The Ahwahnee Hotel

Yosemite National Park, 1 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA

Formerly the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, this stone-and-timber lodge—arguably the finest example of U.S. “Parkitecture”—has hosted such luminaries as John F. Kennedy, the queen of Nepal, Lucille Ball, and Brad Pitt. Its grand public spaces served as Stanley Kubrick’s inspiration for the hotel in The Shining, but don’t let that—or the price—scare you away. It’s worth the splurge just to have this place to yourself after the swarms of tourists have left for the day. Accommodations range from classic hotel rooms that face the back of the building, to suites and cottages with fireplaces and views of Yosemite’s most famous sites, including Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Yosemite Falls. The formal dining room, with its soaring ceilings and oversized windows, requires reservations, especially for the popular Sunday brunch. If you’d rather not plan ahead, you can grab a casual bite at the hotel bar, which features an outdoor area with breathtaking views of the park.

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