Alright fellow Lemoore NAS Navy spouses, this blog post is for you! I was born and raised in the Central Valley, and this is a recent discovery for me, and one of the best kept secrets in the foothills. So I can tell you as a local – you will not find a more romantic spot to get away for the weekend than the River Jewel Suites.
See, I already knew that Three Rivers offered some great foothills scenery that would make for a lovely date. With its small town charm, an arts and crafts ambiance that belongs to this unique slice of California wilderness, and crazy friendly people everywhere you go (from the locals to the tourists that trek here from around the globe), you just can’t go wrong in Three Rivers.
But when friends who are new to the area would ask me about places to stay, I kind of drew a blank. My usual answer was, uhhhh, in a tent? I guess? My experience with Three Rivers lodging pretty much consists of the roadside motels doting the 198 on the way to the Sequoias. Nothing that would inspire images of candlelit dinners and bottle of bubbly. But after being asked on more than one occasion what and where I recommend in Three Rivers for family vacations and romantic dates, I finally decided to do some digging around on the ol Google machine.
That is how I stumbled upon The River Jewel Suites in Three Rivers. Opened just five years ago by Larry and Diana Jules (and their friendly dog Colt!), this secluded getaway sports a five star rating on TripAdvisor, a five star rating on Yelp, a five star rating on Air BNB, and a five star rating on the River Jewel Facebook page. For those of you review junkies like myself, you know that this just does not happen very often unless a business is truly exceptional.
I reached out to Larry and Diana to learn more about their business and to explore the grounds myself first hand and I learned that.. HOLY SMOKES IS THIS PLACE EXCEPTIONAL!!
Located in the foothills of the Sierra just minutes from the entrance to Sequoia National Park, The River Jewel in Three Rivers offers spectacular riverfront lodging in a private, peaceful setting. Run by a wonderful couple, (loving and passionate homeschool parents, woot woot!), they decided to create this enchanting getaway once all their kids grew up (the main suite used to be the kids play area / loft!) Larry has an extensive background in construction, and Diana has professional experience in interior décor and staging real estate, so this place exudes an effortless charm that makes the former Disneyland cast member in my soul feel right at home!
We stayed in the Kaweah Gem, just one of the three suites (although a fourth is currently in the works), and we were greeted by Diana, who showed us around with a mini tour of the property before turning us loose to roam the grounds. Our room was stocked with fresh towels, organic soaps, shampoo, coffee, fresh fruit and snacks and the sound of soft jazz music playing over the gentle roar of the river just steps away from the suite!
The Kaweah Gem has amazing views, a California king-size bed and all the amenities you could want. The property is also fully furnished, from the suites to the outdoor kitchen area. Cooking utensils from knives to casserole dishes to pots, pans and champagne flutes to cooking staples like oils and salts, these suites have everything you need to feel at home away from home. For instance, I had forgotten my book with local hikes at home, and when we first set our bags down in our room, we noticed that they had my book sitting on a shelf with many others that were a fun read by the river!
Our room also featured a mural painting of the landscape from a local Three Rivers artist, and a childhood toy train of Larrys circled the track of the landscape.. just one example of the many treasures, antiques, family heirlooms and creative handcrafted projects Larry and Diana use to decorate and furnish the suites with. We found countless special touches, hidden treasures and thoughtful additions to all the suites on the property (CLICK HERE TO SEE SOME MORE PHOTOS WE TOOK OF THE OTHER ROOMS AT THE RIVER JEWEL!), and the originality of the accommodations set this location apart as truly a unique in the Central Valley.
We spent a fun two days in Three Rivers, exploring the local shops (will be following up with a blog post on some recommendations for Three Rivers shops and attractions!) and then spent the evening baking a locally made pizza on the outside kitchen, and drinking champagne on our private patio, watching the sun set over the hills and marveling at the star-studded sky. We spent the morning by the river, sipping on hot coffee and listening to morning bird song by the water.