The first time I crossed the Nevada border into Northern California near Lake Tahoe was just before sunset on September 24, 2012. I immediately fell in love with the mountains, massive trees, and seemingly endless open sky.
Over the past five years, I’ve made it my mission to explore as much of California as possible while being actively involved in #startuplife jobs and side projects. Yosemite was high up on my California bucket list, and that trip finally happened in April 2017. I was SO excited and booked an Airbnb months before the planned date.
We stayed at an Airbnb just outside of the park. I didn’t want to camp, and the lodging inside the park books months to a year in advance. It’s difficult to book that far out with work travel and other obligations, so Airbnb was our easiest option. It wasn’t fancy, but it had two bathrooms, a loft bedroom, kitchenette, fireplace, living area, and a deck with views of the sun setting over the mountains. It suited our needs perfectly! The only thing I’d change would be the paper-thin walls — we could hear every little cough, step, and sound our neighbors made. To be that far out in the wilderness, I would’ve appreciated a little more peace and quiet. However, we spent most of the time hiking and exploring the park, so this wasn’t a big deal.
We explored Yosemite Village & Yosemite Valley for two days and enjoyed the easy bus system, ample parking spaces, cascading waterfalls, and immense, breathtaking beauty. I’d recommend going before the busy season (summer) to avoid massive traffic and parking headaches, as well as crowded hiking trails.
The bar/restaurant in the Village was a great stop both days post-hike for cocktails and refreshments. We packed plenty of snacks for the hikes and cooked dinner on the second night in our Airbnb. It was a little different at 7,000 feet, and I’m still unsure if that was because of the oven we weren’t used to or the elevation, but it was delicious after a long day of hiking.