and a day is not enough to experience it all.

View of Bass Lake
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Explore the Shadow of the Giants Trail

This 1.1-mile loop trail is located 35 minutes' drive away from Oakhurst, California.

The Shadow of the Giants features a beginner-friendly trail and a glistening river along the path.

You can enjoy the peaceful environment when you take a walk in between the towering trees of the forest.

The trail offers a serene environment where you can hike, do some bird watching, or simply enjoy the calmness that the place provides.

Along the trail, you can gaze at the giant sequoias and get amazed by the world’s biggest trees.

Be Impressed by the Giant Trees of Mariposa Grove

View of Giant Trees of Mariposa Grove
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Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove is home to the largest trees in this world, with more than five hundred matured trees of sequoias.

Be ready to be amazed at the lineup of massive trees as you enter Mariposa Grove.

There are many giant trees with unique characteristics that you can spot in Mariposa Grove, such as the Grizzly Giant, the Faithful Couple, the Telescope Tree, and many more.

View of Giant Trees of Mariposa Grove
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Aside from the huge sequoia trees, you can also see the wildlife that exists in the area, like the Chickarees or the Pine Squirrels.

Mariposa Grove is one of the best places to hike and appreciate the natural beauty of Yosemite National Park.

View of Giant Trees of Mariposa Grove
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Final Thoughts

The enticing little town of Oakhurst has definitely proved that it has so much to offer aside from being a gateway to Yosemite National Park.

Filled with parks, museums, historical landmarks, unique shops, and restaurants, Oakhurst is truly a treasure chest full of surprises.

Oakhurst is a perfect destination for couples, families, and groups of friends, but no matter what kind of traveler you are, Oakhurst has a little something for everyone.