In Yosemite, nature rules – we’re just along for the ride. In fact, 95 per cent of this national park is wilderness waiting to be explored. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it sprawls more than 3,000 square kilometres across the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Tourists flock here to see the cascading waterfalls, jutting granite cliffs and groves of ancient sequoias. Be sure to stop by Tunnel View, a jaw-dropping vista showcasing Apple screensaver-favourite El Capitan and drive up to Glacier Point for more spectacular views.
Yosemite’s park rangers are famously friendly and remarkably knowledgeable. Surrounded by California’s wildest of wilds, enjoy evening lectures covering everything from astronomy to wildlife, arranged by the National Park Service. A roaring campfire, a star-mottled sky and your own expert guide – is there a cooler classroom anywhere in the world?
Visit in February and you may be lucky enough to catch the natural ‘Firefall’, when the waters of Horsetail Fall burn golden as the sun sets. Head here in April for gushing waterfalls, fewer tourists, pleasant weather and waived fees during National Parks Week.
Situated just outside Yosemite, Tenaya Lodge is a 302-room property decorated with Native American flourishes throughout. It’s an ideal base for the family to relax before and after heading out to explore the great outdoors on a California holiday.