This route into Yosemite starts in Fresno. Head north then east through rolling foothills. Take a detour to trace the low-key Madera Wine Trail, with more than a dozen vineyards with friendly tasting rooms.
Just before you enter Yosemite’s south entrance, plan a visit to the luxurious Château du Sureau, the opulent Old World vision of Austrian-born chef and hotelier Erna Kubin Clanin. Splurge with an overnight stay (the inn is 15 miles/24 kilometers south of Yosemite), or simply savor the haute cuisine and French country estate atmosphere at the inn’s Erna’s Elderberry House Restaurant. If suds are more your style, sample small-batch ales and get an informal tour at nearby South Gate Brewing Company.
Beyond Oakhurst, wind your way to tiny Fish Camp (population 59), 2 miles/3 kilometers south of the park’s entrance and the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. Stay at the elegantly rustic Little Ahwahnee Inn or nearby Tenaya Lodge, a full-service resort with spa and several dining options. And train buffs should definitely take the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, a narrated steam locomotive ride through rugged pine forests.
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...