Yosemite National Park was definitely one of the highlights of this road trip. We chose to stay in a bed and breakfast, Little Ahwahnee Inn rather than one of the bigger lodges. We did visit both Tenaya Lodge and Ahwahnee Hotel for food and both felt very busy compared to the peace and quiet of the B&B. Grant and Beth were delightful hosts and the breakfast delicious. Beth has always lived around this area so can give very helpful advice on where to go. They also check on any fire threats and road closures of which there were both on this visit. You could actually smell the smoke in the air and realise how easily things can change in Yosemite. There is plenty to do here and we easily filled our two days.
Little Ahwahnee Inn was a short drive from the South Gate entrance to the Park so provided easy access. A $20 ticket for the car (and occupants) lasts for seven days, you just need to keep the receipt. From this gate it is also only a short distance to Mariposa Grove, home of the giant sequoias which is definitely worth a visit. You have to see Grizzly Giant and stand (get a photo) in the California Tunnel Tree. Apparently they are about to pull the car park up here so it might be difficult to visit in the next twelve months.
The hike up to Vernal Falls was also worth it, although it is very hot in the summer so make sure you take enough water. I must confess I thought it would be easier than it was- you have been warned. Other highlights included stunning views from Taft Point, Tunnel View, Glacier Point and the imposing easily accessible Sentinel Dome. We decided to just look at Half Dome rather than climb it, the idea of getting a pass to climb it put us off not to mention the fact you have to pull yourself with ropes to get to the top of it!
The Ahwahnee Hotel proved a lovely stop for lunch. I can't believe this hotel had once been attacked by fire and has been rebuilt with faux wood. Sitting on a table outside surrounded by the beauty of Yosemite National Park will live in my memory. For dinner, we chose to eat at the Bar & Grill at Tenaya Lodge and Narrow Gauge Inn which were both close by. I preferred Narrow Gauge which served delicious food in a candlelit atmosphere transporting you back in time.
Yosemite provided a very enjoyable couple of days but it was time to move on....