This Way to Nowhere
About three-and-a-half hours and a world apart from San Francisco are the majestic mountains, lush valleys, and crystalline lakes of Yosemite National Park. Long a destination for family road-trippers, California’s exalted High Sierras also offer many options for nature-bound seclusion. On twenty acres of private land are the four houses that make up Far Meadow (from $220; far-meadow.com/california-cabin-rentals). Choose from a cozy tree-house-style one-bedroom cottage with a large deck; an old-school log cabin with a wood-burning stove and a deck with built-in barbecue; or two sunny A-frames, one with a Japanese soaking tub and both with outdoor fire pits. Rock climb, take advantage of the complimentary mountain bikes, go for a dip in one of the many lakes, hike the myriad surrounding trails, or just kick back and relax chez vous.
There are no TVs, and cell service is patchy, but satellite Internet allows for very basic web usage.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
In this less-traversed part of southern Africa, safarigoers set their sights on the iconic “big five,” particularly elephants. Northern Botswana happens to have more of these long-trunked mammals per square mile than any other place on the continent. There is no shortage of them at Abu Camp (from $1,916 per person, all-inclusive; abucamp.com), a 450,000-acre private game reserve located in the dewy western Okavango Delta. The six tented suites each have luxe outdoor copper tubs for soaking en plein air, plus decks overlooking a lagoon where hippos can be spotted at play. Days here are full: Walk alongside or ride Abu’s beloved elephants; embark on game drives to see impalas, zebras, buffalos, giraffes, spotted hyenas, and leopards; laze around the pool; and enjoy quiet sundowners by the campfire. One evening, make sure to reserve the “star bed,” an elevated mosquito-netted platform where you can doze off with the stars flickering above and an elephant herd grazing below.
There are no TVs or phone service at this solar-powered property, but a limited Wi-Fi signal is available in its library.
From the Winter 2014 New York Wedding Guide