Top 15 Things to Do in Oakhurst

Oakhurst is a small town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Madera County, California. Despite its modest size, Oakhurst has plenty of things to offer to any visitor. Discover the 15 best things to do in Oakhurst to make the most of your trip.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is doubtlessly the most famous attraction in the area, and it's one of the top things to see in Oakhurst. The highlights of this World Heritage Site include waterfalls, lakes, clear streams, meadows, glaciers, and giant tree groves like Mariposa Grove.

Yosemite National Park is home to a wide variety of animals, including black bears, Sierra Nevada red foxes, mountain lions, Yosemite toads, peregrine falcons, and many others. This park is beautiful during any season, although hiking trails are harder to traverse in winter. We recommend using our audio tour to get the most out of your visit to the park.

Nature & Sightseeing

Perfect for
Nature lovers, sightseers, families, and couples

Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park

This museum complex is an opportunity to travel back to the 19th century and explore life in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and mountains of Central California. Here, you can examine typical houses from 19th-century Northern California; nowadays, there are very few buildings of this particular architectural style.

Apart from two houses, this place also features two early-day one-room schools, a couple of 19th-century jail buildings, and a few farm structures. Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park are among the essential places to visit in Oakhurst. There is no fee for visiting the museum, but donations are welcome.


Perfect for
History buffs


Scenic Route Highway 49

If you're traveling in a car, our next entry is a great way to spend several days enjoying the sights and absorbing the historic ambiance of the California Gold Rush. The Scenic Route Highway 49 starts in Vinton, CA, and ends in Oakhurst, CA. Along the way, you can explore several points of interest, like the California Mining and Mineral Museum, Columbia State Historic Park, Chili Gulch, Angels Camp, and The Argonaut and Kennedy Mines. Exploring this highway is one of the most time-consuming experiences in Oakhurst, so we recommend you prepare for it in advance. It's a long road, so plan accordingly.

Sightseeing & History

Perfect for
History buffs

Related tours:

Lewis Creek Trail

Named after the nearby creek, this hiking trail lets you admire two beautiful waterfalls during a single walk. Corlieu Falls is a series of 25-meter cascades in a narrow canyon, while Red Rock Falls is a wide and powerful 6-meter waterfall. The path goes alongside Lewis Creek, and there are plenty of beautiful sights to admire during your walk. Ferns, trees, mossy rocks, the creek, and two waterfalls paint a picture of a beautiful and peaceful place. This trail is an easy and relaxing trip, manageable even for inexperienced hikers. Exploring Lewis Creek Trail is one of the most fun things to do in Oakhurst, especially if you like hiking and nature.

Hiking & Sightseeing

Perfect for
Sightseers and hikers


Golden Chain Theatre

Founded to attract the attention of the visitors going to Yosemite National Park, today, the Golden Chain Theatre is one of the most popular places to visit in Oakhurst. Located within the former building of the Snowline Bowling Alley, this theatre has been the staple of the local cultural scene since 1967. Among the performances on offer at the Golden Chain Theatre are The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Angel of Calamity Gulch, The Play That Goes Wrong, and A Christmas Carol. This theater also has a tradition of hosting Summer Melodrama and Traveling Shows every year as a part of its cultural identity.

Art & Entertainment

Perfect for
Theater buffs


Bass Lake

If you don't know what to do in Oakhurst on a sunny weekend, we recommend visiting Bass Lake. There are plenty of different activities you can do here. At the lake, you can enjoy scenic countryside views, walk on one of many booking trails in the Sierra National Forest, or swim in the lake's warm waters. You can also go kayaking, pedal boating, and fishing. Few things can beat having a picnic on the shore of a beautiful lake in a scenic forest or walking on a lovely sandy beach while enjoying the weather. We sincerely recommend visiting Bass Lake; it's one of the top things to do in Oakhurst.

Nature & Sightseeing

Perfect for
Nature lovers and families

Oakhurst Community Park

This park is the result of a long and arduous initiative by residents of Oakhurst, not a result of a government-funded project. Nowadays, it's a prime spot for a relaxed or active day outdoors in Oakhurst. The park features pitches for different sports like soccer, volleyball, basketball, and baseball. If sports aren't your cup of tea, you can relax on the river bank or in covered patios on the park's territory.

This park also regularly hosts various community events you can partake in. You can find Oakhurst Community Park at the south end of Scenic Highway 49, also known as the Gold Chain Highway and Gold Rush Trail.

Sightseeing & Relaxation

Perfect for


Stellar Art Gallery

If you want to spend a quiet afternoon enjoying beautiful photographs, the Stellar Art Gallery is a perfect choice. The goal of this gallery is to show its visitors the best in contemporary fine art photography. This art gallery displays photographs of Yosemite National Park, other parks in the area, and the wilds of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Additionally, the Stellar Art Gallery regularly hosts temporary events with works from all forms of media: paintings, sculptures, jewelry, glass, and ceramics. Among current events at the gallery are exhibitions by Jonathan Bock, Jerry Bosworth, Jeff Grandy, and several others.

