Club Wyndham Angels Camp
Club Wyndham Angels Camp is in Angels Camp California. I have not been to this area before, so I am excited. No matter how much I travel, I still get happy as a plan to travel to a new spot.
Video by WorldMark by Wyndham
Located near Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite, this area seems to be an amazing place to connect with nature. The location is about 1.5 hours from Yosemite and 2.5 hours from San Francisco. It is just an 18-minute drive from Stanislaus.
This trip for me starts with a flight from Virginia, through Atlanta, then to Sacramento. From there it will be about a 1.5-hour drive in a rental car to the resort.
Day One Travel & Arrival to Club Wyndham Angels Camp
Starting off with the flight, which was fairly fast. I did not have much of a layover in Atlanta, which just meant I had to hustle to make the connecting flight. If you have not flown into Atlanta, it is a busy hub and there is a subway like train to get you from one part of the airport to another. It is that huge.
If you have less than 30 minutes or so between flights, you need to get moving. Also, remember to have any bags checked through to your destination or you will not see them again on your trip.
I had a rental car waiting for me at SMF airport. It was a nice 4-wheel drive mini-SUV. I figured when going out into nature, why not get the extra traction.
The drive was not a strait , but it was an easy one. CA 99 South gets you almost door to door, so that was nice. The drive was less than 80 miles and almost all interstate until the end.
Arriving at the resort, you are greeted at a nice check-in area by friendly staff. The entire check-in process was maybe 10 minutes and I only really tracked the time for the benefit of you dear reader.
At the resort they have 1-2- and 3-bedroom units available. They range in size from about 800 sq ft to 1,300+ sq ft. So, by anyone’s measure, these are very nice large rooms. For the first day of this trip, I was solo, then my niece who lives in California near Tahoe will be staying with me for day 2-3.
She is a Ski and Scuba instructor and very active, so I am sure I will see much more with her visiting than I would ever push myself to go see if it was just me.
After my check in, I chose to go back out for a quick run to the local grocery store 1 mile away and get some food, snacks, some prepared meal I could reheat, and a few beers. I like to unwind anytime I have flown.
Once I made it back, I microwaved my prepared meal, had 2 beers with dinner, then called it a night. I was tired from the flight and the drive combo. When I get up in the morning, I want to take a look at the resort, so I feel like a bit of an expert when my niece arrives tomorrow afternoon. You can not be a travel writer and not get the lay of the land.
Here are some recent reviews of the resort.
Excellent place to rest, super clean and friendly service.
Beautiful place to come bring the family you’re close to a lot of parks and lakes and a couple casinos not too far away. If you’re a nature lover and love hiking, this is the place for you. My first time here and already made more reservations…
What a find! Our impeccably clean villa was a two-story, two-bedroom unit with a big balcony looking southwest toward mountains. One of the two pools is the largest one we’ve seen outside the Olympics. It is next to a large washing pool for kids. We don’t play golf, but the course looked lovely. Staff helpful and eager to please: extra supplies were delivered in short order. The condo kitchen was one of the best supplied in its many trades, although no extra plates. Blender, toaster, sharp (!) knives, LaVazza coffee and – get this – a selection of cooking condiments: ginger, parsley, garlic, chili pepper, etc. Nearby attractions mostly consist of those of local history: gold mining and the migration of folks to B the West. Of special interest is the Angels Camp Museum.
My first impressions here were much the same. The location was great, and the amenities were very well designed and all updated. I love the pools and the game rooms for kids, and adults, were outstanding.
As one reviewer mentioned, the views of the mountains here, and the setting is wonderful. You really feel connected to the natural environment, but yet you are not roughing it at all. Some of the views from camping but with amazing resort accommodations.
Day Two Stanislaus National Forest
I woke and got moving fairly early. The time difference still made even 7AM seem late. First thing was to eat a quick omelet for breakfast, then look around at the resort amenities.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- Whirlpool Bath
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- BBQ Grills
- Business Center/Fax
- Fitness Room
- Game Room
- Hot Tub
- Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Golf Course (18-Hole)
- Concierge Services/li>
- Picnic Area
- Movie Rentals
- On-Site Security
- Outdoor Pool
- Grocery Service
- Golf Driving Range
I waited for my niece to arrive, then we went into the little town to get some lunch before heading to the park area.
