Y is for…


Of course. This is one of the best spots, if not THE greatest place in the Golden State. You feel small and irrelevant when you enter this spectacular valley which is full of natural beauties. River and waterfalls, mountains and gorges, cliffs and meadows, so many trails for hikers and rock faces for climbing lovers.


Over 800 miles (1,300 km) of trails are available to hikers—anything from the easy stroll, to the grueling hikes up several park mountains, to multiple-day backpack trips. Yosemite is almost 95 % designated Wilderness. We already hiked some of the trails in the Valley and the best so far was the Panorama trail from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley. I hiked it with a friend visiting from Germany and it was an unforgettable day.


I’m planning on hiking Half Dome this spring! After a long hike I recommend a cocktail at the Ahwahnee, which is for some reason now called “The Majestic Yosemite Hotel”. Fabulous!

img_0268 img_0267Rock climbing is an important part of Yosemite. Camp 4, a walk-in campground in Yosemite Valley, was instrumental in the development of rock climbing as a sport, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Camping is glorious but it is not always easy to get a campsite. Plan your trip well in advance. You can make campground reservations here.  You can even ski mid-december through early April at Badger Pass Ski Area, the oldest downhill skiing area in California.


I’d say, Yosemite has to be on everyone’s travel bucket list.

Please consider to like and support the National Park Service, now on facebook as Alt Nat. Park Service since it was muzzled by DT on the day of his inauguration.

Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco

Yerba Buena Gardens is the name for two blocks of public parks located between Third and Fourth, Mission and Folsom Streets in downtown San FranciscoCalifornia.

Yerba Buena Gardens has three major areas to explore. At the center is the 5-acre Esplanade of landscaped lawns, public art, cafes, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial & Waterfall, Metreon, Upper Terrace Gardens and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.


To the South, across Howard Street, is the Yerba Buena Children’s Garden. This 5-acre area on the roof of Moscone Center South is home to the Children’s Creativity Museum, Children’s Learning Garden, Children’s Play Circle, a labyrinth, and outdoor amphitheater. There’s also a 100-year-old carousel, a bowling ally and an ice-skating rink.

To the North of the Esplanade are Yerba Buena Lane and Jessie Square. Here you’ll discover the new SFMOMA and its Museum Store, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, restaurants, specialty stores, the 19th century St. Patrick Catholic Church and an expansive plaza. Check out the map.


Yountville, Napa

Napa is always a great place to go and the town of Yountville, renowned for its world-class restaurants and award winning chefs, has earned the unofficial title of “Culinary Capital of the Napa Valley.” I’ve actually been there only once, but I won’t ever forget one of the best brunches we had at “Adhoc” there. Absolutely delicious and worth every penny. If you are ever in the area, make a reservation and indulge!


Stay tuned for my next post in “My A to Z of California”. I’m gonna skip X though and will continue with W.

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  1. alittlebitofingrid

    January 31, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Wish we could have spent more time in Yosemite, it was so stunning and overwhelming! Napa Valley was originally on our routebeschrijving had to downsize due to time and budget 💸😉 Do hope to be able to (re)visit both places and many more in future! Enjoy your day, Ingrid

    1. bellamonte

      February 2, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Thanks for your kind comment, Ingrid! Yes, you absolutely have to come back. I’ve been in CA for almost nine years and there are still so many places I want to see.

  2. Wanderfully Living

    January 31, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Awww bellamonte the photos you have here are breathtaking! I now have an urge to visit the Yosemite Nat. Park 🙂 Thank you

    1. bellamonte

      February 2, 2017 at 10:18 am

      You’re welcome! Thanks for your comment. You have to see it one day! I’ll post more pictures after my Half Dome hike 🙂

      1. Wanderfully Living

        February 3, 2017 at 4:48 pm

        Yes yes yes, please do! Best of luck with the hike when you get round to it 🙂

  3. restlessjo

    February 2, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Yosemite has been on my dream list forever, Kathrin. It needs a fairy godmother, I think 🙂

  4. San

    February 9, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Yosemite = my FAVORITE!! <3

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