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Explore Sonora and you’ll never forget the Experience!




Fall/Winter 2010


Best Houseon the

Historic Lodging • Dining & Cabaret

Your Lodging Gateway to Yosemite National Park

Hill 1

Cover: Blue World Photos


The ideal Yosemite lodging featuring the acclaimed Cellar Door restaurant.


Feast of the Season PRESENTS






B Your Innkeepers: Grover, Peggy & Rusty

etween our front door and Yosemite’s gates, experience world-class river rafting on the Wild and Scenic Tuolumne River, hike and bike hundreds of miles of trails in the Stanislaus National Forest, cast a line in a multitude of rivers and streams, sled with some silly friends, cross-country ski and snow-shoe. Bird watching and wildlife spotting is a local pastime. We boast great gray owl and black bear habitats and a whole lot of other wildlife.

More activities such as horseback riding, golfing and tennis are a

Celebrate e



Spirit of the Season


Fine Food & Wine Period Costumed Entertainment Music, Carols, Vocals & Readings

avor a lazy morning in the most luxurious featherbed you’ll never want to get out of, snuggle into one of our cozy bathrobes, enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee on our veranda and permit a gracious staff member to indulge your every request. Each of our unique Victorian-style rooms includes a private bath, free high-speed/wireless Internet access, telephone/voice mail, down comforters, European antiques, a coffee grinder and brewer, a CD player and an alarm clock.


Fo u r C o u r s e s Appetizer • Salad

Main Course • Dessert

.00 $69 Per Person*/Tax & Gratuity Included


Two Seatings Only

Friday, December 3rd at 6:00 pm Saturday, December 4th at 6:00 pm



Cellar Door Restaurant

18767 Main St., Groveland, California

209-962-4000 • 800-273-3314 Event Subject to Change Without Notice


njoy incredible California-fresh cuisine, select from locally brewed beers and hundreds of wine labels and delight in a delectable dessert while reliving your Yosemite adventure. Our menu includes crisp salads, fresh fish, pasta, melt-in-your-mouth steaks and daily specials, all created with fresh seasonal ingredients. If you are simply in a rush to get to The Park, we invite you to grab an espresso or refreshing drink on your way through town. 18767 Main Street • Groveland, CA 95321 209-962-4000 • 800-273-3314

*Alcohol Not Included


The Best House on the Hill

discoveries The Memphis Belle and Elvis Have you ever met one of those people who nonchalantly will mention things that make your jaw drop? Having dinner with Peggy Mosley was one of those experiences. Over our red wine and shrimp, things were revealed that elicited smiles, laughter, and amazement. Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Peggy has Southern hospitality right down to her core. In addition to being a gracious hostess and savvy entrepreneur, she’s a pilot who spent years working for Lockheed, has even logged time flying a classic Ford Tri-Motor.

Article and Photographs By Christine Tuohy e



n a warm Summer’s evening, as I sat on a beautiful patio surrounded by lush greenery, dotted with umbrellas shimmering with twinkle lights, my insides warmed from chocolate lava cake and Zinfandel, I wondered for a moment where I was. On vacation in Italy? At a resort in the south of France? As the heady rush of my recent plate of pasta and the conversation of my charming dinner companions brought me back to

reality, I couldn’t believe I was in Groveland. So close to my Sonora home and a stone’s throw from Yosemite, I had found a worthy vacation spot right in my backyard at the Groveland Hotel.

A Brief History

Originally an adobe trading post built in 1849, the Groveland Hotel has had many incarnations over it’s 161 years - Gambling House, Saloon, Hotel, Ranger Station, business offices, and even a Greyhound Bus Stop. It was known as “the best house on the hill” during the Gold Rush, and the hotel may be the only Sierra Nevada Mountain building constructed in the Monterey Colonial architectural style popular during the late 1840’s and 1850’s. The building, it’s interior stripped, sat dormant for many years, gathering dust, rainwater then only hosting feral cats in one of the original adobe walls. Under foreclosure and possible complete disintegration, it was rescued and revitalized by Peggy and Grover Mosley in 1990. They spent 2 years completing a million dollar restoration of the property with the adjacent 1914 Queen Anne Victorian building. Now the only cat at this AAA 3 Diamond Hotel is Lola, the sweet cat who will follow you until you pay him a welldeserved petting of acknowledgement.

You are now officially a guest in his hotel.

