The indelible images of Yosemite National Park made famous by the photographer Ansel Adams in the early twentieth century still pale in comparison to the real thing. A half-day’s drive from both San Francisco and Los Angeles, Yosemite cuts a wide swath through the Central Sierra Nevada, characterized by grand views, hidden waterfalls, glacial lakes and boulder fields. A backpacker's paradise and a rock climber's mecca, the park offers innumerable options for adventurers and casual naturalists alike. Yosemite Valley, home to iconic features such as Half Dome and El Capitan, covers less than one percent of the park but is the most widely visited. Accommodations range from basic campsites to the grand Château du Sureau (located outside the park) to a National Historic Landmark, The Ahwahnee.
NATURAL BEAUTY IN THE NORTHWEST San Juan Island National Historical Park
Located off the Washington coast roughly equidistant from Seattle and Vancouver, the San Juan Islands are full of natural and historic charm.