Story and photos by Leslie Jones
The moment you drive through those impressive
stone arches, around that final bend and witness your first glance at this
historic, multi-faceted jewel through the towering redwoods, you
instinctively know that you’ve discovered something very unique. Known
for its stunning architecture, both inside and out, the fact that it
easily blends with the surrounding trees and rock formations speaks
volumes of its rustic beauty and appeal.
Walking down the rustic red-carpeted entry way while glancing into the gift shop filled with wares from local artisans, you soon step into the magical world-renowned Ahwahnee Hotel which comes alive with an old-world charm and hospitable energy. International in every sense of the word, a mixture of languages and ethnically influenced Native American and Middle Eastern décor lends added intrigue.
The entire front desk team is gracious, the concierge works tirelessly assisting guests and day visitors alike, and the intimacy of this place leaves you feeling as though you’re coming home. Perhaps this is what keeps so many coming back year after year.
Venturing outside, on a warm, fall day, children are playing on the
expansive, green lawn while visitors are enjoying gourmet burgers, salads
and cocktails in the outdoor dining area. Photographers are shooting a
family of mule deer along with climbers on one of the area’s towering
rock walls. Further back behind the property, the immense lawn area and
The area’s interconnected bike paths lead in multiple directions and
each one is uniquely enjoyable. One direction heads through heavily
forested woods and leads up to
Another expansive bike pathway leads down to
Several stops in the village are highly encouraged including the Ansel Adams Gallery which offers colorful photography and artist quality gifts. The nearby Yosemite Conservancy bookstore and visitor center are also quality, educational stops along the way if you desire something a little less tourist oriented.
Yosemite has something for everyone including rock climbers, hikers, backpackers, horse riders, campers and those who yearn for something a little more comfortable. It is a magical destination especially when the crowds head home and the fall colors arrive. Bikes are available to rent although bringing your own makes the journey that much
more enjoyable. Get out on the trails, enjoy the fresh air and a little exercise along the way. It will rejuvenate body, mind and soul!
Yosemite Conservancy http://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/
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