Ahwahnee Hotel Is Yosemite Gem - My Family Travels

The Ahwanee Hotel is a great place to return to after a long hike in California's Yosemite National Park and a great base for northern California family adventures.

The celebrities of majestic Yosemite National Park – Half Dome, El Capitan, and Bridal Veil Falls – are all in Yosemite Valley, a spectacular glacier-carved, seven-square-mile canyon where most of the tourist action takes place.  The historic Ahwahnee Hotel is in the valley too, where you can enjoy first-class, AAA four-diamond service while you take advantage of everything Yosemite has to offer summer and winter. 

This stunning stone and timber structure was first opened in 1927 and it looks today much like it looked back then, with native American motifs and a world-class collection of kilim rugs. Its “Great Lounge” has a massive stone hearth, 24-foot ceilings, stained glass panels, and elegantly rustic furnishings, and is an inviting stop for afternoon tea and evening refreshments.

Views surround guests in every room, from the stunning natural surroundings to those of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and Glacier Point.

Of course it’s important to try the more adventurous activities in Yosemite, besides sipping coffee while you enjoy the views that make Yosemite the most revisited national park in the country. After you’ve wandered along hiking trails past massive redwood trees, granite domes, glacial lakes and crashing waterfalls, you can raft, ride, or climb your way through the park’s splendor.

Half-day raft trips on the Merced River can be arranged right there at the park or longer trips on the Merced and the Tuolumne Rivercan be set up through OARS Adventures (800/346-6277).

Guided two-hour and half-day horseback rides for families depart from Yosemite Valley Stables (209/372-8348), and climb up out of the canyon to a breathtaking viewpoint of waterfalls at Clark Point. Each requires different levels of ability but in general, kids must be age 7+ to join group rides.

Resort Report Card

Name: Ahwahnee Hotel
Address: Yosemite National Park
Phone: 559/253-5635
Seasonal Rates: $$ – $$$
Hotel Setting: A+
Hotel Staff: A
Choice of Activities: A
Quality of Amenities: A
Bonus: Entertaining lectures every night from trained naturalists.
Note: Reserve as early as possible because it’s a National Park classic.

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