Going to Yosemite National Park, California
- John Muir Vernal Falls Mist Trail HikeBegin at Happy Isles (shuttle stop #16)recommended John Muir Vernal Falls Mist Trail HikeHow often do you get to hike into a rainbow? It feels like you're getting quite a shower from the waterfall, so if you have something waterproof, wear it. This is a great climb to take, but I would ... read moresuggest the John Muir trail on the way back just because it's less slippery and wet, even though it is covered in horse poop.
- The Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room - Ahwahnee Hotel1 Ahwahnee Way, Wawona, CA 95389recommended The Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room - Ahwahnee HotelSaturday night dinner... :D NOTES: * DRESS Code... dress proper. Girls - no jeans, flip flops or sweaters... men: no tshirts and sandals SERVICE: Excellent Service. We had Marty as our waiter and ... read moreKelley as our other guy who helps. They were great. Kelley looks like an older Zack Gallafinakis. Why do I mention that... because he seriously does. Does that have to do with his service? Nope. I just found it funny. Epic beard. The food is kinda slow. The awesome thing about service tho is they separate the checks for you. So you don't need to do this math (write which credit card charges this much, etc). It's pretty awesome. FOOD: You get free bread and crackers! Unlimited. Just ask. I ordered the pork rack and sides of cream of spinach and mash potatoes. * Pork was small for $26... I've had bigger (That's what she said) for the same price. It was cooked pretty well. It wasn't dry and came with a great Bearnaise sauce (The Demi sauce is veal sauce). * Mash potatoes were good but nothing fantastic about it. * Cream of Spinach... I asked for less creamy and it was still creamy... and kinda too rich for my liking. My friends ordered: * Prime Rib Eye - they said it was alright. Nothing too special. * Caesar Salad - she said typical. * Corn off the cob - this was good. She ate the whole thing. * French fries on the side - I had some and it was good. Really good and seasoned well. * Thai Curry Soup - pretty good. Not spicy at all but the curry taste reminded me of Japanese curry mixed with some thai spices. * Asparagus Mille-Feuille - eh... could go without it. * Free Range Chicken - he said he was good. not too dry. * Beef Short Rib - he made no comments on it so I'm guessing a no. * Pan Seared Trout - she said it was ok. eh. Overall food: Eh... overpriced for what you get. AMBIANCE: Beautiful place. There was a guy playing the piano and he was amazing. He didn't have sheet music and played some know pieces - Forest Gump, Let it Be.. and even Tupac's Changes. Yeah, I tipped the guy. When you enter the dining area - which everyone says is gorgeous and it's true - you look up and you feel like you're in Harry Potter's dining room. Candles in the air (fake lights) and wood area. Very pretty. LOCATION: There is valet and park yourself room. This place is located deep inside the hotel because there are two dining areas in that hotel - one where you can wear whatever (the bar) and the nice clothes one (this one). Ladies bathroom is upstairs (ugh) Overall: You come here for the ambiance.recommended The Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room - Ahwahnee HotelYosemite National Park's grandest lodge, the Ahwahnee, echoes the grandeur of early 20th century visits by heads of state and Hollywood celebs. The dining room, which enforces a dress code at dinner, ... read morelets you luxuriate in the ambience without paying the $450 price tag to sleep here overnight. The food is overpriced, but a table by the windows looking out at Half Dome in the sunshine is still an incredible experience. Sunday brunch is an all-you-can-eat spread for $40/adult. Tip: Make your brunch reservations for 10:30 a.m. so you'll get to try both the breakfast and lunch dishes.
- Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging20450 Old Highway 120, Groveland, CA 95321recommended Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family LodgingMemorial Day Weekend 2011 First off... this place was hard to find - in the dark. We came in at 2am... and circled around to find the luxury cabin we rented. So if you are looking for the cabins... ... read morewhen you enter Old 120 Highway (of 120HYW as they spelled it on the sign)... veer to the left into the resort and you will see tons of cabins eventually... drive slowly. There are some hidden. CABIN 61: Spacious for sleeping. * Pull out couch - Most uncomfortable pull out bed mattress ever. I could not sleep on that. I felt the bed falling downward towards the center and my back was in such pain (and I work out almost every day)... I had to get the couch cushion and put it on my back while I slept on the mattress. SOOOOO uncomfortable. * 1st floor bedroom - very comfortable. It's a small room but it was a better bed than the pull out couch. The bed was harder but I did not fall in the middle! So this is a good room... Call dibs! Second floor... 2nd floor works if you are a kid... or a little person... because you need to either walk on your knees, crawl or bend way down to walk around the top floor of the cabin. There is a loft area and has a bed that fits two people and then a room upstairs that sleeps two individuals. But again... the top floor is for kids, little people or people without back and knee problems... cuz you need to bend and scrunch down. Kitchen: They provide you coffee maker (BUT NOT ENOUGH COFFEE), two bread toaster, cups, plates, forks, spoons, and other cooking and serving ware. Refrigerator Microwave Oven Stove It's a small kitchen... but we managed. Living room: Big... we played board games - 8 of us! Bathroom: ONE. BATHROOM. ... it smelled too before we got the air freshener (septic tanks). They only provided ONE toilet paper roll... 8 people... 3 days... not going to work. We had to get other rolls... (which you could get at the general store for 89 cents for ONE roll - rip off - cuz I can get four rolls for 99 cents at the dollar store). One small bathroom... but at least they provide you with towels and linens. Patio: Clean. There is a BBQ grill on the bottom area as well. OUTSIDE THE CABIN: * Petting zoo - they had a llama! Sheep, goats, a duck, and... that's all I remembered. They were cute but you only had one tiny hole to be able to pet them and I am not risking my arm for a animal... cuz you never know. * General store - same place as check in/out... just got some general stuff we needed - foil, coffee, coffee filters, etc. They also had souvenirs. * Pool - didn't go in it... but it looked pretty! NOTE: * BRING AIR FRESHENER! * Bring TOILET paper and TRASH BAGS * They have WIFI... and VERY VERY ALMOST BARE reception for your phone. I have Verizon and I had reception at only ONE place and so I left my phone there... Everyone else had ATT, Tmobile and sprint... So I guess... Verizon wins! Overall... for a LARGE group... it was good for a SHORT trip, but if you need to stay someplace longer with multiple people... get one with multiple bathrooms. For a small group (4 people), 1 bathroom is fine... unless it's 4 girls... then you're screwed.Laura S
I stayed here with a couple of friends and it was good. :D
- Mariposa GroveMariposa Grove, Wawona, CA 95389recommended Mariposa GroveMariposa Grove is a sequoia grove located near Wawona and at the extreme south end of the park. It is the largest grove of Giant Sequoias in the park, with several hundred mature examples of the tree. ... read moreTwo of them are among the 25 largest Giant Sequoias in the world. The Mariposa Grove was first visited by non-natives in 1857 when Galen Clark and Milton Mann found it. They named the grove after Mariposa County, California, where the grove is located. The Giant Sequoia named Grizzly Giant is between probably 1900-2400 years old: the oldest tree in the grove. The Wawona Tree, had a tunnel cut through it in the nineteenth century that was wide enough for horse-drawn carriages and early automobiles to drive through. Weakened by the large opening at its base, the tree fell down in a storm in 1969. The Mariposa Grove is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Once I've parked the car, the walk through this grove is nothing short of inspirational once you go far enough back. The tranquil solitude is what being in a National Park is supposed to be. Not fighting the crowds within Yosemite Valley. I also like situations like this when nature makes me seem very small.Eric Brink
The Big Trees at Yosemite
- Glacier Point Trail HikeSouthside D, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389recommended Glacier Point Trail HikeGlacier Point is the viewpoint above Yosemite Valley and sits at an elevation of 7214 feet, a full 3200 feet above Curry Village. What you get is a superb view of not only the Valley, but Yosemite, ... read moreVernal, and Nevada Falls, Half Dome, and Clouds Rest. Glacier Point can be reached from the Valley via Glacier Point Road and is kind of crowded in the Summer. Glacier Point Road closes due to snow, and access to Glacier Point from the Badger Pass Ski Area is only by ski or snowshoe. Like I have, you can hike all the way down from Glacier Point. Or if you'd like back up. However, it takes more time than you think and bring plenty of water, a hat, and a few layers Also, watch out for falling rocks from above.Eric Brink
Walk down to the valley from Glacier Point.
- Ansel Adams Gallery9031 Village Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389recommended Ansel Adams GalleryThis Gallery remains a Best/Adams Family business and provides a wonderful selection of Ansel Adams' work (both original and prints). There's also books, fine arts, and instruction within this ... read morehandsome space. It's also a superior alternative if you want a special souvenir or a unique gift item that matches this grand landscape called Yosemite.Eric Brink
Stunning Photo Gallery.
recommended Tuolumne MeadowsOn the Tioga Road through Yosemite's high country, which can feel like driving on the rooftop of the world, Tuloumne Meadows is the hub of all the action in summertime. Boardwalk paths lead through ... read moregorgeous alpine meadows where wildflowers burst into bloom, usually from late June through early August. Check if there are any music or spoken-word events happening at the Parsons Lodge near Soda Springs, in the middle of the meadow.
- Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite33160 Evergreen Road, Groveland, CA 95321recommended Evergreen Lodge at YosemiteAway from the crazy crowds of Yosemite Valley, but still near enough to the park to make a convenient base camp, Evergreen Lodge is where I always stay. Summer rates may look high, but what you get is ... read morea better value than most of the in-park lodgings. At Evergreen, you'll get to nest in a cozy duplex or stand-alone cabin stocked with coffee, board games, books, and historical photos. The on-site bar and restaurant is a great mix of locals and tourists. Free s'mores at night in the recreation room, which also has a satellite hook-up for internet and phone calls. (No TVs or phones in the rooms, and your cell or smartphone will have no coverage here -- yay!). Brand-new in 2012: a hot tub and swimming pool. In summer, when the Tioga Rd is open through the park's high country, you can get to Tuloumne Meadows earlier in the day from this lodge than if you were camped out in Yosemite Valley. PS They've just added a swimming pool and hot tub, and they've already got a playground, nature trail and geocaching acitivities for kids.Sara Benson
I've visited Yosemite over 20 times, and used to work nearby in another national park. Hands down, this is my favorite place to stay in the entire Yosemite region. Highly recommended!
- Wawona Hotel8308 Wawona Road, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389recommended Wawona HotelIn the southern part of Yosemite National Park, not too far from the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees, this Victorian-styled hotel is more like a B&B, with small quaint rooms in two-story ... read morebuildings set around a great grassy lawn. The cheapest rooms come without private bathrooms and can be chilly in early spring or autumn. The atmosphere is superb, making you feel like you're traveling in another century. But the thin walls, rickety beds and squeaky floors just don't seem to justify the high price tag.Sara Benson
I'm attaching my review here, just FYI, because you had already put it on your trip plan. Here's the scoop!
- Lower Yosemite FallsYosemite National Park, Californiarecommended Lower Yosemite FallsIt's just a short walk along a mostly paved path from the shuttle bus stop. Then suddenly you're standing on the bridge at the base of this thunderous, multiple-decked waterfall that spills over the ... read moregranite cliffs into Yosemite Valley. Even in winter, you're bound to see this waterfall springing into action, possibly with a cone of ice frozen in the middle of the flow. The waterfall is at its biggest dimensions during spring Sierra snow melt, usually in April and May.
- Mountain Room Restaurant & LoungeYosemite Lodge Drrecommended Mountain Room Restaurant & LoungeWonderful restaurant with gorgeous views in the Yosemite Valley, the Mountain Room delivers in flavor, service, and ambiance. Dining options are very typical of hearty American fare such as steak, ... read moreseafood, and pastas. Dining on the valley floor, looking out into the beautiful scenery through the large windows, while reflecting on the experience of being in Yosemite, THAT is why life is wonderful.Mel S Wong
Hello Bindu, on the valley floor, there is a wide array of cafeteria style fast restaurants and delis. There are shuttles that will get you around the valley floor. I saw you mentioned Ahwanee dining room, which is beautiful! Enjoy!
- Curry Village9010 Curry Village Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389recommended Curry VillageFor an unique Yosemite camping experience, a stay in the canvas tents at least once is a must. Short of having to pitch, the permanent canvas tents are practically no frills accommodation that has a ... read moreroof, a door, and a metal frame bed. BYO sleeping bag and you are all set! Bathroom facilities are communal, separated by gender of course. There is something to be said about walking to use the facilities in the middle of the night and run into mr brown bear looking for food (no not the human kind). The camp site is regularly monitored by rangers and they are on top of it to ensure the safety of the campers. The village is conveniently located in the valley near the shops and visitor's center.Mel S Wong
Hello Bindu, hope you enjoy your visit to the park. If staying within the park, the valley visitor center regularly has a schedule of activities from docent/ranger lead walks to campfire hour to star gazing. Another reason why staying within the park will give you a more full experience there :)
- Yosemite Lodge At The FallsP.O. Box 578, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389recommended Yosemite Lodge At The FallsThe location of Yosemite Lodge is very central to the village life within Yosemite. This is almost always our go-to accommodation choice when visiting the park. The rooms are clean, well kept, and ... read morecomfortable: a very nice refuge with hot show and a bed after a long day's hiking or exploring of the valley. We enjoy the convenience and view (yes, it is possible to get a glimpse of the lower falls) of this wonderful place to call home on the valley floorMel S Wong
Hello Bindu, accommodation within the park is very highly sought after during the peak summer months, you could check availability and book online quite easily. I feel that staying within the park gives the best/full yosemite experience, otherwise the closest lodging outside the park/valley floor is at least an hour's drive on windy roads.
recommended Tenaya LakeFor an alternative to long day hikes - you can spend a day on the shores at Tanaya Lake. There are picnic tables around the lake at a number of spots, but remember the water is very cold!Traci
much more low key option for a day activity - there are some picnic tables to set up your food at as well
- Cloud's RestYosemite, CA 95389recommended Cloud's RestThis is an intense hike - especially if you start from Tanaya Lake, be prepared to start with some brutal switchbacks for the first hour or so. The view from Cloud's Rest is amazing - you have a ... read moreperfect view of Half Dome and the whole Valley since this is the highest peak in Yosemite.Traci
Not sure how intense of a hike you might be looking for - but if you really like a longer hike that will take you all day - the Clouds Rest hike is a good option. You get an amazing view