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Visit Yosemite National Park This Spring

Yosemite National Park, established in 1890, boasts over 1,200 square feet of protected natural beauty in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Each year over four million people travel to view the legendary granite cliffs, sequoia groves, glaciers, waterfalls, and more. With so much to see, knowing the best times to visit can be tough, but choosing to visit in spring has many advantages.

Perfect Cascading Waterfalls

From April to late May Yosemite waterfalls experience peak flow. Refreshed from melted snow, the waterfalls are at their most gorgeous, creating the breathtaking sights of roaring water and misting clouds that visitors expect. Five of the falls, including the three-tiered Yosemite Falls cascade from well over a thousand feet. The abundance of water also creates new, unmarked streams and falls for visitors to explore and discover.

Ideal Hiking Weather

With snow in the winter and high temperatures in the summer, spring is the best time for visiting Yosemite. While some trails don’t open until mid to late May, most of the 800 trails are open by April. Storms are occasional in spring, with mild weather that reaches an average of 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the valley. The sunny, warm weather and freshly opened trails make for ideal hiking conditions for any but the most extreme hikers.

Abundant Wildlife

New life begins its return to the Yosemite Valley in April. Over 1,450 types of flowers bloom in the area with monkey flowers, beardtongues, buttercups, poppies, and lupines as the first arriving each year. Dogwood trees are also among the first to bloom, creating skylines of white flowers. Even later blooming plants begin to sprout green leaves and turn barren valleys back to fields of color. Animals are also at their most active, making coyote, bighorn sheep, or fox sightings a greater possibility.

Less Crowds

Peak season at Yosemite National Park is from June through October, so visiting in spring is the best way to beat the crowds. If you’d really like to experience the beauty in solidarity, the Yosemite National Park website recommends visiting in the morning, mid-week in April. In addition to more spaces available for organized activities like guided tours, archery lessons, and astronomy walks, there will also be more open views and better photo opportunities. Visiting before the peak season can help you save money too! Every year visitors can enter for free during National Park week.

Check out our Yosemite Valley panoramic map to learn more!

Did you miss last month’s blog post? Check out these 6 Iconic Restaurants Along Route 66

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6 Iconic Restaurants Along Route U.S. 66

Route U.S. 66 was one of the first American highways and a major path for travelers migrating west for decades. While new interstates and freeways have made travel quicker and more efficient, they can’t replace the charm of Historic Route U.S. 66. Whether you’re planning a trip, or just feeling nostalgic, visiting these 6 restaurants will make anyone reminisce for the Mother Road.

Ariston Cafe, Litchfield, Illinois

The Ariston Cafe was founded by a Greek immigrant, Pete Adam, on Route 4, which later became part of U.S. 66. The cafe was moved to its current location in Litchfield in 1935, making it one of the oldest restaurants on Historic Route 66. The cafe serves a variety of dishes, but you can’t leave without trying the dessert! From cheesecake to baklava, every dish is baked fresh and flavorful, making Ariston Cafe famous among travelers.

Eisler Bros Old Rivertown Grocery Store, Riverton, Kansas

The interior of this route 66 store has barely changed since its doors opened in 1925. Much of the original decor remains and even one of the outhouses still stands (although most visitors use the indoor plumbing these days). The store sells groceries, produce, flowers, and gifts, including some handcrafted by local artists. Besides the historical aesthetic, this grocery store is well-known for its sandwiches, served fresh from the deli counter.

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard Stand, Chippewa, Missouri

In 1941, Ted Drewes, Sr. opened this custard stand. Today, it is still in the hands of his son, Ted Drewes, Jr., who has been operating it for over eighty years. As automobile traffic increased along Route 66, Ted Drewes, Jr. expanded his custard stand from 5 windows to 12 –a number thought excessive at the time. Today, the business is still thriving and expanded to many other locations. Ted Drewes Frozen Custard Stand is best known for its hot fudge sundaes and Ted’s “concrete,” a malt or shake so thick that it is served to customers upside down.

The Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo, Texas

Home to the free 72 oz steak, how could you pass up The Big Texan Steak Ranch? Of course, finishing the steak in one hour along with a shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad, and roll is required for the meal to be free. The restaurant also boasts live music, a zipline, and a dance hall. Don’t forget your cameras either, between the historic cowboy billboard and a dinosaur statue, there are plenty of photo ops too.

Del’s Restaurant, Tucumari, New Mexico

Thanks to the neon cow that sits atop their famous sign, you’ll know when you’ve arrived at the right place. Open since 1956, Del’s Restaurant is still serving Mexican, American, and seafood dishes with over-the-top service. Known locally for their extensive salad bar, but better known to tourists for the Route 66 decor that covers the restaurant, Del’s Restaurant is great place to eat when passing through Tucuamari.

Bagdad Cafe, Newberry Springs, California

Originally called the “Sidewinder Cafe,” this Mojave Desert restaurant changed its name after starring as the location for the film “Bagdad Cafe.” Like the movie, it’s a quirky cafe in a quiet town where visitors from all over the world gather. Full of memorabilia and odd collections, the Bagdad Cafe is a can’t miss stop on Route 66. They serve diner food staples, including their well-known buffalo burger.

 

For more information including the best attractions and an easy to read map of the historic and current Route U.S. 66, check out our Route 66 map.

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Three of the Best Wineries in Paso Robles

Three of the Best Wineries in Paso Robles

If you’re taking a little weekend trip to Paso Robles, it’s your perfect opportunity to stop and visit a winery or two. The Paso Robles area is home to over 200 wineries, and a visit to one or more of these can net you some world-class wines for your collection. Plus, a winery visit means wine tastings, and what’s more fun than that?

So to get you going on your adventure, here are three of the best wineries in Paso Robles, featuring award-winning wines, gorgeous facilities, and awe-inspiring views of Wine Country.

Eberle Winery

The winner of three double-golds and one gold awards at the 2017 San Francsico Chronicle Wine Competition, among many others, Eberle Winery features a lovely tasting room and wine cave tours. A huge deck offers stunning, sweeping views of the vineyard’s 38 lush acres, and live music and a bocce ball court keep you entertained during your visit.

Where: 3810 Hwy 46 East, Paso Robles, CA 93446
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What’s Happening in Hollywood and Beyond?

What's Happening in Hollywood and Beyond?

I am absolutely sure that if you are coming to Southern California, you are probably going to ask yourself – what’s happening in Hollywood?

Well, the very first thing you will want to see is the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. If you are driving from south to north on Beachwood Dr, you will catch a glimpse of that world-famous Hollywood Sign that you have seen in so many movies.

We have three suggestions of not-to-be-missed tourist attractions.

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Map of California’s Historic Mission Trail: the El Camino Real and Spanish Missions

El Camino Real and the Spanish Missions in California

Look at the beautiful experience you are missing! From their humble, thatch-roofed beginnings to the stately adobes we see today, the missions represent a dynamic chapter of California’s past. We personally think there ‘s nothing more exciting than history, up close and personal.
By the time the last mission was built in 1823, the Golden State had grown from an untamed wilderness to a thriving agricultural frontier on the verge of American statehood.
Now that you have a little bit of background, let’s talk about the missions themselves.
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