Cities and Towns

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Ahwahnee:

Population - 1680

Although it bears the same name given to the famous hotel in Yosemite, the little town of Ahwahnee has a reputation all its own!  Ahwahnee boasts two beautiful golf courses located adjacent to Hwy. 49, set among rolling hills and majestic oak trees and a great film location, the Ahwahnee Hills School.  Ahwahnee also is the home of the Wassama Roundhouse, an authentic ceremonial Indian roundhouse where local Miwok Indian tribes continue spiritual traditions to observe births, worship harvests and mourn the dead.

1542

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Bass Lake:

Population - 2195

The closest recreational lake to Yosemite, featuring a picturesque mountain setting. Quaint cabins, camping, chalets and "The Pines", a full service resort plus marinas, docks and four seasons of photographic opportunities.

Visit Their Website - www.basslakechamber.com

1580

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Chowchilla:

Population - 5930

They just don't make towns like this anymore, where family spirit is alive and well and everyone knows you by name. Friendly Chowchilla is located on Hwy. 99 between Merced and Madera, in the heart of Madera County's ranching and agricultural region. Each April, cowboys from all over the world test their skills, stomp their boots and drive a massive herd of cattle right through town to the Western Stampede Fairgrounds. On a quieter day, come back and explore the many antique stores along Main Street. Much of Chowchilla looks like any mid - western town with many 40's and 50's era buildings and homes.

Visit Their Website - www.ci.chowchilla.ca.us

2504

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Coarsegold:

Population - 7280

Originally known as "Gold Gulch," Coarsegold was -the "watering place" for thousands of miners following the immigrant trail through the foothills to the Mother Lode and Gold Country. More than $90,000 in gold was found in the river and many people still search for illusive fortunes in its waters today. Look for "Gabby," a giant wooden sculpture of a Coarsegold miner, and discover other fortunes in the area's quaint shops. A number of historic sites from the gold rush era have been preserved.

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Visit Their Website - www.coarsegold.com

Fish Camp:

Population - 277

Located at the south entrance to Yosemite National Park, Fish Camp is home to charming B and B's, condos, "The Tenaya", a world class hotel, and the "Logger" a narrow gauge railroad. Scenery in the area includes groves of big trees.

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Madera:

Population - 29,281

The city of Madera, the county seat of Madera County, located at the base of the Sierra foothills on Hwy. 99, began as the hub of a cattle range when established in 1876. Adopting the Spanish word for "wood" or "timber" as its name, the town quickly grew as the railroad arrived to provide fast, economical transportation for beef. It grew even faster as water to raise crops was brought down by mountain streams, making its fertile soil a bounty of fruits and vegetables. Today, Madera is one of California's largest producers of almonds, raisin and wine grapes, milk, cotton, alfalfa, pistachios, dairy products, beef and apples.  The county's first courthouse, constructed of area granite, served from 1902-62. The imposing structure is now a museum, with each of its 22 rooms devoted to a particular aspect of the county and its growth. Madera neighborhoods provide any look required - midwestern farm town, suburbia or big city.

Visit Their Website - www.maderachamber.com

2501

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North Fork:

Population - 3892

Historically the cultural center of the Mono Indians, North Fork offers an outstanding collection of Indian basketwork and artifacts at the Sierra Mono Museum. The museum was built by members of the Mono tribe, who have operated it for the past 20 years. A picturesque logging town with an early 1900's flavor, North Fork is the exact geographical center of California. Until it's closure in 1994, North Fork's main employer was a lumber mill. In 1997, the owner of the 153 acre mill donated the site to the town, and a new master plan for the property utilizes the natural beauty of the site and it's proud heritage

Visit Their website - www.north-fork-chamber.com

1022

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Oakhurst:

Population - 12,787

Located on the main southern route into Yosemite on Hwy. 41, Oakhurst boasts a population of more than 12,000 people and offers a wide variety of lodging, from quaint bed and-breakfast inns to cozy cabins nestled in the forest to full service resorts and even a five-star castle! There are lots of shopping opportunities and fine restaurants, all just 12 miles from the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park.  Oakhurst's Native American heritage can be traced to the Miwok tribe, who lived in the valley along the Fresno River and its tributaries. With the discovery of gold, miners flocked to the foothills of southern Yosemite, and with them came merchants, farmers and stockmen.  In the 1850's the town was called Fresno Flats, and provisioned mines and lumber companies of the area. Today, Oakhurst is home to Fresno Flats Historical Park, where numerous historic buildings have been preserved. Open for tours with the help of many dedicated volunteers, the park is also available for weddings and group picnics.  Another historic landmark is the Little Church on the Hill, located in the center of Oakhurst at Oakhill Cemetery. First consecrated in 1894, the church is the only remaining wooden structure of its era in the entire region. Restoration of its original stained-glass windows is in progress.

Visit Their Website - www.oakhurstchamber.com

Oakhurst

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O'Neals:

Population - 477

The San Joaquin Experimental Range, located in O'Neals, is the first and oldest rangeland research station in California. The station's adobe headquarters is located on 3,400 acres of oak and pine woodlands in the foothills of Madera County. Established in 1934, the station contributes to the stability of the livestock industry by developing sound land management. Current research emphasizes watershed management related to wildlife, water quality and livestock grazing, conducted by the University of California Cooperative Extension Service and the USDA Forest Service. 

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Raymond:

Population - 683

Once known as the transfer point from the Southern Pacific Railroad to the Wildcat Stagecoach Station in Yosemite, Raymond also became a major freight distribution site in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Currently, the Raymond Granite Co. quarry, established in 1888 is California's largest supplier of Sierra white granite.  Raymond's white granite is used in the State Capitol building in Sacramento, City Hall in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Mint, the San Francisco Stock Exchange building and the Fairmont Hotel.

1543

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Wawona:

Inside the boundaries of Yosemite National Park, Wawona offers the Pioneer History Center as well as the Victorian - style Wawona Hotel and classic golf course. The beautiful town of Wawona was known as Pallachun, "a good place to stay", by Native Americans who traveled between the foothills and Yosemite Valley. Although Wawona was added to Yosemite National Park in 1932, a number of privately owned residences in this peaceful setting are available to rent.

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