Top 11 Things to Do Near Bishop, CA

Bishop, CA is located 4 hours and 21 minutes from Los Angeles and is a great central hub for the top 11 things to do along Highway 395. This place has everything from hiking, sightseeing, eating delicious food, and visiting Mammoth Lakes to visiting historic sites. Keep reading for travel tips and the top attractions near Bishop, CA along Hwy 395.

Trip Journal

Originally, I was set on using my hard-earned 9-5 Paid Time Off (PTO), on a trip to Santa Fe, NM or London, but my brothers decided that we should just do a road trip instead. I pitched Hawaii, New Mexico, Canada, Ireland, London, Mexico, Peru for Machu Picchu, and to my surprise, they opted for a road trip, 🀷🏻‍♀️

Begrudgingly, I agreed while missing out on the chance to finally taste fry bread or visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and Roswell in New Mexico. As an "Ancient Aliens" fan who watches the History Channel weekly after work, I was bummed about missing out on Roswell as the whole point of me taking PTO was to use up $1,296 worth of flight credits before their expiration date. 

It was at this very moment, I realized why people “solo travel.” I thought to myself, solo travelers get to go where they want, when they want, gaining no consensus from anyone else, and they just pack up and go. Too bad I still need to build up the courage to travel solo outside of the state of California! 🀣 

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

Nevertheless, being the oldest sister with both parents deceased, I vouched to keep our sibling trip tradition alive. As we drove up Highway 395, the grouchiness from not getting my way subsided as I took in the amazing snow-capped mountain views.

I decided to just keep an open mind and see where this journey would take us. Despite doing all the driving, when I specifically didn’t want to spend my vacation driving in rain and snow, it turned out to be a great trip. (My therapist told me to set boundaries and stop being a pushover, but that’s a story for another time.) At the end of the day, the trip was great and we visited some cool places. See below:

Top 11 Things to See Along Highway 395 (Near Bishop, CA)

1. Red Rock Canyon State Park

If you're coming from Los Angeles, make sure to stop by Red Rock Canyon State Park to see the awesome layered rock formations varying from shades of red, brown, and white. We loved exploring this area as it gave us a chance to stretch our legs. It's located off Highway 14 and there are picnic tables, campgrounds, a restroom, and even hiking trails. Read my full recap here

2. Lone Pine

Inside the History of Western Film Museum (Tremors exhibit)

While in Lone Pine, we visited the History of Western Film Museum where we saw the Tremors movie exhibit along with vintage cars, antique film equipment and props from behind the scenes. Watch the videos below:

We enjoyed seeing the costume displays and the old filming equipment onsite. Watch below:

Tremors exhibit

Tremors model

We saw antique cars inside the museum

My brother posing with the poster cutout πŸ˜‚

Vintage film equipment

We also made another pit stop in Lone Pine to visit a Ranch Supply and Drug Store. Inside, we saw baby chicks, a cute Weiner dog, and even cats were present. I bought my Lone Pine Mt. Whitney souvenir hoodie from here. 

Baby chicks

Cute Weiner dog

Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate so we didn't get to check out Alabama Hills. We wanted to hike around the area but we'll just have to return when the weather is better. 

3. Manzanar: Japanese-American Internment Camp

This place was an emotional visit as we walked through the Japanese-American internment camp where Americans were rounded up and held against their will after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Watch my recap video and virtual tour below:

You can read my full Manzanar recap here. See photos by my brother Steven Buena below:

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

The cemetery photo at Manzanar was taken by my brother Steven Buena

Just outside of Manzanar towards Bishop, CA is a must-stop restaurant called Copper Top BBQ. Hands down the best BBQ I’ve had! 

You order your food at the outside window

Inside the restaurant where you pick up your food

We decided to take the food back to our AIRBNB

4. Bishop, CA

Explore the downtown area and check out the Visitor's Center as they can guide you on what's open and available to visit in the area. We learned the hard way and ended up on a snowy dirt road on the way to a ghost town called Bodie, which was not the right move, according to Anna at the Visitor's Center. Anna explained that cars get stuck out in the snow and it can take months for stranded cars to be retrieved. She was shocked we attempted the trip to Bodie.

Hungry? Visit Schat's Bakery for delicious bread and pastries. Personally, I loved the mini croissants filled with either cheese and fruit, chocolate, or just plain cheese. I also loved the bacon chili cheezy breadsticks. 

Keep in mind this spot is very busy

Mini croissants and an apple strudel - both were delicious

Bacon chili cheeze breadsticks

My brother Sean amidst a sea of bread

Free samples were available for us to try in various parts of the bakery

Bread behind the counter on display

The bakery also has a deli but the line was too long for us and we didn't "pack our patience." We ended up grabbing lattes while purchasing our snacks. 

For lunch, dine at Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant. Great prices and awesome portions made for an awesome lunch.

My brother had the carne asada wet burrito

Inside the restaurant

I had the enchilada and tamale combo, which came with a side of rice and beans.

Want a break from Starbucks? Visit Looney Bean Coffee for chai tea lattes and espresso drinks. They also serve sandwiches and snacks.

The patio area of Looney Bean

Inside Looney Bean waiting for my Chai Tea Latte with oat milk

Since almost everything closes early in this area, eat dinner at Whiskey Creek for a delicious sit-down meal. This restaurant closes later than the others in the area.  Inside, you can buy souvenirs at the gift shop.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Creamy Pesto Pasta

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with garlic mash and carrot puree

Creme Brulee

Take a stroll through Bishop City Park and visit Anna at the Visitor's Center. Pick up souvenirs like shirts, hoodies, magnets, and more.

