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James Durbin's Yosemite honeymoon

By Avi Ramsadeen, Ashley Dvorkin

Star Traveler

Published April 17, 2012


If you’re looking to stray from the norm while planning your honeymoon, rocker James Durbin shows that you can find just as much romance in Yosemite as you can on a tropical beach.

The 23-year-old who got his fame after placing fourth on season 10 of “American Idol” is unapologetic about his raw devotion to heavy metal in a pop music- dominated world. It's this same passion for music that helps Durbin power through the different setbacks in his life. Despite suffering from both Asperger’s Syndrome and Tourette’s Syndrome, Durbin co-wrote five of the 11 songs on "Memories of a Beautiful Disaster," his debut album which reached the number 8 spot on the Billboard Rock Charts and 36 on the Billboard 200.

Just as he does with his career, Durbin shows that he swims against the current even in his personal life. His unique choice for a romantic getaway with his bride, Heidi, shows that Yosemite National Park can be the perfect place for a love struck couple. The park, which spreads across portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in California, is famous for its breathtaking landscapes and history. It offered Durbin and Heidi a very unique honeymoon experience.

Durbin: We drove into Yosemite and there’s a big lookout point where you can see El Capitan, Bridal Veil Falls and Half Dome. It’s just absolutely incredible when you see this. We were taking pictures, and the pictures don’t even capture the magic. There’s so much depth to that place. It’s the perfect place. You're going to want to spend a couple of days there.

The second day we drove to Glacier Point. The drive to get there is definitely a day trip, but once you get there, you are face-to-face with Half Dome. It is such a magical, out-of-body experience. You really start to look at the world in a completely different way. It’s like, I don’t know what did this, or who created all this, but there is some amazing artist at work here.

And if the world is this big, if something is this big right here in my backyard, and I’m this small but I can still make a difference in the world, that’s beautiful, that’s cool.

Fox411: Any fun activities?

Durbin: There’s an awesome grocery store. There’s an awesome art gallery. You can really learn so much history from Yosemite. There’s even a few natives that still live there that grew up there in the 50s and the 40s and just have such great stories just about how it happened and how it became a national park. They have a movie theater where you can learn about it all. I’m so happy, it was the perfect place to go on our honeymoon. We had so much fun together, it was so romantic. Just being out in the woods, it was great.

Fox411: What should you bring with you?

Durbin: You should bring comfy shoes. Depends on what time of year you go, if you go in the winter, definitely bring a coat or a scarf. Hmm...

Fox411: Maybe some music?

Durbin: I wouldn’t say music, you don’t want to bring music to one of the most beautiful places in the world. Maybe when you’re driving in the car, you’ll have your music there so you don’t get bored. I’d say you should bring comfy shoes, your camera, and an extra disposable camera for when your camera runs out of batteries.