Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Oakhurst, CA

  • Published 2023/01/10

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 20 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

Waterfall at Lewis Creek Trail

Evan Sloyka /

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

Gustaveson /

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

A cabin at Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park

Paul R. Jones /

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.

Display at Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park

Paul R. Jones /

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.

A well at Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park

Paul R. Jones /

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.

Pair your Meal with Exquisite Wines at Idle Hour Winery & Kitchen

Come try the handmade wines from Oakhurst’s premier winery!

They specialize in single-vineyard wines, including Pinot Noir, Petit Verdot, Tannat, and Petite Sirah.

The Idle Hour Winery & Kitchen is accessible daily from 11 am to 5 pm for wine tasting and lunches from 12 pm to 4 pm.

Nutritious and delightful meals served in a lovely outdoor setting where customers may socialize comfortably are the foundation of their success.

Discover their weekly rotating menu, which features ingredients from the current season and is complemented by a selection of excellent wines.

Dine and unwind on Sundays, when they serve hearty brunch from 10 am to 2 pm.

Admire Works of Art at Stellar Gallery

Stellar Gallery is committed to bringing its guests the finest in modern fine art photography, emphasizing Yosemite National Park and the neighboring parks and wilderness regions of California and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

They pledged to offer a comprehensive variety of modern fine art photography, distinctive rotating shows, and neighborhood activities that support and advance the visual arts.

Many of the greatest fine art photographers in the area now have works available at Stellar Gallery.

Additionally, they host several unique exhibits annually that showcase works in various mediums, such as ceramics, glass, jewelry, glass sculpture, printmaking, painting, and more.

Visit and browse the Stellar Gallery for a fantastic collection of great art and fine craft that makes the ideal present for weddings, birthdays, and other occasions.

Sit Back and Watch an Entertaining Show at Yosemite Cinema

Located in the highlands at Yosemite National Park’s entry, Yosemite Cinema is popular, well-liked five-screen movie theater.

It is currently the sole VR cinema permanently placed in North America.

The VR film “Experience Yosemite,” created especially for this site, is on display at Yosemite Cinema.

The Cinema intends to host VR Film Festivals in the future and screen additional Theatrical VR Content.

Along with Experience Yosemite, the Positron XR Cinema offers a variety of VR productions from acclaimed writers and filmmakers that transport viewers to locations like space or the summit of Everest that they may never have the chance to see on their own.

A cutting-edge virtual reality theater with 16 motion pods, the Yosemite Cinema Positron XR Cinema offers customers the best cinematic virtual reality entertainment.

Book Crossroads Tours and Explore the Town

Crossroads Tours is your go-to tour provider to assist you in exploring and enjoying Yosemite’s natural splendor.

They provide tour services unlike any other and are situated in the center of Oakhurst, California.

Crossroads Tours features a range of Yosemite excursions, including bus tours, private outings, national park tours, and sightseeing of Sequoia National Park.

Experience Yosemite by joining one of their small group trips, where you and your friends can trek around Yosemite National Park aboard one of their tour leaders.

Make a reservation with Crossroads Tours immediately to ensure you do not miss any sights traveling through Yosemite!

Make Use of the Countless Perks at the Oakhurst Inn

The Oakhurst Inn offers a wonderful night’s sleep and a sumptuous breakfast.

It is perfect for work trips and family vacations thanks to its expansive, pet-friendly accommodations with luxurious linen and practical facilities.

An outdoor pool, a sundeck, loungers, covered picnic tables, and a hot tub are available at the hotel.

RVs, buses, and autos all get free parking.

The Western-style rooms are equipped with desks, fast WiFi, coffee makers, refrigerators, and microwaves.

They provide luxurious linen, pillow top mattresses, and air-conditioned, large rooms including flat-screen TVs and cable channels, plus sofa beds are available in certain rooms.

Enjoy a complimentary, wholesome breakfast buffet every morning that comprises eggs, sausages, waffles, baked goods, and more.

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

The waters of Bass Lake

Kit Leong /

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.

Scenic view of Bass Lake

Paul Vowles /

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.

Aerial view of Bass Lake

hafakot /

Be Impressed by the Giant Trees of Mariposa Grove

View of Giant Trees at Mariposa Grove

Iv-olga /

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.

Large tree trunks at Mariposa Grove

Sundry Photography /

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.

Tree tunnel at Mariposa Grove

Lynn Yeh /

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.

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