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History & Culture

Museums in Yosemite Mariposa County

Sheet of Natural Copper

Minerals take beautiful shapes in the displays of the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, like this sheet of natural copper.
Photo: Courtesy of California State Parks

Put some of the amazing natural history you discover on your visit to Yosemite into context with a visit to one of the many enthralling museums in the area.

There are several interesting museums to enjoy in Yosemite and more outside of the park. Most visitors stop at the Yosemite Museum to learn about Yosemite’s American Indian cultures, including incredible handwoven baskets created by American Indians from the area.

Wawona is home to the Yosemite History Center where an authentic replica stagecoach can whisk you back in time to explore significant buildings from Yosemite’s history, complete with living history from volunteers in replica costumes.

Near the town of Mariposa, you can get a glimpse of pioneer and gold rush history at the Mariposa Museum & History Center. See the famous Fricot “Nugget”, a 13.8 pounds rare and beautiful specimen of crystallized gold at the California State Mining & Mineral Museum. Or visit the newly opened Yosemite Climbing Museum for stories of daring and adventure on the big walls of Yosemite. In Northwest Mariposa County, Coulterville’s Northern Mariposa County Museum and History Center tells the story of gold mining’s impact and tells the story of how Chinese immigrants helped shape the region.

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Yosemite Art & Culture

Two people painting outdoors in Yosemite

Whether it’s appreciating inspiring artwork in a local gallery or making your own art as part of a class with Yosemite Conservancy, there are many ways to incorporate art and culture into your visit to Yosemite Mariposa County.
Photo: Courtesy of the Yosemite Conservancy

Arts are thriving in Yosemite Mariposa County where a growing community of artists and galleries, museums, musicians, live performances, and more contribute to a truly inspiring environment in the Sierra Nevadas.

The Mariposa Yosemite Symphony Orchestra features several performances throughout the year and the Yosemite Theater features live shows seven nights a week from May-October.

In Mariposa County and in Yosemite National Park, art galleries feature work from local and regional artists in a variety of mediums. Browse through galleries and perhaps bring home a special Yosemite memento.

Create your own Yosemite art! Taking the time to create art connects you more deeply with the world around you. Plus, you’ll have a unique personal memento from your visit. The Yosemite Conservancy offers a variety of art programs throughout the week, appropriate for families and artists of all ages. If a camera is your artistic medium, explore photography workshops from The Ansel Adams Gallery, an organization with its own deep Yosemite history.

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