Central California Family Video Review
Central California Family Video Review – In November 2019, My Central Florida Family took a trip, and adult only trip for our anniversary, to Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes and Lake Tahoe. Here’s our Family Video Reviews!
Orlando to Sacramento:
We opted to fly into Sacramento because we found a $350 roundtrip flight on Southwest Airlines that was a good fit for us. It was our starting and ending point to this trip. Getting in late and leaving early, we opted for a hotel near the airport with nothing much to tell.
Sacramento to Yosemite:
We left around 5 AM for Yosemite and made it out of the city by the time the sun was up. The drive was mostly two lane road through farm land and it was perfect. The weather was just right for windows down in the car and the scenic beauty of the farm land was a great way to transition into peace mode.
We happened upon, and you would miss it if you weren’t looking off road, a little village that was newly built and adorable in Copperopolis. We had breakfast at Copper Valley Cafe and everything we ate was the best! I highly recommend a stop there.
The 3 hour car ride turned into about 5-6 hours as we continued to stop where we could and take pictures and explore. Don’t miss the opportunity to do the same.
Yosemite National Park:
Once in Yosemite, expect little to no cell phone service (no real uploading of photos to Facebook) and very few gas stations, restaurants or stores. It’s truly nature only and it was perfect. We spent 2 nights at The Ahwhanee in the valley. Because it was off season, it helped with the price of this pristine lodge.
It was perfectly center to the action in the valley and I’m so glad we spend a bit more for two nights. We also opted for a cabin rather than a room in the lodge. It was private and peaceful and added to the ambiance of the trip. We opted for the breakfast buffet in their main dining room and it was exquisite, yet pricey.
With our two days in Yosemite, we took time to view El Capitan, Half Dome, Glacier Pointe, Yosemite Falls and Mariposa Grove. All of the driving is up and down winding mountainsides, so be prepared if you take the kids that it can get a little queasy. Below is our video review of our time in Yosemite:
Yosemite to Mammoth Lakes:
We set off for Mammoth Lakes in the morning. What I didn’t realize is that the trip would take us right through the center of Yosemite National Park. So, while you weren’t in the middle of the highlights, we got to enjoy a beautiful ride through mountains, lakes and lots of trees. Once outside the park, the decent is quite a driving experience. Again, expect a lot of winding mountain roads.
Once down from the mountains, it was a straight and easy drive to Mammoth Lakes. Close by is the town of Bodie, which was another harrowing drive up a mountain, with 3 miles of the drive on gravel road. You have no idea where you are or where you’re going until you get there, but it was worth the trip. It truly is a western town frozen in time. Plan half a day to visit this California State Park.
In Mammoth, since we’re not skiers, we opted for the sites. We traveled to Wild Willey’s Hot Springs, which was a fun and unique experience. The kids will love it. We also visited Convict Lake. I could have sat there in the silence, beauty and tranquility for days. Finally, we visited the lake basin for more water views, which didn’t hold a candle to Convict Lake, in my opinion.
Outside of site visiting, we did a bit of shopping and dining and had a great time catching a game at the Outlaw Saloon. Mammoth is a pretty easy town to navigate and beautiful in it’s own way. Below is our Family Video Review of Mammoth Lakes:
Mammoth Lakes to Lake Tahoe:
The drive was about 2-3 hours and as you drive away from Mammoth towards, our stop in Virginia City, Nevada, the drive gets less and less pretty. Lots of brown mountains and hills with a single river flowing alongside the road for a portion of the drive. Not much to see or do, so it was a straight shot to Virginia City.
Virginia City is one of my favorite old west towns that I’ve experienced. Meant for some shopping and dining (and maybe a drink and a little history), it’s just a quaint spot to feel close to the past. We had lunch and spent a couple of hours shopping and then headed out to Lake Tahoe, which was about an hour away.
One of my favorite places on Earth. Lake Tahoe is a mix of mountains, water and trees. You can feel all the elements when you’re there and the natural beauty and laid back attitudes are just perfect. There’s a little bit of gambling and nightlife on the Nevada side and a lot of great dining and fun on the California side. A drive around the lake takes about 3 hours. We, of course, did it in about 5 hours due to stops and site seeing.
Here is a photo video of our Family Video Review of Lake Tahoe and Virginia City.
We spent 8 nights (2-Sacramento, 2-Yosemite, 2-Mammoth Lakes and 2-Lake Tahoe) in California and Nevada. This was meant to be a nature trip and the views and experiences did not disappoint. We would do this trip again with the kids, but we would bring lots of things to keep them busy too. It was a great trip for an anniversary or a group of adults as well. We would highly recommend any portion of this trip or the trip in it’s entirety for anyone needing a break from the every day hustle and bustle.
Disclaimer: This Family Video Review is based on the opinions and experiences of My Central Florida Family and should be accepted as opinion only. This trip was chosen and planned for by My Central Florida Family.
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