When couples begin their life together, they long to take a great adventure â€“ Yosemite National Park embodies that honeymoon hope as one of natureâ€™s most iconic outdoor playgrounds. This Northern California nirvana boasts the stark granite of Half Dome, the high-country Sierras, and 1,169 square miles of discoverable waterfalls and ponderosa pines.
A land untouched by time, couples can camp underneath an ancient sequoia tree, drink in the beauty of the day while picnicking in lush meadows, or smell some of the most dazzling wildflowers. If relaxation and recreation are top on your honeymoon list, Yosemite National Park should be too.
Top-Rated Landmarks & Things to Do
Cooks Meadow & Half Dome â€“ If youâ€™ve seen any photos of Yosemite, you have seen images of Half Dome. Its majestic dome-shaped cap is popular with rock climbers and tourists alike. Even if you donâ€™t plan to ascend via the cliff face, beginners should try the two mile round-trip hike to Mirror Lake.
Want a challenge? The 16 mile Half Dome hike takes a full day, but can land you atop the 5,000-foot granite formation itself. If you want to marvel at Half Domeâ€™s majesty from underfoot, Cooks Meadow has a spectacular view (Ansel Adams used to snap shots here) where you may even spot a mule deer or black bear.
Ahwahnee Hotel â€“ Built in 1927, this historic landmark has an exquisite menu and panoramic views of Glacier Point, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls. You donâ€™t have to be a guest there to get a history tour from one of the staff, but if you choose to explore on your own, check out the walk-in fireplace, the Great Lounge, Native American decor, and Winter Club Room (which showcases park memorabilia across the decades).
Yosemite Falls â€“ This is one of the tallest falls in the entire world, so donâ€™t miss out on getting your own â€œYosemite Facial.â€ Stand at the base of the 2,425-foot waterfall and get a rush of spray to either cool you off from a day or wake you up without the need for a cup of Joe.
High Sierra Camps â€“ If you are looking for a unique way to spend your honeymoon, put in for Yosemite High Sierra Camps. This backpack-free way of exploring the high country is so popular you must enter a lottery to get chosen. Worth the wait and accessible only by horse or by foot, cooking gear and tents are not your responsibility. Instead, you will find overnight accommodations (spacious white tents), a full dinner, and breakfast served up family-style in cozy dining quarters. This is â€˜glampingâ€™ in Yosemite.
Camping Info, Costs & Park Fees
Yosemite has 13 campgrounds, but only seven are on a reservation-based system so as soon as you know the dates of your honeymoon, call ahead! Each campground costs between $10-$20/day.
Aside from Memorial Day and 4th of July (traffic is awful!), May through September are the best months to visit. If you plan to see as much of the park as possible by car, honeymoon between July and September. Want to see waterfalls at their best? Late May to early June is the ideal time to go.