Yosemite, where the wildflowers bloom and the mountains sing.
I had heard many stories about this magical place nestled in between San Francisco and Los Angeles, all of which failed to encapsulate the beauty between the grand rock formations shielding blooming wildflowers, waterfalls and secret hiking trails among native animals set the scene for this dramatic national park.
There are extremely limited luxury options when inside the actual park of Yosemite so we chose the 4-star resort Tenaya Lodge primarily because of their updated 'contemporary suites' as we wanted to experience a more modern stay for our elopement (luxury please!).
Although we love to 'rough it' as much as the next person, this was a time we truly wanted chic and clean. I would suggest these rooms if you're travelling as a duo without kids as they're on an adults-only floor which you will need in the midst of the hustle and bustle of kids. Yosemite draws a crowd, so avoid visiting on any kind of pubic holiday or event. Her beauty will be lost to the hoards of crowds and adventure activities.
The backdrop is nothing short of breathtaking, on the border of Yosemite National Park in the middle of the Sierra National Forest, this is an all-seasons base camp to explore the park and beyond. Its a hiker's mecca. Truly, watching the sun go down from the top of Taft Point is something I will remember forever.
The location of the Tenaya Lodge is still around an hours drive into Yosemite Valley proper, or Glacier Point but it;s much closer than staying in Mariposa or surrounding areas. Just be prepared to drive those windy mountain roads! The views make up for the commute into the park - they are truly out of this world.
This would be the place to come with a family if you were keen to experience limitless outdoor recreation opportunities in a ranch style setting. Think adventure and an active getaway, not gourmet food and luxury.
Our room was spotless with fabulous amenities, my favourite being the bath robes (super lush - have to say the best I've ever experienced). The bed was huge and extremely comfortable and you can't beat the back drop provided by Mother Nature.
A place to feel the earth's heartbeat.
Tenaya Lodge can be found here