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.
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...