Yosemite is the most famous of California’s eight national parks and rightly so; with plunging waterfalls, dramatic granite cliffs and a good location (just four hours east of San Francisco) it’s the perfect natural highlight on a west coast trip.
Who is it good for? Adventurous families who want a holiday that’s free from modern distractions.
Ways to connect with nature are plentiful at Yosemite. Try stargazing, freshwater swimming, hiking, biking, and pony-trekking. To really get to grips with nature, and make new friends, children should join Yosemite’s kids’ clubs. Both Little Clubs (3-6 year olds) and Junior Rangers (7-13) are designed to foster environmental awareness by teaching kids all about the black bears, coyotes and other animals who call the park home.
Don’t miss: Yosemite Falls. This cascade is the fifth highest waterfall in the world. Visit in spring to see the water sparkle with the spectacular ‘moonbow’ lunar rainbow.
How to get there: Take in the city delights of San Francisco before driving to the park. Flights from London Heathrow to San Francisco with British Airways; from £564 return.
Travel time: A flight from London to San Francisco takes 11 hours, and the drive from the city to Yosemite is under 4 hours.
Best time to go? May-September is the hottest and busiest time at Yosemite but if you want to see the best of the waterfalls visit during spring, when the temperature is still a pleasant 21°C.
Where to stay: Yosemite offers a spectrum of accommodation to suit all visitors. Keen campers can choose from the array of purpose-built sites; advanced booking is advised, especially in the busy summer season. If you want a campside feel, without sleeping under canvas, opt for a cabin in Curry Village, or make your stay a real treat by checking into the Ahwahnee, the luxury on-site hotel crafted from granite.