We found Mary’s Taco Truck, which was actually now a small little building. The tacos were great, and the service was fast. It is on 49 (the main road in town) just beyond the Taco Bell and McDonalds. Why stop and eat fast food when you can have something fresh and local?
I would share a website with you but this little hole in the wall spot does not have one. But trust me, the tacos are great and worth the visit.
After a fast lunch we took out 4X4 and headed to Cherry Lake in the Stanislaus National Forest it is one of 3 major areas that this park maintains and supports. We figured we could fish, hike a little, and see the amazing views in the area.
After the park, we went to some local caverns called Mercer Caverns. These caverns are impressive and something not to miss. They were first found in 1885 and even the Smithsonian has been involved from the early days with finds from these caverns.
Wine Tastings and Tours
Next, it was time for a vineyard visit to Ironstone Vineyards. We booked a tasting and a vineyard tour, which was very affordable. I think both were less than $20. When the wines are to my liking, I always purchase some bottles while I am at a vineyard, too. Normally, when traveling, I would have them shipped home. But on this trip, my niece would receive the bounty.
Now unless I fall in love with a wine, I do not go crazy. I just purchase a bottle or two of what we like and keep it moving. I do recall a trip to a winery last year where I liked the wine so much; I ordered 2 cases and took them with me since I drove to the location. It was a cabernet that was aged in bourbon barrels. Even thought he bottles are long gone, I feel like I can still taste that wine, so good.
There are many wineries in the area and you could come here to the resort and just do winery tours for a day. You would likely need a designated driver, but that could be fun for a group of ladies, or a few couples.
Are just a few of the wineries or vineyards all in this immediate area. There are many more you can find as well. Some locations offer workshops, tours, classes, and they all offer tastings. Visit the websites to learn more. There are so many in this area that I am shocked that it is not promoted more for tourists just for the wine experience.
With so many options in the area, it is best to assign a designated driver or hire a car for your winery and vineyard visits.
Day Three Yosemite
Video by Crosby Grace Travels
No visit to the area should forget to include Yosemite. Especially if you are not from the area and likely to come back soon on another trip.
This is the granddaddy of all national parks. Its beauty and direct connection to nature can not be outdone. In this one national park alone, you could spend weeks exploring. The Park is over 1,169 miles squared in size. It is larger than several countries around the globe.
Most people want to visit the valley area and it receives several million visitors a year. So instead of being alone in nature, you will probably experience some light traffic in the main areas. Outside of those, you can find your own private spot to just stop and take it all in. Inside the park, you can find many waterfalls, rivers and lakes, and some of the most impressive rock formations anywhere.
The Yosemite Museum, next to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, has displays that interpret the cultural history of Yosemite’s native Miwok and Paiute people from 1850 to the present. Demonstrations of basket-weaving, beadwork, and traditional games are presented. The reconstructed Indian Village of Ahwahnee behind the museum is always open. The art gallery is open periodically and often exhibits pieces from the Yosemite Museum collection.
I encourage you to visit both on your trip and see and learn all you can before you head out to take it in yourself.
The Ansel Adams Gallery offers work of Ansel Adams, contemporary photographers, and other fine artists. In addition, a wide selection of handcrafts, books, gifts, and photography supplies is available. The Gallery, formerly known as Best’s Studio, has been operating in the park since 1902. If you love art, this is a must stop as well. It is hard to imagine art that can compete with the splendor of nature in the area, but this does stand up.
Driving for hours never felt so good. I imagine that there are many accidents here just because it is almost impossible to keep your eye on the road and others. The area is just that amazing to view and take in.
I had driven hundreds of miles before I realized at some point without a permit to sleep in the car I was going to have to start to head back towards the resort and leave this amazing park. A part of me will always be here. Maybe I leave 2% of myself amount the rocks, valleys, waterfalls, and rivers as I drive my way out. The wineries and vineyards are amazing but this is a nature lovers Heaven on Earth.
I will never look at nature the same way again. I can see why men of great wealth gave much of their wealth to establish the national park system. It makes sense now.
Take your vacation to this area and stay at a great resort for less with TZort.