While the beauty and grandeur of Yosemite National Park is unforgettable, adding a few special experiences will make your trip even better. Brett Archer, general manager at the iconic Ahwahnee Hotel (recently renamed the Majestic Yosemite Hotel), offers these insider tips for creating a more memorable visit.
Many people don't realize you can go rafting in Yosemite. Floating down the Merced River is a great way to cool off during the hot summer and provides a new perspective of Yosemite's landmarks. There are a lot of beaches at which pull out, take a refreshing dip, and enjoy a picnic lunch. The Ahwahnee, Curry Village, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, and Degnans Deli can provide a quick, convenient, tasty, and fresh picnic lunch.
Hit the beach
If swimming pools are not your thing, there are many beaches along the Merced River where you can hang out and keep cool. The beaches at Housekeeping Camp and the Swinging Bridge are easy to get to and provide unparalleled views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Glacier Point along with quintessential swimming-hole experiences.
Take the tram
The Valley Floor Tour is a cool way to see Yosemite without being trapped inside a bus. This open-air tram affords unhindered and awe inspiring views all the while a National Park Service naturalist provides a detailed narrative of all that you are seeing.
Disconnecting the kids from their devices lets them connect with nature. Take part in one of the National Park Service or Delaware North interpretive programs such as Wee Wild Ones, Starry Skies, or the Junior Ranger Program. Many of the programs in Yosemite are free.
See a show
Have some fun learning and laughing with Ranger Ned's Big Adventure at the Curry Village Amphitheater and then head into the Curry Village Ice Cream Corner for a hand-scooped ice cream cone, hot fudge sundae or root beer float.
Learn about Native American history
The Valley Visitor Center and Indian Village, Happy Isles Nature Center, and Pioneer History Center are all great places to learn of Yosemite's history, lore, and traditions.