She went to school with the most famous Memphis export, (jaw drop here….) Elvis Presley. They were childhood friends and shy teenagers, living in the same neighborhood joining other kids and teens playing football and corkball and teasing one another with youthful charm. As Peggy relates, “Elvis was a really cute and shy guy who was always strumming that guitar. None of us had any idea back then that he would become The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Now that’s something you just don’t hear every day in casual conversation. When you visit the Groveland Hotel ask any of the friendly staff to direct you to a photograph of Peggy and her classmates which includes the very shy and unassuming, young Elvis.

Pillow talk… Chain hotels these days, with a few exceptions thankfully, rarely have much room for personality if they’ve sacrificed service for amenities or convenience.The Groveland Hotel falls completely on the other end of that spectrum with not only the history and customer service, but also unique personality and charm. Continued on page 8



Cellar Door Restaurant



here are three vital elements in creating the perfect restaurant; ambience, the orchestration, and most importantly the food. Oh, and did I mention the wine list? How about a wine list of nearly 600 labels that received the 2010 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for having “one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world”? In Groveland, too. Bet you didn’t know you could travel any nearer than San Francisco to find such a kudo as that, did you? The Cellar Door is the impressive restaurant in the Groveland Hotel, and executive chef Greg Lutes crafts his dishes as an artist would, creating California-fresh cuisine worthy of the drive up the hill. This particular trip (which, I might add, is only my FIRST!), I started with a Bay shrimp stuffed California avocado with jalapeno lime dressing on a bed of greens and local tomatoes. Fresh and zesty with a jalapeno kick, it was as if everything had just come from the Farmer’s Market that morning. My entrée of radiatore pasta with Dungeness crab in a lemon dill cream with spinach was equally drool-worthy. The pasta was cooked perfectly, and the tartness of the lemon and dill complemented the shreds of fresh crab to a tee.


One of my dining companions ordered the salmon special, which is an inadequate identifier with Chef Greg’s delicate touch. I had to steal a bite, “…for the sake of the magazine!”, I exclaimed distracting him long enough to shave off a bite of this heavenly, moist filet. I didn’t really have room for dessert, but I sacrificed myself for the greater good and ordered the chocolate molten cake with strawberry sauce and mango sorbet, which was a lovely way to finish off my glass of Zinfandel, I must say. I snuck a bite of my companions warm apple tart in caramel sauce and almost fell out of my chair from culinary ecstasy. Between Chef Greg’s expertise and tableside conversation, Lena, our attentive waitress, Tanya and Willow’s friendliness at the front desk, Peggy’s fascinating stories, and the splendid patio ambience, I’d say I’ve discovered quite a little slice of heaven at the Groveland Hotel! Christine Tuohy



way, but if you really want to ‘get away’, you can always unplug the phone and sink into the featherbed with only the sound of birds carried on the soft breeze wafting in your window.

Life Is A Cabaret!

In addition to trying everything on the menu one trip at a time, I also plan on partaking in a little exercise to make room for more dessert. Put on your dancing shoes, it’s time for another step back into the days of yore with the Courtyard Cabaret! September 10th is one of many wonderful performances happening at the Groveland Hotel this season.This particular show is a tribute to the music of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Nat King Cole, channeled directly through the fabulous


e The

Groveland Hotel

& Cellar Door Restaurant The

Iron Door Saloon

California’s Oldest, Continuously Operating Saloon

Mary Laveroni Park

Playground, Picnicking, Concert Facilities

Yosemite Gateway Museum

Complete history of Groveland, California and great Library with WIFI/computers

Pine Mountain Lake

Golf Course,Tennis Courts & Stables

Mountain Sage

Coffee, Nursery, Photo Gallery

Highway 120 Gateway to Yosemite Stanislaus National Forest Hiking & Camping

Hetch Hetchy Dam

The Hotel endears its guests by featuring teddy bears in every room, snuggly robes, comfy, classy décor worthy of a seasoned international B&B traveler, with beds so fluffy you practically need a pole vault to get into them. Don’t assume that you will be missing any modern amenities, though! e


Hiking, Picnicking, Serenity

Great Hiking All Around The

Rainbow Pools Swimming, Picnicking

Pilot Peak

All 17 hotel rooms have free high-speed wireless internet, CD players, telephones, tv’s, coffee makers, and a morning feast dubbed “The Innkeepers Breakfast”. So it’s equipped for your comfort in every


