Have you been thinking of ideas to keep the family busy during the summer holidays? Why not consider taking a trip and visiting an amazing and beautiful National Park?
It’s That Time Of Year
Summer is at our doorstep, but COVID-19 and its effects linger. In a time that should be filled with adventure, friends, family and travel. Most people are finding it hard to plan and execute a vacation that adheres to safety precautions. Road trips have seen a resurgence as a result, but it’s still difficult to land on a destination. Which brings us to the under-appreciated gems that are national parks, and the king among them is Yosemite.
Opened in October of 1890, Yosemite has long been a vacation spot for families and nature-lovers. In 2019 alone, the park saw about 4.5 million visitors over the course of the year, but that number was cut drastically in 2020 due to the pandemic. Now that things are opening up again, it’s a good time to explore Yosemite’s treasures, rain or shine.
At the time of this article masks may be required in certain indoor areas Reservations are required starting May 21st, and a check on their site is a great way to gauge their status while planning. Below are some ideas to make the best of your time!
Things To Do in Yosemite National Park
Take a Walk
First up is the obvious: Hiking. There are many trails throughout the expansive 748,542 acre park with varying degrees of difficulties and an array of breathtaking views. In early summer, an easy, but worthwhile walk is that of the Lower Falls. Only about 0.5mi, the view from the base of the waterfall is stunning and a great idea for families with younger hikers.
For those willing to trek a bit farther, Glacier Point is a 1mi hike that gives an excellent view of several of Yosemite’s most famous attractions. If you’re not really inclined toward hills, the Sentinel and Cook’s Meadow Loop is the one for you. At about 2.25mi, it gives you a chance to see both Yosemite Falls and Half Dome while remaining on level ground.
And these are just for those who would like a more casual hike. The options are well worth exploring for those looking for more of a challenge or are perhaps kid-free. Another similar activity would be to sign up for a tour. From Hummer rides, to guided hikes, to photography classes, there are fun options for everyone.
Of course, Yosemite National Park is also renowned for its lakes and rivers, which opens a whole host of fun water pursuits. With only a few exceptions, swimming is generally permitted, with lake and river beaches scattered throughout the park. Pack a picnic and cool off in the waters of the Merced River. Or perhaps you might prefer to float along. Boating and tubing are allowed when river levels permit, or out on Tenaya Lake.
For the anglers, a California fishing license opens all kinds of doors. Stream and river fishing is open during the summer and lake and reservoir fishing is a year-round event. There are some rules and safety precautions around these particular activities, so it would be a great idea to check up on the Yosemite website and familiarize yourself.
For the most adventurous, white water rafting is a common occurrence within the confines of Yosemite, so a look into one of the local rafting companies is an especially great idea for those with older kids and teenagers.
Since everyone needs to eat, let’s cover some restaurants located within Yosemite. From food courts to bakeries, lounges to bars, and grills to fine dining: the options are numerous!
For those on a budget, the Village Store is the place to get snacks and groceries to make your own meals, as well as firewood and s’more essentials. The Base Camp Eatery and Degnan’s Bakery are great a la carte eateries for feeding a group on the go. For the adults and those with more discerning palettes, the Mountain Room Lounge and the Ahwahnee Dining Room offer upscale and fine dining even in the midst of the great outdoors.
It’s Worth the Trip
With views such as Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park is a veritable trove of unforgettable scenery. Whether you want an extended trip to tent/rv camp or stay in one of the hotels/lodges on the premises, or are just hoping to drive through on a day trip, there are so many incredible memories to be made for the whole family!