Traveling families can’t help but leave cares and stress behind at Sorensen’s All Season Resort in Hope Valley, California where faxes, cell service, and TV’s are not missed and where reservations are still marked by hand in pencil. Nestled in an alpine forest since 1926, this magical, family vacation haven makes it impossible to do anything but relax and savor each moment together in such a beautiful locale just a couple short hours from Sacramento.
A Magical Family Vacation
With charming Scandinavian style housekeeping cottages, comfy linens, wood burning stoves, and a babbling brook to lull us to sleep at night, our family has always agreed that there exists no better place for our family vacations.
How do I know this? Our family has been visiting Sorensen’s for over twenty years. And yes, we married and honeymooned there. Upon arrival, consider the ever famous beef burgundy stew in Sorensen’s Café, while Mom and Dad unwind a bit, enjoying a local wine and the views.
Rise and shine in the morning with a sumptuous breakfast at the café, plotting your course for the day. Exploring the spendor of the valley is easy as Sorensen’s offers varied activities each and every season of the year including snowshoe hikes, cross country skiing, fly fishing, stargazing, historical presentations, hikes, and more.
Cheap Family Fun in the Sierra
Should you decide to strike out on your own, a multitude of pleasant afternoon excursions abound nearby. Just up the road a mere five minutes, you’ll find the historic town of Woodfords. Once a Pony Express stop, it’s now a historical landmark. Take a minute or two to stop for a stretch and to familiarize yourself with the history.
From there, follow the signs to nearby Markleeville, just a short scenic drive through geologic formations. The Alpine County Historical Complex high on the hill, offers a glimpse of yesteryear where our kids always enjoy the 1882 one-room schoolhouse, and the adjacent historical museum.
After walking off your breakfast, it’s probably time to think food again. Stop at the small deli, grocery store, or one of the few quaint restaurants on the main street. Perhaps pick up some snacks and beverages “to go” and forge on to Grover Hot Springs State Park just up the road. With provisions in hand, you’ll find it in less than three easy miles.
There you’ll find, nestled in yet another alpine meadow, a fluid treasure once sought out by the Washoe Indians and early settlers for its curative and therapeutic properties. What was once a resort for Markleeville hotel customers a century ago, now offers a calm respite for traveling families from around the world.
The water, unlike most hot springs, contains hardly any sulphur, but rather a perfect mix of sodium carbonate, sulphate, and chloride to ease your weary muscles and calm the kids.
Before or after your soak, be sure to explore any of nearly a half dozen breathtaking walking trails starting at the springs. Our family loves meandering through forests of Jeffrey Pine, Ponderosa, aspen and Sierra juniper, along the Carson River and through meadows decorated with wildlife and flowers.
Several spots offer the picture-perfect place for a family picnic while watching the still and peaceful nature. After an invigorating immersion into the wonders of the rugged Sierra, it will be time to head back to Sorensen’s Resort, your family sanctuary among the aspens.
(photos courtesy of Sorensen’s Resort)