Hiking,Wild Flowers in Spring

Pey Mosley

vocal cords of Steve Swan accompanied by the ivory tickling of Richard Hall. I fully plan on donning my best swing dress and strappy shoes and dancing the night away under Groveland’s clear and starry sky. The Groveland Hotel is one stop shopping between the incredible Cellar Door Restaurant, the dreamy wine list, dancing the night away to live music, and falling into a deep slumber in the poofiest of beds. That’s my kind of vacation. The Groveland Hotel is a featured lodging partner in the celebration of Yosemite National Park’a 120th Anniversary– Vintage Yosemite; Then, Now & Forever California’s Heritage Wilderness.

OPEN 7 DAYS 108 South Washington St. Downtown Sonora 209.588.8899

Tuolumne River

Whitewater Rafting, Fishing, Swimming

The Groveland Hotel 18767 Main Street Groveland, CA, 95321 866-539-8430

120 Yea



EXPLORE 2011 Stay & Discover Yosemite 120/120 Packages

Packages From




Yosemite National Park 1890-2010: Then, Now and Forever California’s Heritage Wilderness


osemite National Park Celebrates its 120th Birthday this coming fall with a unique companion in California’s history: California’s State Route 120, Tuolumne County’s Scenic Gateway to the northern entrance to Yosemite National Park. From the San Francisco Bay Area and Central California, Highway 120 is also the fastest route to Yosemite and one of Tuolumne County’s best kept secrets! In recognition of Yosemite National Park’s importance in California’s history, its preservation as a national park and its value as an international tourist destination, Vintage Yosemite 120/120 will be a year-long international celebration of Yosemite and its discovery via Tuolumne County’s historic route SR 120. These tours will focus on Yosemite’s history as a tourist destination in popular culture as captured by professional and amateur photographers for the past 120 years.

Visit for all details or call 209-533-4322 for information & reservations.




Yosemite & Highway 120


aturalist John Muir & Robert Underwood Johnson,editor of Century Magazine, lobbied the US Congress for the Act that created Yosemite National Park on October 1, 1890. During the Gold Rush, SR 120 was originally known as Big Oak Flat Road, after the village of Big Oak Flat through which it passes in the Sierra foothills. It was a pack trail from Stockton which became popular with prospectors about 1849. By 1874 it was a wagon road, which extended to the Yosemite Valley.

‘True Blue’ - Yosemite today. Photo Credit: Blue World Photos, Sonora, CA.

ACCOMMODATIONS Lodging for your Discovery


ur Partner Hotels offer a wide variety of choices for your visit to Yosemite National Park during the 120th Birthday Anniversary Celebration from March 2010 through November 2011. You’ll have the opportunity to stay in Sonora or Groveland. Each community offers unique dining, shopping, recreation, cultural and historic discoveries.

Vintage Yosemite Lodging Partners

BestWestern Sonora Oaks* The Groveland Hotel* The Gunn House Hotel The Sonora Days Inn Inns of California, Sonora *AAA 3 Diamond Hotels



iscover Tuolumne County during your excursion to Yosemite. Rates are for One Night, a Standard Room with 1 Queen Bed, Sunday - Thursday. Valid March15-April 30, 2011

Package DYS-120............$89.00 Additional nights............$49.00 Package *3D-120...........$109.00 Additional nights - CALL FOR PRICING *AAA 3 Diamond Hotels

All Spring 2011 Packages Include:

• Vintage Yosemite: Then, Now & Forever California’s Heritage Wilderness Book and DiscoverYosemite, Self-Guided Tour Map, • Park Entry Pass toYosemite National Park Round-TripTransportation toYosemite from Sonora via LINKLINE CHARTER TOURS is available for groups of 8 or more for an additional $35.00 - $60.00 per person.

Call Karin Brown of Heritage Travel at 209-533-4322 for additional Information & Reservations All packages are limited in availability. All upgrades, room charges, taxes are additional.

Vintage Yosemite 120/120 is presented by: Blue World Photos of Sonora; Explore Sonora Magazine; The Sonora Chamber of Commerce with support from the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau.

VY-Phase II 10/04/10

Packages From


Best House On The Hill  

Explore Sonora Feature on The Groveland Hotel and Cellar Door Restaurant in Groveland, California.