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suggest lunch/coffee stop between stovepipe and oakhurst

edinburgh
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suggest lunch/coffee stop between stovepipe and oakhurst

we drive from LV to stovepipe wells on 14 October. we intend to do most of our siteseeing in death valley on way to stovepipe wells.

On 15 October we drive from SPW to Oakhurst where we will overnight for 2 nights and visit Yosemite on 16th. I am aware that it will be a long drive on 15th and wondered if you could recommend somewhere to stop off en route for coffee/lunch/leg stretch etc.

Incidentally - we will have a convertible as earlier in holiday we are driving down west coast and booked car with that leg of the journey in mind. any problems envisaged with convertible in dv (albeit that we don't intend going offroad)

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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1. Re: suggest lunch/coffee stop between stovepipe and oakhurst

Re: the convertible in DV, it should be fine unless you encounter a dust storm. Occasionally these happen in the afternoon when the winds pick up; just close the roof. October is still warm and sunny (average daily highs are in the 90’s F). So if you plan to drive much with the top down, wear hats. And drink lots of water, because the added exposure to the air will dehydrate you more even if you aren’t noticeably sweating.

About entering Yosemite, I may have overlooked something you said in a different thread. It looks like you plan to enter from the west, not take Hwy 395 to Tioga Pass. I’m presuming you have some reason for this, and also for staying 2 nights in Oakhurst (is it your base for exploring Yosemite because lodgings inside the park were full?)

If you do any sightseeing along the way, it might be close to 400 mi/600+ km from SPW to Oakhurst. You could stop to look around Trona, one of California's most unusual towns. It is next to Searles Lake, a desert marsh. That’s a term for an old lakebed that has dried up but still has intermittent moisture. This marsh is rich in scores of minerals with scientific and industrial uses, and the town makes its living from a mining and refining operation. Other than that, and being a gateway town to DV, Trona isn't much to see.

Ridgecrest is about 100 miles from SPW and has all visitor services, including restaurants of all kinds. El Charro Avitia has good Mexican food; there are also a few Asian places as well as traditional American. There's also a museum of regional nature and history, the Maturango Museum. If you take Hwy 58 toward Bakersfield, the next big town, Tehachapi, has a historic downtown and several restaurants. Tehachapi is higher in elevation and will be cooler than where you’ve been. If you pick the scenic route, Hwy 178 along the Kern River, there are several resort towns along Lake Isabella where you can find various services, October is the edge of the tourist season-—not much happens around there in winter, so some businesses may be closing or keeping shorter hours.

Bakersfield is a bit over the midpoint. It's a big city with all visitor services, but it isn’t very exciting and you’re not going to find much along the main highways that has much character. When I do this trip, I try to have the major meal elsewhere and stock up on snacks to nibble the rest of the way.

edinburgh
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2. Re: suggest lunch/coffee stop between stovepipe and oakhurst

Thanks for your helpful comments.

I would really love to take the Tioga Pass if it is open and safe for us to attempt in a convertible. That will be our first choice.

We are staying in Oakhurst as we were recommended a nice hotel there and we thought we would want to relax in luxury after having spent a day doing a lot of driving from stovepipe wells. the following day we will get up very early and head off to spend the whole day in Yosemite - before returning to Oakhurst that evening. I know one day is not nearly enough to "see Yosemite" but this is our first trip and we are packing in a lot of travelling in quite a short time - with the intention that we come back again and spend longer in the places we loved the most

San Francisco
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3. Re: suggest lunch/coffee stop between stovepipe and oakhurst

Tioga Pass is gorgeous, and is fine for any kind of vehicle. With a convertible, you'll have an unobstructed view or everything. There won't be any safety issues. The road is paved and has two full lanes each way. The elevation is close to 10,000'/3000m, so it might get cool in comparison to Death Valley--but that's why a convertible has a roof! :D

If you want to take Tioga Pass on the way from Death Valley, you would go up Hwy 395 along the east side of the Sierra. Most of us who know the area would strongly suggest an overnight stay somewhere before Yosemite, to make the most of your time and see as much as possible. You would then go down through Yosemite Valley and south to Oakhurst. That's a long trip, even for two days if you include sightseeing.

Where are you going after Yosemite? That might be a factor in your choice of route.

Washington State
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4. Re: suggest lunch/coffee stop between stovepipe and oakhurst

Stop at the Whoa Nellie Deli in Lee Vining for lunch.

www.thesierraweb.com/tiogagasmart/deli.html You might even want to buy extra picnic food for a dinner.

SPW to Lee Vining: 4+ hours (no stops....)

lunch at Deli

drive over Tioga Pass & thru Tuolumne Meadows, stopping often (Tenaya Lake, Olmstead Point), on to Glacier Point, stopping!: 3 1/2 hours without stops, 5 hours with stops

Eat your picnic dinner on Glacier Point at sunset

Glacier Point to Oakhurst: 1 1/2 hours (35 mph in the Park)

Hmmmm. Maybe that picnic dinner just adds too much to the day. You can visit Yosemite Valley on the 16th and detour to Glacier Point on your way back to your lodging in Oakhurst.

Sounds like a great trip!

edinburgh
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5. Re: suggest lunch/coffee stop between stovepipe and oakhurst

Thanks to both these great replies. Will definitely aim for tioga pass; and whoa nellie deli sounds like just the right place to stop for a bit of a snack and rest. I like the idea of picnic stop on 16th at Glacier point at sunset.

There is always a compromise on a driving holiday. One option was to cut out death valley and yosemite altogether this time round and spend more time on the other parts of the holiday - but I read such amazing things about each place that I really wanted to fit them in somehow. so yes it is disappointing that we are doing this mad whistle-stop tour but it was that or not visiting these parts at all - and if we come away with even just a hint of how great it will be to come back in another season and experience DV and Yosemite at a more leisurely pace, then I think this trip will have been worth it!

After Oakhurst we head on to Rutherford and the wine country so we won't be back in this region at all on this holiday.

thanks for your input. much appreciated

San Francisco
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6. Re: suggest lunch/coffee stop between stovepipe and oakhurst

* "One option was to cut out death valley and yosemite altogether this time" *

Ooohhh...so glad you'll be able to manage your time so you can see at least some of each. You'll go away trying to plan your next trip!

Cutting out Death Valley or Yosemite from a trip to California would be like taking off a hand or a foot :^( . Especially when you're coming a long way. If someone lived in Texas or Wyoming, I'd be a lot more inclined to say, "Well, next time you come..."

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7. Re: suggest lunch/coffee stop between stovepipe and oakhurst

Where are you staying in Oakhurst? You may want to stop in Bass Lake, a very pretty place in this area. Have fun! :)

8. Re: suggest lunch/coffee stop between stovepipe and oakhurst

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