Art & Photography

Perfect for
Art lovers


Related tours:

Oakhurst Spirits

Oakhurst is home to several breweries, wineries, and spirits distilleries, and Oakhurst Spirits is one of the best in business. It produces and sells a wide variety of drinks like wheat whiskey, rye whiskey, bourbon, lavender vodka, rum, and several others.

Here, you can go on a guided tour of the distillery, try and buy various spirits on offer, and spend some time socializing in the tasting room. Additionally, this distillery has a built-in art gallery that displays works of artists from the Mountain Area. If you want to know how various spirits are made and try some of them, this is the perfect place to visit in Oakhurst.

Recreation, Alcohol, Art

Perfect for
Groups of friends and couples


El Cid Mexican Cuisine

You probably wouldn't expect to find a fantastic Mexican restaurant in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, but you're in luck since Oakhurst has one of these in the form of El Cid. Boasting an extensive menu full of homemade and delicious recipes, El Cid offers the most authentic Mexican cuisine experience in the entire Sierra Nevada area. This restaurant serves breakfast, dinner, and lunch both indoors and on an outdoor patio. You can enjoy the beauty of Sierra Nevada while dining on a variety of delicious dishes of Mexican cuisine. If you're unsure where to eat in Oakhurst, give El Cid a shot – you won't regret it.

Mexican cuisine

Perfect for


Yosemite Axe Throwing

If you're looking for a more active and energetic experience, we suggest visiting Yosemite Axe Throwing. This activity is as straightforward as the name suggests – you rent a lane and spend an hour throwing an axe at targets. It doesn't matter if you've never held an axe in your life, the instructors on the site will teach you the basics, and you'll be throwing axes in no time! There are several locations scattered across California, and the Oakhurst facility offers nine indoor throwing lanes, six outdoor throwing lanes, and a shaded picnic area. Yosemite Axe Throwing is the perfect activity for you if you want to test your accuracy and strength.

Recreation & Sports

Perfect for
Families, couples, and groups of friends


Talking Bear

The World Famous Talking Bear is a fiberglass, life-sized replica of a Californian grizzly bear standing in front of the Century 21 Real Estate office at the corner of Highway 41 and Road 426. This bearlike landmark has been a fixture of Oakhurst since 1965. You can get up close and personal with it and even climb on top of it (unlike the real grizzly bear). Furthermore, if you press the button in front of its paws, the bear will speak. Fun fact, the voice you hear from the bear belongs to Hugh Shollenbarger, the Oakhurst resident who found, brought, and installed this bear statue in Oakhurst.


Perfect for
Families and children


Reimer's Candies, Gifts, & Ice Cream

This entry on our list is a must-see destination for any visitors with a sweet tooth. Reimer's Candies, Gifts & Ice Scream is a candy shop in Oakhurst that is one of three Reimer's shops in California (the other two are in Three Rivers and Avila Beach). This shop has a staggering roster of over 80 different varieties of chocolates, as well as plenty of candies like licorice, peanut brittle, sweet, and sour candy. Additionally, the ice cream shop offers more than two dozen different flavors in homemade waffle cones. It's a lovely place to visit if you want to buy a sugary treat for yourself or people at home.


Perfect for
Families, couples, and children


Little Church on the Hill

Currently located within Oakhurst Cemetery, the Little Church on the Hill first acted as a mission for the population of a mining town called Fresno Flats. Later, in 1894, the church was built and consecrated on Chapel Hill to serve the spiritual needs of the community.

Unfortunately, the church closed its doors in the early 1950s and fell into disrepair. Only in the 1990s the community joined efforts and restored it to its former glory, so the Little Church on the Hill continues to function in Oakhurst to this day. If you want to learn more about local history, this location is worth a visit.

History & Architecture

Perfect for
History buffs


Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad

Last but not least, we have the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. This visitor attraction is a historic railroad south of Yosemite National Park. Here, you can hop aboard The Logger train ride and explore the history of this railroad along the way. Other options and activities available at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad include gold panning and a rail museum. You can also try the Moonlight Special, with a train ride, a dinner, and live music entertainment around the campfire. Another option is the Jazz Train which lets you ride on a train while listening to outdoor musical performances in the Sierra National Forest.


Perfect for
Families and children

  • 1
    What are the must-see attractions to visit in Oakhurst?
    • Yosemite National Park
    • Bass Lake
    • Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park
    • Golden Chain Theatre
    • Yosemite Axe Throwing
  • 2
    What are the best things to do in Oakhurst with kids?
    • Visit Reimer's Candy, Gifts, & Ice Cream
    • Hop aboard the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
    • Listen to the Talking Bear
    • Explore Yosemite National Park
    • Play at Oakhurst Community Park
  • 3
    What are the best outdoor activities in Oakhurst?
    • Exploring Yosemite National Park
    • Swimming in Bass Lake
    • Learning more about local history in Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park
    • Relaxing in Oakhurst Community Park
    • Taking in the views on Scenic Route Highway 49
  • 4
    What are the best indoor activities in Oakhurst?
    • Enjoying a play at the Golden Chain Theatre
    • Testing your aim at Yosemite Axe Throwing
    • Buying some delicious candy at Reimer's Candy & Ice Cream
    • Having a wonderful dinner at El Cid
    • Admiring art at the Stellar Art Gallery

Related tours: