’Ello my lovely readers! The bus to amazing horizons is just about to leave. Get cozy as we embark for winding roads, pine tree heaven, and majestic waterfalls. The drive will cost you a few hours but I promise that it will be well worth it.
Yosemite has a special place in my heart. I like to think that the reason I was born (as indirect as it may be) is due to a little place called Housekeeping Camp where my grandparents first meet. Ever since then, as our family has grown, we have made a trip to Yosemite every three years. Saying I’m biased to this place would be an understatement but the beauty of this place might give you a similar effect.
Carved from glaciers, the entire valley is attributed to millions of years worth of natural formations. The most prominent evidence is the stunning view of Half Dome that has been literally cleaved in half. The valley itself hosts numerous rivers, trails, and waterfalls that will give your eyes an early birthday present. Yosemite’s weather follows a ridge season change, with late spring and early summer being the best times to visit.
Lodging: My idea of camping involves running water, a roof with four walls under it, and a door to lock out the curious critters. If camping is your thing though, by all means, go for it. Taking in the scenery by tent may be your ticket to spiritual bless. For those of us less than willing to become mosquito dinner, the ever beautiful and expensive Awhanee Hotel is breathtaking. Their larger-than-life log cabin palace will transport you to Native American roots. For the money conscious traveler, Yosemite Lodge or Curry Village will do the trick. While Yosemite Lodge is more equipped with basic hotel amenities, Curry Village has altering levels of ‘sophisticated’ camping. If you choose not to stay in the valley, an hour south is the sprawling Wawona Hotel, complete with a golf course. Try to avoid hitting a bear. They don’t like being hit.
Food: Craving some pizza? Try Degnan's Loft located in Yosemite village. If the buffet lines are calling your name, Curry Village Pavilion is just the place. For more fancy accommodations, the Mountain Room is not only tasty but hosts magnificent views of Yosemite Falls. Just around the corner, the Ahwahnee Hotel has a banquet hall comparable to that of a small castle. They have a delicious Sunday brunch that is highly recommended. For dessert, try the Coffee Corner for some ice cream and, well, coffee.
Things to do: It’s not what you can do, but what you CAN’T do. From tours of the valley in an open bus, to horseback riding along Mirror Lake, Yosemite is the last place you will be bored. With over 800 miles worth of trails, hiking might be your new best friend. For those who have a hiking phobia, the easiest trail is to Lower Yosemite falls. A moderate hike up to Vernal Falls and Emerald Pool will give you a nice workout. Hardcore backpackers can hike up to Half Dome--that is if you don’t mind using steel cables to scale the side of the dome. Rock climbing is another option and El Capitan has the perfect vertical wall of granite to practice on. For a less intense activity, rafting down the river allows you to relax and take in the scenic views.
What not to miss: