Get excited Modern Pioneers – this week’s Travel Guide is the ultimate travel destination for you this Fall. Spectacular granite cliffs, rushing waterfalls, crystal-clear streams, and giant Sequoia groves, not to mention some of the best hiking this side of the Mississippi. Yes, you guessed it, California’s pride and joy – Yosemite National Park! With over 3.7 million visitors each year, Yosemite is not only one of California’s premier travel destinations, but one of America’s premier travel destinations. Consider us lucky that it’s right in our backyard (and therefore, have sole bragging rights). So without further adieu, we present to you our favorite hotels, campsites, hiking trails, and restaurants, so once again you do not have any excuse not to go!
Activities in Yosemite
Perhaps the best thing about Yosemite (after its unparalleled natural beauty of course) is the fact that it offers travelers an endless game of choose-your-own-adventure. From over 12 miles of paved bike paths in Yosemite Valley for all you mountain bikers out there to year-round lake and reservoir fishing, it is next to impossible to be bored in Yosemite. And if you are bored, we suggest you reevaluate your thoughts because how could you possibly get bored in one of California’s biggest and natural playgrounds.
We can’t talk about activities in Yosemite without recommending some of our favorite hikes. If you are looking for an easy morning nature walk, we suggest walking the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail. This is about a 1-mile, 1-hour hike in Yosemite Valley with spectacular views of the Falls. Now let’s take it up a notch to a more moderate hike, and one of our personal favorites – Vernal Falls. A mix of meandering nature trails and moderately steep cliffs, this 2-3 hour hike ends at the top of Vernal Falls alongside a hidden reservoir to catch your breath before heading back down. And for all of you badasses out there, the 14-mile Half Dome hike is the one for you! May the odds be ever in your favor.
Lodging in Yosemite
After an adventurous day of hiking, biking, fishing, and rock climbing in the meadows, valleys, and cliffs of Yosemite, there is nothing quite like taking a warm shower kicking up your feet at night (perhaps with a glass or two of Lost Republic in hand). This is why Yosemite Lodge at the Falls is the perfect place to come back to after a long day of exploring. Conveniently located in Yosemite Valley right next to Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls’ glass and wood detailing blends smoothly with its surroundings and is just a tram ride away from any adventure you are seeking.
For those travelers who enjoy “roughing it” – we suggest trying out Curry Village. Located in the heart of Yosemite Valley, tucked below Half Dome and Glacier Point, Curry Village offers travelers a multitude of lodging options. From cabins with private baths to standard motel rooms to yurt cabins, you can choose how “rough” you want to go. But we recommend going all out and choosing the canvas tent cabins to really embrace the whole Yosemite experience.
Dining in Yosemite
While adventuring around Yosemite, it’s easy to work up an appetite. And Yosemite has just the right dining options to cure those grumbling stomachs. For a quick midday grub, the Village Grill is located in the Valley and offers grilled sandwiches, cheeseburgers, and chicken, veggie, and salmon burgers. For a more memorable and formal dining experience, the Ahwahnee Dining Room located in the Awhwanee Hotel is a must! With its savory Pan Roasted Verlasso Salmon to its Slow-Roasted Angus Beef Prime Rib, you will be dining in luxury. But there is one catch, you have to stick with the theme and follow its “Resort Casual” Dress Code for dinner – so please take a shower and put on a button down (ok, a flannel might count) and embrace the ambiance.
So grab your hiking boots, favorite camping buddy, protein bars, and bottle of Lost Republic and you are set for this weekend’s adventure.