One of my favorite places to stay near Yosemite National Park is Evergreen Lodge, outside Groveland and at the front door to Hetch Hetchy. I love Evergreen because it combines the warmth and ambience of a 1920s lodge (that's how far back it goes) with updated style and comforts I like: spacious, modern cabins with DVD players, satellite radio.
There's a cozy bar that could tell a few tales if th
at pine paneling could talk. And the cafe offers a surprisingly varied menu. When my sister, Mary Kay, and I visited she had a craving for sauteed baby bok choy; while it wasn't on the menu, they managed to whip it up for her (she loved it).
But what really distinguished Evergreen: it's the only area lodge with its own guide service and extensive recreation program. Want to hike or bike but don't know the local trails? These guys do.
Join a fall Bike and Hike to Rainbow Pools, take a Range of Light naturalist tour to see things from John Muir's perspective, or book a private Photography Workshop. And at day's end, enjoy a gourmet meal followed by a massage in Evergreen's open air cabana. Just don't tell everyone else, or Evergreen Lodge won't be a secret for long.