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Things to Do, Places to Stay in Yosemite, CA
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is an amazing place to visit and has been popular for decades if not longer. People from around the world come to soak in the beauty and majesty of the surroundings. There is much to do there no matter what you skill level. You can enjoy nature peacefully and without great strain or you can challenge yourself to the limits. No matter what, you will enjoy your stay there.
We went to Yosemite as a family, long ago for the first time. To be honest my sister and I weren't too keen on roughing it, though I didn't mind it as much as she did. We didn't even stay in tents, though that is something people love to do. Now I think I could do that as I have gone camping many times since then. We stayed at Curry Village first, a very modest tented camp setting, with a bed and no bath. Now you can get one with a bath however. Later in our trip we ended up staying at the beautiful and amazing Ahwahnee Hotel. So we had quite the range of experiences.
The Beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel with Snow
Curry Village and Ahwahnee Hotel
In Curry Village you definitely feel like you are roughing it compared to the Ahwahnee. We even heard a bear one night, and saw a bear in the morning because one of the neighbors left some food on ground level and the bear was very persistent. No harm came, and lessons were learned that is for sure!
In Curry Village we had to walk to the bathrooms and showers, which was fine as you did save quite a bit of money in doing so.
In the Ahwahnee, the difference was vast, and we truly enjoyed soaking in the rays down by the pool where they served you drinks and brought fresh towels as needed. Talk about a night and day difference! My brothers and my parents, sister and I had a great time together staying at these two locations. I would highly recommend both, and it just depends on what you are looking to spend. Often if you save in one area, you are able to spend more in another. So it depends on your priorities.
Things to do in Yosemite
Here are just a few of the things we did together in Yosemite. In regards to hiking, we only did a minimal amount compared to what some do in Yosemite. It is one of the beauties of this National Park though, that you can enjoy the nature on whatever level you are at.
That said, we did head up towards Vernal Falls, and that was a very beautiful trip. We stopped at Mist Falls, where it was a real treat to see some water, and the rocks. I loved the exercise and the reward of seeing nature up close and personal.
The other stop we made was at the great El Capitan. There is a look out point there, and that view will just "knock your socks off". There is a great feeling inside to be so close to nature and feel such a part of it. What amazed me are the people that rock climb these mountains and different points! I can't imagine really scaling the walls of these huge chunks of rock.
My brother fell in love with the Yosemite so much, that later during the college years he ended up going back to work there as a job. He learned so much and really took some great photos that we still have around the house.
Other than this, we hiked and walked all kinds of places. There were beautiful meadows with flowers blooming that would take your breath away. The wildlife was amazing when we saw it, such a joy! The fresh air, and the people were all neat aspects of our trip.
There was a stream flowing around the different camps, that was deep enough to put floats in, or that you could just swim in and really enjoy. It would just take you down stream. My siblings and I had a wonderful time doing this. I hope to take my kids there one day.