Quiet hikes and lazy picnics are yours for the taking in autumn. Before winter comes, take a long weekend to see the best of what the park has to offer.
Three days are a perfect chunk of time to explore the park’s three main areas: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite Valley, and Wawona. Plan to stay in the valley―it’s central to everything, and reservations are easier to come by at this time of year.
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Fall under the Sonoma Coast spell
The rugged stretch of land that runs along Sonoma County's coast inspires grand passions. From the pocket coves of Bodega Bay and windswept bluffs of Sea Ranch to inland pine-covered peaks and ocean-carved sea stacks, the area is marked by layers of fog, gulls, sweetgrass, and wildness.
It's a place where you can tidepool for hours in precious solitude or ride thrilling, frigid waves; a place where delicious wine and cheese are made carefully, lovingly, by hand.
Pour a glass in Oregon's Willamette Valley wine country
With luxe inns and tons of tasting rooms, Willamette is ready for prime time. You can get lost on the backcountry roads but always find a good glass of Pinot around the bend. And now, with great hotels and tasting rooms mustering in towns like Carlton, you can experience the valley’s off-the-beaten-path vibe yet have the comforts of a soft bed close by.
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Bike around Boise
This Idaho town is made for riding ― especially now with fall foliage at its peak.
Wander through this quirky, unassuming wine region just south of San Luis Obispo. The nascent wine region is located in a triangle bordered by Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo, and it still retains a distinctive, backroad California charm.
Today it's home to more than 3,000 acres of vineyards and 30 wine labels, including 17 tasting rooms that run the gamut from a former one-room schoolhouse to the stylish Jack Niven Hospitality Center at Edna Valley Vineyard.
At the latter, you can sample Chardonnays in front of picture windows with views of the valley's most distinctive icon, Islay Peak, an ancient volcanic plug that rose from the ocean floor.
For beautiful back roads and even better wines, head to these hills in California's Santa Barbara County.
Until receiving designation as an appellation in 2001, this compact region was largely overshadowed by the neighboring Santa Maria and Santa Ynez Valleys. But no more.
Easily explored via a 34-mile loop linking Santa Rosa Road and State 246, the Santa Rita Hills have become a destination for visitors looking for distinctive Pinot Noirs or a lazy drive through the unspoiled country of western Santa Barbara County.