Go: Yosemite

Less than four hours from Silicon Valley is nature's Disneyland: Yosemite National Park. Don't make the mistake of neglecting this California treasure trove. My family has a tradition of going every spring, when the water level is at its peak—offering a vast array of jaw-dropping waterfalls cascading the granite cliffs—and the crowds are minimal (compared to summertime). Yosemite's grandeur cannot be adequately captured by a camera, you just have to experience this place in person. So, why not go now? Reservations can be hard to come by, but I was there last weekend and was surprised to learn there were vacant tent cabins at Housekeeping Camp.

I love staying at Housekeeping Camp. It's the very definition of glamping. If you look closely, you'll see some of the tent cabins in the daytime photo below. Each unit has a sleeping area and a living area. The sleeping area is fully enclosed by 3 cinder block walls and a canvas curtain and has a bunk bed, a double bed, shelves, a power outlet, and a light. The living area is covered and open air; it has a picnic table, a food prep table, a power outlet, and lots of hooks on the fence. Bed linens, plastic chairs, and cots are available for rent; we rent one cot so our cabin sleeps our family of five. Each unit has its own campfire ring and bear box (for safe food storage). My favorite unit is alongside the Merced River with majestic Half Dome towering above, view unobstructed.

Yosemite makes it easy to custom tailor your visit, the possibilities are endless. You can do intense hikes or mellow walks; you can prepare all of your food camping style, or you can eat out; you can bring a bike, rent a bike, or not bike at all; you can relax on the river beach, paint a landscape in a meadow, or fish. Just go, you won't regret it. Go explore Yosemite, and please tell us all about your adventures.

Yosemite Falls is pictured in both photographs.

Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Falls at sunset
Yosemite National Park, Housekeeping Camp and Yosemite Falls