The designers of Zip Yosemite, Experience Based Learning, focuses on adventure and safety in building their courses, but they also take care to look after the environment. The company uses Professional Ropes Course Association–accredited builders, who anchor single cables to trees using an environmentally-friendly system. Using this system, the company can string seven ziplines up to 1,000 feet long at heights of up to 80 feet through the aromatic canopies of incense cedars and ponderosa pine trees. Guides take visitors darting down these single-cable paths and across three suspension bridges. Then, they rappel toward the forest floor at one of two rappelling stations. As visitors glide through the forest, they can catch glimpses of wildlife as well as the Fresno Dome and other natural rock formations.
Cedar View Winery has spent the last decade perfecting their craft to produce distinctive wines with an emphasis on rare and eclectic varietals. The tour peels back the curtain to offer curious quaffers an inside look at the art and science of viniculture, narrating the epic journey of their flagship Alicante Bouschet grape from its infancy on the vine through the high hopes of graduation day, and onto the physical and spiritual crush of the fermentation process. At the end of the tour, older and wiser connoisseurs file into Cedar View’s elegantly appointed tasting room to test their freshly honed sommelier skills on six separate wines, as well as nibble on smoked-salmon finger sandwiches, balsamic-dressed grilled sausage, and other gourmet appetizers.
The wild trout has led humans on merry chases up and down rivers for generations, but the guides at Sierra Fly Fisher Tours have learned all the wily fish’s tricks—even those of the elusive golden trout. They possess the expertise to track the animals in spring, summer, fall, or winter, navigating the uncrowded waters of national parks from Yosemite to Kings Canyon. For the guides, the excursion’s allure involves the challenge of fly-fishing and the stunning California scenery, rather than making every catch into a meal. Instead, they try to preserve the species in local waters by emphasizing a catch-and-release philosophy, an ideology that makes for responsible fishermen and irresponsible police officers.
Since its founding in 1935, Mono Hot Springs Resort has housed the healing secrets of the mineral springs within its mountain-lined perimeter. After bunking in simple stone cabins complete with cozy fireplaces or staking out spots for tents perched atop wooden platforms, visitors can decamp to the onsite health spa, where massage therapists knead out kinks, and hot springs soothe aches with natural minerals.
A slew of outdoor activities feeds addictions to fresh air, challenging muscles to hikes along woodsy trails leading to the teetering boulder of Balancing Rock or gushing waters of Bear Diversion Dam. The waves of Doris Lake lap at a more leisurely pace, heated by the warm springs from which they spill and invite swimmers to take a dip. Lakes also host fishing and boating, and a nearby stable saddles up steeds for horseback riding. After finishing outdoor excursions or therapeutic soaks, guests can hunt for meal components in the general store or feast on buffalo ribs and mountain views on the restaurant's covered deck.
On one side of the Wawona Tunnel, city life, with all its rush and bustle. On the other, the majestic natural splendor of Yosemite National Park's rock faces, waters, and flora. Crossroads Tours & Limo takes nature seekers to the park for one- and two-day trips. Tours can include Glacier Point, the Yosemite Valley, and the Cathedral Spires, and provide plenty of time to remember your day with photo ops and impromptu tattoos. Private tours and wine tours are also available. Crossroads Tours also offers limousine service for any occasion, from weddings to girls' nights out.
Behind courtyards filled with lit fountains, verdant trees, and grassy spaces stands the glossy façade of River Park shopping center. During each annual A Taste of River Park these courtyards fill with local chefs serving tastes of their restaurants' signature dishes and Central Valley wineries pouring samples of their wines. While visitors stroll through the outdoor festival, the mall's retailers put on a fashion show of upcoming fall fashion trends and demonstrate the 21 ways to button a cardigan. Visitors can also thrill to the sights and sounds of the featured live entertainment.