Hotel at a Glance: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite may look like a giant log cabin, but guests here aren’t exactly roughing it. This AAA Four Diamond–rated resort offers guests alpine views, down bedding, cable TV, and multiple dining options. Step outside to go hiking or biking through the surrounding Sierra Mountain scenery, or venture into Yosemite National Park—the south entrance is just 2 miles away.
- Lots to do: Tenaya Lodge can gear you up with rental equipment for fishing, horseback riding, archery, or rock climbing.
- Five restaurants open seasonally, feature everything from casual pizzeria fare to farm-to-table California-style meals next to a fire.
- Three outdoor pools and two indoor pools include a kids’ pool with fountains and an adults-only pool with a bar.
- Relax and unwind at the full-service Ascent Spa, which helped the lodge win a place on USA Today’s list of the World’s Best Wellness Resorts.
- Rent a bike and head for the trails leading to a secret waterfall—the staff will even pack you a picnic lunch.
Yosemite National Park, California: Waterfalls, Giant Sequoia Trees, and Half Dome
Yosemite National Park is a place of superlatives. The massive swath of wilderness in central California is home to 3 of the world’s 10 tallest waterfalls, the largest piece of exposed granite in the world, and a grove of ancient sequoia trees that are among the largest living beings on the planet. The park is also one of the country’s most popular natural destinations: nearly four million visitors pass through each year.
Spring and early summer are the best times to see the waterfalls, thanks to the snowmelt brought on by warmer weather. Yosemite Falls—a three-tiered cascade considered the highest in North America—transforms into thundering cataracts each spring. Serious hikers can trek to the top on a strenuous hiking trail, which gains 2,700 feet in elevation in just 3.5 miles.