This year, hop past Yosemite – just beyond lies the secret California dream: the Eastern Sierra, the overlooked flank of the Sierra Nevada range, with other-worldly natural attractions and surprises (Basque culture?), not to mention far fewer visitors. Just follow the scenic US Route 395 as it connects wonders like the Travertine hot spring in Bridgeport, the Gold Rush ghost town of Bodie, Mono Lake’s bizarre calcified tufa towers, or the surreal DevilsPostpile National Monument’s 60-foot curtain of basalt columns made from rivers of molten lava. Eastward, ho!
In Lee Vining stop at perhaps the greatest wonder of all: fantastic food served out of a gas station at the Whoa Nellie Deliwith live music during the warmer months