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Blog A Dash Of History Alongside A Heaping Spoon Of Tasty Dishes On Bass Lake
Alex Silgalis | 08/23/2021Food & Beverage |   

Driving out of Oakhurst, we begin our ascent up into the foothills of the Sierra. The winding road is flanked by oak trees, grassy lands, and a dotting of structures. There isn’t a hint that there's a large lake anywhere. It’s not until we come upon a sign that reads “Bass Lake” to make a right. Making the turn, we slowly descend into the valley. The forest canopy slowly transitions into one filled with tall pines. Our eyes are peeled for the shoreline, but the dense forest doesn’t give up its treasure easily. And then without warning, the trees thin, and we see it… Bass Lake!

A King In Itself

Some may call Bass Lake the miniature version of Tahoe, but that’s an easy out. Rather, Bass Lake is… Bass Lake. A rival to no other. The four-mile-long body of water snakes and curves around pine-covered mountain peaks that ascend thousands of feet from its shores. Instead of smacking you in the face with giant vistas, the forests and coves provide sneak peeks into the area. Like a good book, each turn sparks a sense of adventure. We yearn to explore more. But since we’re hungry, our 1st stop: Millers Landing Resort.

Millers Landing Resort

Tucked away in the southern corner of Bass Lake, in a placed called Wishon Cove, this place made me feel as though I was transported back to my childhood. A time when my family would hop in our station wagon and drive east to a small Michigan town for a weekend getaway on Lake Michigan.

Swinging the door open to the main lodge, we’re greeted to a big smile and a “Hi!” We come to find out it’s one of the owners – Michelle Miller. Sitting down, we get a bottle of wine and order some food. We watch as she greets each person like they’re family. In between serving her customers, we get the scoop on the resort.

Since her father in-law bought the resort in the 60’s, each generation has continued to work and cherish this little slice of heaven. The focus has always been to provide the best of the best. From cozy cabins to the only resort with public showers for campers to the food they serve, you feel right at home. As our food arrives, she lets me bite into my burger. A true classic burger you’d expect at a lakeside resort. Flavorful, juicy, and with the perfect condiments. She smiles and says, “That’s the same recipe my Aunt Marilyn started with in the 60’s.”

Ducey’s On The Lake

Duceys on the Lake Breakfast

Prior to our mountain biking adventure on the famed 007 trail, we headed to Ducey’s on the Lake at the Pines Resort for a relaxing breakfast. One of the hardest things to do is to strike a balance between a high-end exclusive experience and to not come off feeling snobby. Ducey’s does it incredibly well.

Located within a historic lodge, the interior is lined with perfectly preserved tongue and groove pine. On these walls you’ll see black and white photos from the past showcasing the rich history this place has. Walking further into the building, the hallway opens to the dining room. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame the star of the show – Bass Lake.

Scanning the menu, the items are like Bass Lake. On the surface they may seem “normal”, but as you delve deeper, you realize you’re in for a treat. For example, the Ham & Eggs. The ham isn’t just a piece of pork but a “steak.” Thick and juicy, it’s perfectly cooked unlike any other I’ve ever had. Although it’s a bit more expensive, the Lakefront views themselves are worth their weight in gold AND the food they serve is known as some of the best in Central California. We happen to agree.

The Forks Resort

After hitting up the mountain bike trails the day before, our stomachs began to growl. It was time for some breakfast before we headed home. Throwing the bikes onto the truck, we zip over to the Forks Resort. The sun flashes through the stands of pine giving us glimpses of the water throughout our journey. At this hour, the boats seem to leisurely cruise its waters just taking it all in. Pulling into the dirt parking lot, we step out and look around. Yet again, another part of the lake just as beautiful as the others and yet different.

For an outdoor dining experience, the Forks Resort is awesome. Just to the right of the main building they’ve built a beautiful patio with an awning and adjustable sun shields to make sure you're comfy and still take in the sights and sounds of Bass Lake. I could imagine myself relaxing the morning away with a long brunch filled with mimosas.

Alas, with a long drive we had to skip the long brunch and focus on breakfast. I order the “Special.” Two strips of bacon and two pancakes topped with two eggs. As the food came out, my jaw dropped. The eggs weren’t on the side but rather ON the pancakes. As they say, when in Rome… and boy was I surprised. The eggs ON the pancakes created a savory and sweet concoction I didn’t expect. Sipping on our coffee, we stared out onto the calm and beautiful waters.

All About That Bass. Bass Lake That Is

Bass Lake CaliforniaWith a deep inhale I sighed. If only we had more time. As we explored and sampled some of the main resorts surrounding Bass Lake, we’ve come to realize we didn’t set aside enough time. This isn’t just a place to get a break from the heat, but a hidden gem that only residents and a select few know about.

From a foodie perspective, we need to return and try the fish tacos at the Casa Velasco Cantina. To spending the afternoon lounging at the Marina Bar & Grill enjoying a Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken sandwich. Even grabbing a pie from Pines Village Bakery & Pizzeria.

Alongside all these fantastic tongue watering excursions, our eyes drift upwards to the mountains. Within these peaks lies a trail network filled with amazing mountain biking goodness. And on the waters, we need to try our hand at kayaking.

The fun truly doesn’t stop on, near, or above Bass Lake. It’s a place filled with deep history. A hotbed of resorts with their own character and charm. And the cherry on top? Fantastic food at each place we explored. When we speak the words, “I’d rather be on the lake”, we mean Bass Lake.


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Alex Silgalis

Alex founded localfreshies.com® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.

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