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.
Think of a river, and chances are you’ve got your own daydream. Maybe you want to float on inner tubes, or maybe your style is to careen through raucous rapids in an eight-person inflatable raft....
With a pine-and-peak alpine setting and a relaxed and friendly ambiance, this appealing event in Bear Valley, roughly halfway between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, includes performances by outstanding musical artists. Launched in 1967, the festival features a full symphony orchestra, international soloists, and legendary entertainers at pretty outdoor venues. Classical works, opera, Broadway show tunes, and opening weekend acts of contemporary and country music are offered, with past guest artists ranging from the Mamas and the Papas, to Big Bad Voodoo Daddies.
Known for its plunging waterfalls, giant sequoia trees, sheer granite cliffs, and more, you could easily spend weeks exploring Yosemite...