Take a stroll at the park and watch the ducks

These ducks saw our brown Schat's Bakery bag and started following us as we walked around as if they’ve seen this bag before. 

Must stop location

Recommend going here first

Want beef jerky snacks? Stop by Mahogany Smoked Meats for a variety of flavors. We got a bag of Western Jerky for $18, as recommended by the dude at the counter. Ask for samples to see which one you like best. 

Splurged on an $18 bag of jerky for our road trip

I highly recommend spending some time exploring the downtown Bishop area. 

5. Laws Railroad and Historic Site

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

This place is an 11 acre hidden gem filled with amazing historical exhibits displaying items from the 1800s. The museum is free but be prepared as the front desk lady will ask you for a donation to help keep the museum running. 

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

We saw old school trains, equipment, vehicles, and you can enter many exhibits. 

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

Walk around the vintage train depot 

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

There’s a barn where you can view a variety of 1800s wagons

Walk through the mining area and see the equipment used

Be prepared for a lot of walking!

Read my full Laws Railroad Museum recap here

6. The Village at Mammoth

Exploring the village was fun and I was caught off guard when a stranger waved at me. Watch my video below as we explore the village. It was great seeing everyone dressed in their snow gear carrying skis and snowboards. 

While exploring and nearly getting our socks wet thanks to the wrong shoes, we started getting hungry so we stopped at Toomey's, which had sports memorabilia on the walls. Below is what we ate and it was delicious! 

I opted for fish and chips and it was tasty

My brother Sean had a buffalo meatloaf with a side of mashed potatoes, cabbage, and carrots.

My brother had chicken wings and fries.

While in Mammoth,  we visited a thrift store and then explored the Fun Shop where we bought more souvenirs. I bought a mood ring, my brother Steven bought a Mammoth license plate frame, and we enjoyed some ice cream. We got free stickers with our purchase. 

I got one scoop of espresso ice cream

Pro Tip: Not all hiking shoes are waterproof so make sure you wear the right shoes if you're heading to the snow. We nearly had wet socks but luckily, mine were dry although I sunk into a snow puddle while trying to cross the street. My brother wasn't so lucky. 

7. Hot Creek Geological Site

This site was like something out of a painting. We hiked down to see bubbling water and steam rising from beneath volcanic rocks. Beware, this area emanates a sulfuric hard-boiled eggs smell. Watch the video below of our hike along the creek. 

8. Convict Lake

This lake was our favorite out of Mono Lake, June Lake, and Twin Lakes. We loved the views, and the tranquility as we were the only ones there the day before a storm around 5pm on a Friday. Make sure to visit the Convict Lake Resort Restaurant, and the General Store for snacks and souvenirs, as well as the campground. (Note, the campground was closed at the time of our visit in late March). 

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

As someone who doesn't visit snowy areas often, I was dressed in a long sleeve shirt, two hoodies, and a jacket. I also wore two layers of pants and I was still cold! 

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

Photo of my bro Sean taken by my other bro Steven Buena

9. June Lake

Visiting June Lake was like Convict Lake on steroids. The size was larger, the town also a bit bigger, but the views were equally amazing. Watch as we drove by the lake: 

We stopped by June Lake Brewery hoping to get some good food and beer. It was a bit early for beer though and we learned food wasn't served inside the brewery. We ventured outside to a Mexican food truck but we weren't craving this type of cuisine so we left. 

Read my full June Lake recap here. 

10. Twin Lakes 

The drive through Mammoth Village to get to Twin Lakes was an adventure for us. The weather was great up until we got to Twin Lakes where we discovered the lake was frozen and the strong winds kicked up snow pellets in our faces. I still tried to scope out the scenery but it was brutal. I'd love to check it out in the warmer months. Watch the video below of the blizzard we faced. 

In the warmer months, I'm sure this lake is beautiful. We'll have to make another visit.

11. Mono Lake 

This lake was beautiful with greenish-blue water. We enjoyed the walk from the car, down the boardwalk to the water. It was extremely windy causing white caps on the lake and we enjoyed seeing it surrounded by snowy mountains.  

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

Photo by my brother Steven Buena

Make sure to read my full Mono Lake recap here.

Overall, while I didn’t want to originally visit this area, I am glad I went. It’s all about keeping an open mind and going with the flow. Thanks for reading! 

Make sure to PIN this post! 😁

As soon as we got home to Los Angeles, CA, I resumed my normal high protein, low carb diet to detox from all the vacation food we had. 

Travel Resources

If you’re planning a road trip, here are some helpful sites that I use. Note, below are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for every booking, with no extra cost to you. Thanks so much, in advance! - Anytime we need a rental car, we use this site to find deals. We didn’t want to put miles on our cars for this trip so we opted for a rental SUV with four-wheel drive since we 
were headed to the snow. - When we’re not staying in an AIRBNB, we’re in a VRBO rental. We use this option when we want to enjoy a full house with individual bedrooms, a kitchen, a backyard and other amenities. - Anytime I want reputable reviews, tips, and overall advice about a vacation area, I leverage this site. - Looking for cool tours in your vacation area? This site has a number of options. 


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