Miami, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Los Angeles, Florida… These are some of the
destinations that are thrown out during the “family vacation meeting”.
I’m not going to be a hypocrite, when planning a vacation the first
thoughts in my head are always beaches, resorts, islands or maybe even a
cruise, until now. My thoughts were now maps, camping, tours and a few
really big parks. We had done the Europe thing the year before and my
kids were old enough to appreciate the beauty that Mother Earth has to
offer. After a few phone calls and a day or so online, our 2 week summer
vacation was planned, we were heading to California’s High Sierra. The
plan was to fly to California, rent a mini-van and enjoy the rainbow
trimmed waterfalls, alpine lakes, pristine meadows, giant sequoia trees
and raging rivers.
It was one of the best vacations we as a family ever had. Below I
listed the three National Parks we visited and a few things that you can
do while there. If you were looking for a reason to buy that fancy
camera at your local camera store, you found one!!
Yosemite National Park is 770,000 acres of geological wonders. There
are two “must do things” while at Yosemite. Yosemite Park has two of the
tallest free falling waterfalls in the world, a must see. When you are
done with the breath taking waterfalls, head up to Glacier Point for an
amazing sunset and the stargazing tour. You are surrounded by beauty
from day-time to night-time at Yosemite.
Sequoia National Park in my opinion is one of the most mesmerizing
places in the world. It’s safe to say that all of us see trees and
plants on a daily basis, well not like this.. This is the place for
craning your neck and gazing in wonder at the sequoia trees. Yes, there
are a lot of gargantuan trees there but you need to pay the General
Sherman Tree a visit, it is the largest living tree on earth (taller
than a 27-story building and more than 100 feet around. I recommend you
head over to the Buckeye Campground, take an easy 1 mile walk on
Paradise Creek Trail and enjoy the swimming holes at the base of a few
small waterfalls. I need to warn you, the water is cold; don’t worry,
you’ll get used to it in a matter of minutes.
Kings Canyon National Park is the canyon of the Kings River, the name
alone can be intimidating; it’s the deepest canyon in North America,
the Grand Canyon is not so grand when compared to this National Park. I
highly recommend the Boyden Cavern tour; the Boyden Cavern hides
beneath the 2,000 foot high marble walls of the Kings Gates, take a
sweater or jacket, it can get pretty cold down there. To thaw out after
your cave tour head to South Fork Kings River for a calm and relaxing
raft ride down the river. Kings River’s summer flow is typically so
gentle that your raft lazily meanders; you barely have to paddle.
My point to this is, before you simply jump on the next plane to some
gorgeous paradise in the sun, consider a well-planned “staycation” .
Jump in a mini-van and drive 3 to 5 hours away from home and experience
the trip and the “Are we there yet?” moments!
And don’t just settle for the chain motels, there are often
incredible deals for exclusive resorts near the hotspots I’ve spoken of.
The subscribers to Getaway Gateway know firsthand that they can stay
at these resorts for prices that are less than a bargain chain motel.
So the next time you are having the “family vacation meeting” and
shouts of Miami, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Los Angeles and Florida enter the
conversation just remember why we go on vacation as a family…and maybe
think to share the paradise moments with your partner.
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