If you love nature, wildlife and walking you will love these great destinations!
I don't know about you but when life gets a little frantic, it's nice to return to nature, revive and ground yourself. In these beautiful locations the energy is vivacious.
The Ahwahnee, Yosemite In Autumn
Destinations To Get Back To Your Roots
On the outskirts of San Francisco is the incredible Yosemite National Park. One of the first National Parks in the USA to be created by John Muir, an influential Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and pioneering advocate for the preservation of wilderness.
The park is 1,200 square miles with deep valleys created with the power of glaciers, abundant meadows, ancient giant sequoia trees and much more!
Take a day trip from San Francisco to explore this tranquil and beautiful setting. Walk in John Muir's footsteps along the John Muir Way, catch a glimpse of a coyote but don't forget to look up and leave nothing but footsteps behind.
Explore the region at your own pace with a hire car and take the opportunity to camp within the park or stay at one of the park lodge's.
Did you know that the historic property names have been restored in trademark settlement?
The Ahwahnee (formerly the Majestic Yosemite Hotel);
Designated a National Historic Landmark, this 1920s hotel is an architectural masterpiece, providing spectacular views of Yosemite Valley, home to many famous cliffs and waterfalls and the iconic Half Dome. Although not a luxury resort, The Ahwahnee is the most elegant lodging inside the national park and has plenty of creature comforts on offer. From £384 per room.
Curry Village (formerly Half Dome Village);
Located in the shadow of Half Dome and Glacier Point – an overlook with a commanding view of Yosemite Valley – the Half Done and Yosemite Falls, Curry Village is the largest lodging facility in Yosemite National Park and is the perfect place to set up base. Founded in 1899, the village consists of cabins with private baths, a dance pavilion and canvas tents. It's central location makes exploring the rest of the park a breeze. Prices from £67 per night for a canvas tent.
Wawona Hotel (formerly Big Trees Lodge);
Founded in 1856, Wawona Hotel is one of California's oldest mountain resort hotels. This National Historic Landmark is comprised of six lovingly restored Victorian buildings, each featuring antique furnishings and authentic period decor. The hotel is a stone throw away from the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Trees - the largest sequoia grove in Yosemite and home to over 500 of the world's largest and oldest organisms. Prices from £173 per night for a standard room.
Giant Sequoia Trees in Yosemite National Park ©MDHarding
Cairngorms National Park
The Cairngorms National Park is one of two national parks in Scotland. Located in the Scottish Highlands it lies between Killicrankie in the south, Ballater in the east, Granton-On-Spey to the north and Kingussie to the west. The park covers a staggering 4528 sq kilometres.
Voted one of the top 20 places to visit in the world by National Geographic Traveller Magazine.
There is something for the whole family to enjoy with a scenic steam train, wildlife park, beaches, walks, biking trails, bird watching and much more! It is also a round year destination with family friendly events held throughout.
It is incredibly easy to reach many parts of the Cairngoms with local transport or have more flexibility with a hire car. How will you travel there?
Loch Morlich, Cairngorms National Park ©MDHarding
Alishan National Park
Alishan National Park is located in central Taiwan. A destination I never had on my radar but wow, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to visit.
Surrounded by the Alishan Mountains, with green lush valleys. The area is well known for it's tea production.
Enjoy one of the many walks and trails throughout including The Giant Tree Plank Trail with it's huge cypress trees and the fallen Alishan Sacred Tree.
Don't miss sunrise with the narrow gauge Alishan Forest Railway. It's an early start but one I would highly recommend.
Read more about Taiwan and Alishan National Park.