It’s easy to shy away from the notion of adventure… especially when it eats up a good amount of your hard earned vacation time and savings. The truth of the matter is that a holiday (and an affordable one at that) can be found in your own backyard. It is with this mentality in mind that Kahana and I decided upon Yosemite for our next Hapa Holiday. It’s baffling to think that even after 33 years of being a California resident this would be my first visit to the park.
Initially we were a little hesitant to take the trip due to the cold weather predictions and the stories of curious bears breaking into cars and rummaging through campsites in search of food. Nonetheless, we packed up, said a little prayer and hit the road. The drive from San Diego to Yosemite is roughly 8 hours and we broke up the car time by spending a night in a cheap hotel in Bakersfield. The following day we waited until the kids nap time before knocking out the rest of the drive.
The second we arrived in Yosemite pretty much all of our concerns were put to rest. We stayed in a 3 bed heated tent cabin in Half Dome Village (formerly known as Curry Village) which proved to be an ideal base camp for napping and eating in between day excursions. From there we hopped on the free shuttle for transport throughout the park. Yosemite proved to be an extremely family friendly and enjoyable experience that we’d recommend to families of all sizes with kids of any age.
A few of our highlights from the park include:
Tunnel View – Viewpoint of the entire Yosemite Valley… ideal first stop to get a comprehensive idea of the lay of the land prior to descending into the valley floor.
Half Dome Village – Lot’s of lodging options from tents to cabins with an onsite grocery store, restaurant, pizza place, coffee shop and bar that kept us fed and happy all trip.
Mirror Lake – Stroller accessible hike (approximately 2 miles round trip) with great views of the lake and half dome.
Yosemite Waterfall – Another stroller friendly walk to the base of a 2,425 feet waterfall (the highest in Yosemite). It flows better during the spring and early summer months.
Bridalveil Falls – One of the most promenant falls in Yosemite. Easily viewed from California State Route 41 this waterfall flows year round.
Visitor Center – Great educational experience for the kids. It was fun learning about the Ahwahneechee Native American Indians and how they cared for the valley for over 7,000 years prior to any western contact.