When we left off, Jason and I had just driven through Death Valley National Park on our way from Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park. When Jason suggested flying into Vegas and driving to Yosemite from there, I happily agreed. The reason was just outside the car window…
During our last trip to Yosemite in 2011, we made our way over to the Eastern Sierra to visit Mono Lake. We had no clue how magnificent the mountains looked from there, and I became obsessed. The extra few hours tacked onto our drive from Vegas (versus from San Francisco) was beyond worth it. And in fact, the drive felt shorter thanks to the beautiful scenery.
There was one other important reason for traveling this route to Yosemite: a lunch stop at the Whoa Nellie Deli! We heard about this gourmet deli, tucked into the Tioga Gas Mart, from some locals in 2011. Great food in a gas station? I had to try it.
We timed it out perfectly and hit Lee Vining a little after noon. It was a gorgeous day, so we enjoyed our food outside. I went with the “world famous” fish tacos. It was my first fish taco experience ever, and it was an awesome one! I especially enjoyed the taco topped with ginger coleslaw. Everything tasted super fresh and full of flavor.
After the drive and lunch, I proclaimed that I was no longer traveling TO Yosemite via San Francisco. California’s Highway 395 is one of my favorite things ever! It adds a little more time to the drive and it might be a little more expensive to fly into Vegas or Reno, but the experience of arriving in Yosemite from this direction is perfection.