In the most unsuspecting of places outside the South Gate of Yosemite National Park sits vine-covered Erna’s Elderberry House, named for the elderberry bushes covering the surrounding grounds. The restaurant and adjacent Château du Sureau (French for elderberries) opened in 1984, when proprietress Erna Kubin-Clanin followed a lifelong dream to create a spot for folks with the “simplest of tastes” who “only want the best,” as Oscar Wilde once said. The quote, which perfectly sums up the Erna’s experience, hangs over the kitchen door. You’ll do well to dive into such decadent dishes as beef loin with chestnut mousse and sweet potato with bone marrow croquettes, which Chef de Cuisine Jonathon Perkins whips up for the rotating prix fixe menu. Savor each bite and allow yourself to be transported, at least momentarily, into a European country estate adorned with antique French furnishings, grand tapestries, and classical oil paintings. For an even greater Erna’s experience, sign on for a half-day weekend cooking class or three-day cooking school with nightly six-course dinners—that you help prepare. Oh, and you get to have sleepovers too.
Snow-covered peaks in winter, gushing waterfalls in spring, wildflower meadows and glistening lakes in summer, vibrant colours in fall—this is a land of dramatic and wild beauty. World-class mountain resorts circling turquoise-blue Lake Tahoe, and at Mammoth Lakes cater to all, with scenic ski trails in winter and trails and vistas in summer.
Yosemite Valley…is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and gold and wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” --photographer Ansel Adams
Yosemite National Park, a World Heritage Site, is here, roughly 3½ hours east of San Francisco. Whether you hike a mountain, ski the steeps, or lounge in a hot tub beneath a canopy of stars, you’ll find your perfect getaway.
Granite monoliths, waterfalls, alpine meadows—it’s no secret that Yosemite delivery some seriously big wow moments. But what is a secret is the bounty of awesome things you can see and do on your...