Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring A Two-Night Stay at The Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, Yosemite National Park, Kearney Mansion, Basque Meal
Activity Level 2
Pace Level 2
Winter in Yosemite typically means picturesque snow-topped peaks, glistening frozen lakes, snow dusted trees and icicles hanging from rooftops. Those that have visited Yosemite National Park in another season will find a whole other world in the wintertime. We’ll explore the magnificent Yosemite Valley and its great granite domes, peaceful meadows and picturesque historic buildings at a truly magical time of year. And then we’ll head inside to relax by a roaring fire at our cozy, yet upscale lodge that is decked out for the holidays. This three-day getaway featuring two nights at the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite offers a truly wonderful combination of natural wonders, winter landscapes, rustic elegance and Christmas spirit!
From our departure points this morning we’ll travel by deluxe motorcoach into California’s fertile Central Valley. Following a morning rest stop and a stop for lunch on your own, we’ll begin our journey from the Central Valley into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Here, two miles from the south entrance of Yosemite National Park, situated on 35 secluded acres amongst a noble evergreen forest at 5,300 feet in elevation, is the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. We’ll enjoy a two-night stay at this elegant, AAA Four Diamond mountain retreat that offers an experience that is classic, yet perfectly modern. This full-service resort features an expansive lobby with a roaring fire, in the giant stone fireplace, an indoor pool and spa, room service and a full-service restaurant offering a wide range of cuisine. The Tenaya Lodge comes alive during the holidays and was rated by U.S.A. Today as one of the ‘Top 10 Best Hotels for the Holidays!’ This time of year the lobby is transformed into a cheery holiday haven and from the moment you arrive and see the towering Christmas tree, you’ll know you’re in for something special. Enjoy the balance of the evening at leisure to enjoy dinner on your own, admire the gingerbread house and make s’mores around the outdoor fire pit.
Following an included breakfast, we’ll be joined onboard our motorcoach by a Yosemite Conservancy guide for a full day of touring in Yosemite National Park. Preserved as a national park in 1890, Yosemite is home to a grand collection of peaceful meadows and historic structures amongst a pine forest and unique, glacier-shaped cliffs and rock faces. At Tunnel View we’ll get our first view of the spectacular Yosemite Valley including one of the west’s most photographed landmarks, Half Dome. Opposite Half Dome, towering 3,593 feet above the Yosemite Valley floor is El Capitan, the undisputed king of the granite monoliths – in fact it’s Earth’s largest single piece of granite! We’ll continue to Yosemite Valley, the prized jewel of Yosemite National Park. This eight-mile long, geologic marvel is a 4,000-foot deep trough lined by towering cliffs and glacially sculpted, polished rock. Although glacially carved valleys with similar features exist elsewhere in the world, none can compete with what legendary naturalist John Muir called the “Incomparable Valley.” At Sentinel Bridge we’ll take in the breathtaking view of Half Dome and its mirrored reflection in the Merced River. We’ll see a number of picturesque historic buildings, none more famous or spectacular than The Ahwahnee, an architectural gem combining grandness and intimacy. We’ll enjoy time at leisure for lunch on your own at Yosemite Lodge and visit Yosemite Village, home to the national park visitor center, Ansel Adams Gallery of photographic art, the Village Store and a variety of historic buildings. We’ll return to the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite in the late afternoon with the balance of the evening at your leisure to take advantage of the swimming pool and spa, restaurant and expansive lobby. (Breakfast)
After an included breakfast, we’ll begin our journey home with a stop in Fresno, located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Experience a turn-of-the-century Victorian holiday at the Kearney Mansion, an early 1900’s French Renaissance-style mansion with original Victorian furnishings. On a docent-guided tour we’ll learn about M. Theo Kearney, the “Raisin King,” who pioneered much of the agricultural industry in Central Valley. This is one of the San Joaquin Valley’s most significant and historic sites and helps tell the story of the development of agriculture in the Valley as well as California’s immigration story. This time of year the mansion is decorated from top to bottom with trees, garland and bows and showcases how Christmas was celebrated over 100 years ago. We’ll then enjoy an included traditional Basque meal at a locals’ favorite. This family-style meal includes fresh bread, homemade soup, a variety of sides, fried chicken, charbroiled lamp chops, ice cream and house wine and is a memorable finale to a spectacular journey. This afternoon we continue south toward Southern California making a rest stop later this afternoon. We return to our drop-off points this evening with fond memories of giant granite cliffs, peaceful meadows and beautiful Christmas décor at the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. (Breakfast, Lunch)
While we make every effort to operate our tours as outlined in the itinerary, we ask for your patience, understanding and flexibility and to retain a sense of adventure while traveling with us. Situations may arise that necessitate changes to the itinerary. Should we need to adjust the itinerary either prior to or while on tour, these changes will be communicated to you and only done when absolutely necessary.
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