5 Things to Do in Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is, in and of itself, a destination where you don’t really need an agenda other than to see the Park. Most travel guides will say two to four days should be dedicated to your visit here to see all of the magnificent features of the Park. And yes, by all means explore all the soaring highs and valley lows of this jewel in the crown of the U.S. National Park System. What else is there to do in the area? We’ve got a few ideas when you want to take a break from YNP. But, before you plan your trip, make sure you book your glamping accommodation in a cozy cabin or yurt at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes.

1. Hit the Small Towns #1: All around the area in this part of California, you can find many small towns that were established during the Gold Rush. One is Twain Harte – named for authors Mark Twain and Bret Harte, who happened to be favorite authors of the wife of one of the mining camp founders. Today, it is a charming mountain town with shops and eateries dotting the streets. The gourmet chef in your glamping group will enjoy browsing The Harte of the Kitchen for specialty cooking items while those looking for unique jewelry and gifts, essential oils, and crystals will enjoy Earthy Essentials. Those looking for unique Instagram shots should take note of the giant root beer mug next to the Rock of Twain Harte pub. With this as the backdrop, followers will know you’re in the “Heart of the Sierras,” as the giant mug denotes.

2. Hit the Small Towns #2: Considered one of the most picturesque historic towns in Gold Country, Angels Camp was founded in 1849 when George Angel established a mining camp here. Today it is known for its charm and the annual Jumping Frog Jubilee (held the third weekend in May to commemorate the short story that launched Mark Twain’s career – The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County). The Angels Camp Museum and Carriage House has one of the largest collections of carriages and wagons in the U.S. as well as a Mark Twain exhibit. Viator.com has a fun, and inexpensive, way to get to see the sights of the historic mining town – a self-led scavenger hunt using your iPhone as the guide (to download the map, visit viator.com/tours/California/Lets-Roams-Calaveras-County-Scavenger-Hunt-UnFROGettable-Angels-Camp/d272-104204P78).

2 Llamas

3. Love on Some Llamas: A truly once-in-a-lifetime experience can be had with a visit to Llamas of Circle Home where you can meet 31 llamas at this community and “learn all about the llama universe and their way of living.” Please note reservations are required, so go to experiencellamas.com to reserve a time for your visit. Visitors have said that the brushing, feeding, petting, and just being close to these amazing animals allowed them to realize how kind, gentle, and intelligent llamas are.

Aerial view of cabins at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes

4. Moaning Caverns Adventure Park: This attraction in nearby Vallecito is built around the Moaning Caverns, which were discovered by miners back in 1840, but after cave exploration, it is believed the cave existed, and was used, for thousands of years. It is named because of the moaning sound that came from it. Visitors can take the Spiral Tour down into the cavern via a 144-stair spiral staircase that has 7 ½ spiral turns while descending. Other activities here include a half-day Expedition Crawling and Spelunking Tour of the cavern, plus panning for gems and axe throwing. For more information, visit moaningcaverns.com.

Rock formation

5. Out of the Ordinary: A few not the run-of-the-mill experiences here could include Devil’s Postpile National Monument and the Coursegold Tarantula Exhibit. Devil’s Postpile, which was once part of Yosemite National Park, is an unusual rock formation considered one of the world’s finest examples of columnar basalt. Located in historic Coursegold Village is the Coursegold Tarantula Exhibit which is dedicated to teaching people about the world’s most hairy spider with plenty of creepy displays.

Cabin Interior at Thousand Trails Yosemite Lakes

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June is Great Outdoors Month

Cabins at Yosemite Lakes Campground in Groveland, CA

In 1998, President Bill Clinton declared that seven days in the month of June should be set aside to “celebrate our relationship with nature.” That concept resonated so soundly with Americans that successive administrations morphed those seven days into a whole month of celebrating and communing with nature.

June is upon us again and we probably all feel the need to get outside and commune! So, whether you hike, bike, fish, boat or just plain sit in it, get outside, breath the air, and become one with nature.

June in the great outdoors can include:

Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches, OR

Hiking: Hiking doesn’t really require much equipment or any particular level of skill – just some strong legs and lungs, and you’ve got it. Trails abound around the country and we’ve found a few you places you might like to hike. Yosemite National Park has 800 miles of trails to choose from and the scenery is unparalleled! Enjoy the alpine hikes of Mt. Hood, Oregon’s 11,240-foot volcano – two popular hikes are the Tamanawas Falls Trail and the Old Salmon River Trail. Then, relax after a long day on the trails in one of our yurt accommodations at Yosemite Lakes Campground (CA) or Mt. Hood Village (OR).

Cottages in Palm Springs RV Resort in Palm Desert, CA

Biking: Take a seat and use pedal power to enjoy the great outdoors on a bike ride. Some great rides could include the 13-mile city-wide tour of Palm Springs, California, which gives you an idea what the town is all about. Or, pedal around Maine’s Acadia National Park on the 45 miles of carriage roads or the 27-mile Park Loop Road. Add to the fun of your great outdoors experience with a stay in a cute cottage at Narrows Too (ME) or Palm Springs RV Resort (CA).

Cabins at Tranquil Timbers in Sturgeon Bay, WI

Fishing: Reel in the big one during Great Outdoors Month.  Try your luck with some deep-sea fishing in the Florida Keys or see what’s biting in the waters of Wisconsin’s Door County. Our cozy cabins at Tranquil Timbers (WI) or a colorful cottage or tiny house in the Keys can serve as your “fishing lodge” while you write your big fish story!

Fishing at Pacific City in Cloverdale, OR

Taking in the View: Sometimes it’s enough to just be outdoors to enjoy the view, the fresh air, and the magic of nature. Take in the sunsets from Santa Barbara’s Stearns Wharf; feel the effects of the healing vortexes in Sedona’s Red Rock State Park; enjoy the charm of Leavenworth, Washington, a quaint-as-can-be Bavarian-styled village or marvel at Haystack Rock, nature’s sea stack creation that rises 235 from the Pacific Ocean at Cannon Beach, Oregon. You can also enjoy the view from our cozy cabins in Santa Barbara (Rancho Oso) or Oregon (Pacific City), or from our adorable tiny homes in Leavenworth, Washington, or Sedona’s Verde Valley Resort.

Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA

Camping: Of course, there is no better way to enjoy the great outdoors than with a good camping trip. Writer Alice Walker said, “In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.” Find your perfection and stay with us in one of our Petite Retreats. If you want mountains, we’ve got you covered with locations near Seattle, Maine’s Acadia National Park, beautiful Mt. Hood, and the Adirondacks. If you want seashore, we’ve got you covered with locations in Santa Barbara, the Oregon coast, New Hampshire, and Florida. And if your “perfect” is just gathering friends and family in the great outdoors, we’ve definitely got you covered there!