After having a meal at The Cellar Door Restaurant on the patio of the historic Groveland hotel and heading back to our campsite, my mom and I thought we were done with Groveland. Oh no.

The next morning we successfully took down our tent, somehow stuffed it into my already bulging car. It was bulging not from camping gear, but because I’m moving on top of taking this little road trip, so 1/3 of my worldly possessions are in the back of Natalie, my Honda Civic.

Anyways, we were on our way back to Yosemite to do a final hike at Hetch Hetchy before getting out of town when I blew a tire. I called my beloved AAA as my mom sets up a picnic alongside of the road.

“Do you have a spare tire?” The AAA guy asked me.

“Ugh…” I stutter, thinking of all the stuff in my truck that I’d have to move to get to the spare – if there was one. “I’ll get back to you in ten minutes.”

Turns out I did have a spare tire. Yay! Not that I have any concept of how to change it. So the AAA guys came anyways, put the donut on the car and we returned to Groveland. As John (nicest mechanic ever!) at Banks Auto supply changed all of my shoddy tires, mom and I got to wander around town.

We visited the Groveland Hotel again, saying hi to Peggy who owns the place with her husband Grover (I’m not kidding). The hotel which has been called both haunted and the best place to kiss. It’s also on the registry of historic places as the original was built in1849. It’s been beautifully renovated and even doubles as a concert venue in the summer.

Groveland also features a park (complete with picnic tables, bleachers and a stage for Sunday services in the park, and a skateboarding area), library and museum, and a few touristy shops that were not open by 10am on Tuesday morning, which was too bad because the dress in the window as Ms. Kitty’s Consignment Shop looked pretty cute.

All in all, it was an unexpected but nice morning in Groveland. If you’re anywhere near Yosemite and need a place to stay, eat, or have car work done, Groveland is the place to be.

The Groveland Hotel is located at 18767 Main Street, Groveland, CA 95321. You can’t miss it as this is the main highway to Yosemite if you’re heading to the park it will be on your right. Peggy, Grover, and the rest of the staff can be reached at 209-962-4000.

Banks Auto is a little harder to find. If you’re heading east (towards Yosemite) on Main Street, take a right by the abandoned gas station and about 1/4 of a mile up the hill you will see Banks on your right, kinda behind a house. There address is 11823 Powder House St, Groveland, CA 95321. The number is 209-962-4890.