You might not have heard of Tuolumne County but you’re sure to know of Yosemite National Park and more than half of Yosemite is in Tuolumne. Sitting 2.5 hours’ drive east of San Francisco Bay Area, the county also spans the Gold Country and High Sierra, covering almost 1.5m acres.
So now you know where it is, you won’t be surprised to hear that Tuolumne is renowned for its natural beauty, gold rush history and oodles of outdoor recreation. Here are the top 7 reasons to sell it to your clients:
#1 It’s ideal for a socially distanced holiday
You can go for days, literally days, without bumping into another person in the vastness of Tuolumne County, so if your clients have been living on top of friends or family for months, this is the ideal post-lockdown destination.
Solitude seekers can strap on a backpack and stride out on its hundreds of trails, hiking across meadows and mountains. To help them navigate, a new downloadable map of the top trails is available and they can earn digital badges to share on social media.
A visit to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir for wild hikes and waterfalls is a must, and just an hour’s drive inwards is Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. Smaller (and quieter) than its more popular Mariposa sister, the trees are just as magnificent.
#2 Outdoorsy types will love it
Tuolumne County is impossible to beat for an outdoor adventure. If it’s white-knuckle rides they’re after there is rafting on the Tuolumne River, or they can take a more gentle kayak tour on the crystal clear Pinecrest Lake. Or how about camping under the stars in the Tuolumne Meadows or one of the many other campgrounds?
The gold rush might be over but in the summer visitors can still pan for the yellow stuff at Columbia State Historic Park; you never know, they might get lucky. They can also ride in an authentic stagecoach or a famous steam train at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.
#3 We’ve had enough of traffic lights
Every year four million tourists visit Yosemite National Park and most head straight for the valley floor. Advise your clients to go along HWY120, the most direct route from San Francisco and other Northern California airports, so they won’t get stuck in a traffic jam, even in peak season.
#4 Variety is the spice of life
Your clients can choose to camp, glamp, hire an RV, book a boutique B&B or stay in an historic hotel in Tuolumne, it’s got the lot. Or they can mix it up and stay nestled close amongst the nature of Yosemite National Park for a few nights then head to one of the gold rush towns for a shot of culture and some evening entertainment.
Tuolumne County provides accommodation to suit all group sizes and, crucially, all budgets.
#5 It’s got spas, folks
If the fresh mountain air, wide open spaces and proximity to nature aren’t relaxing enough, clients can always head to one of the spas for more R&R.
Rush Creek Lodge recently opened a new one, with treatments taking inspiration from the natural waterfalls in Yosemite.
And in downtown Sonora, Amala Detox Lounge offers weary hikers an ionic foot soak, drawing toxins from the soles of their feet.
#6 Tasty local produce
Tuolumne County’s high altitude, cold winters and hot summers makes the perfect climate for thriving vineyards.
Just outside Jamestown there are several local producers, Gianelli Vineyards, Hurst Ranch and Yosemite Cellars all providing great wine and breathtaking views. You can see Yosemite’s Half Dome from here! Inner Sanctum Cellars provides a casual atmosphere complete with firepits and pet sheep.
In downtown Sonora, the boardwalks are lined with taprooms, and then there’s the Indigeny Reserve Orchard, just outside town which produces hard cider.
And tell clients not to miss the family-run bakery, Cover’s Apple Ranch in Tuolumne, which serves dozens of varieties of pie, including the ‘mile-high’ apple pie. Short on time? No problem, you can grab one in its unique pie drive-thru!
#7 Perfect for pit stops
Tuolumne County is the ideal place for a two- to three-night stop on a 14-day Northern California road trip, going from San Francisco inland to Sacramento and on to Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite National Park.
For more information, go to visittuolumne.com