Published on December 13, 2018

No matter what holiday you observe, whether it’s a Yosemite Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve or any other celebration in between, Yosemite Mariposa County is a seasonal highlight for all those who visit during this magical time of year. With a long list of exciting events and beautifully planned dining experiences, Mariposa County is the perfect place to make memories with your loved ones that will last a lifetime.

Sure, winter can be about rest, relaxation, and hibernation… but it can also be about getting outside, trying something new or connecting with nature. There’s something about the quiet of a fresh snowfall next to a warm fireplace that simply can’t be described, only felt. Yosemite truly has it all. 

Book Your Holiday Stay this Winter

Yosemite has winter lodging options that range from quaint, budget-friendly motels to luxury Yosemite hotels that put you steps away from the majesty of Yosemite’s natural wonders, and the area also has gorgeous vacation rentals and cabin rentals everywhere. Some hotels have beautiful holiday themes like Tenaya’s Winter Wonder Lodge. Finding accommodations this holiday season in Yosemite that will suit your travel needs is easy. A variety of lodging is available for individuals and couples, or for large families and groups of friends. Here are ten reasons to plan a family holiday in Yosemite Mariposa.

You can find Yosemite lodging by region, proximity to the park, or plan your stay by budget. You can also book a package around one of our exciting holiday events this winter, both in Mariposa County and Yosemite. Many of our lodging options offer dining packages that will provide a perfectly planned winter vacation in Yosemite, making it even easier to drop your bags and experience this mystical season.

Explore lodging options in Yosemite Mariposa County and start planning your holiday today. Don’t forget to look at our winter travel tips before you head our way either, we wrote them with you in mind.

Holiday Activities in Yosemite

Spending the holidays in Yosemite National Park will not disappoint. From picturesque sleigh rides to Curry Village’s outdoor ice skating rinks in Yosemite Valley, there is so much to explore in Yosemite in winter. Did you know that Badger Pass Ski Area is home to the oldest downhill skiing area in California, too? Skiing in Yosemite is an experience of a lifetime, from cross-country skiing to downhill skiing and snowboarding, the Badger Pass Ski Area is the perfect place for winter fun, no matter your age or skill level. 

holidays in yosemite

While there is often confusion about whether Yosemite National Park is open year-round so it’s important to note it is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no reservations required to enter. Highway 140, Highway 120 West, and Highway 41 remain open year-round and provide access to Yosemite Valley. The Hetch Hetchy Road is open for day use throughout the winter months, too. Make sure to check Yosemite weather and road conditions before taking off for your winter getaway. During the winter months, bring or rent chains and have them in your car, though, as this is part of the requirements to drive on our roads! Call 209-372-0200 for up-to-date road information all year long. 

Best Places to Eat in Yosemite 

If you’re visiting Yosemite during the holidays, there’s no shortage of great restaurants and beautiful dishes to check out. For starters? A storied favorite, the renowned Bracebridge Dinner turns The Ahwahnee’s Dining Room into an Old English-era celebration hall. Equipped with elegant music, bubbling Yuletide cheer and a gourmet, seven-course meal, the Bracebridge Dinner is truly an event to attend at least once.

If a smaller, more secluded meal is your style, what about a special tasting and wine pairing? Queue the Vintners’ Holidays. During the winter months, Yosemite Mariposa County hosts gorgeous receptions where guests will interact with vintners, sample their latest vintages and indulge in other perfectly aged selections. This event is a seasonal highlight that you won’t want to miss and often fills quickly!

dining in yosemite

There are also exciting dinner menus offered at Wawona Hotel, Yosemite Valley Lodge and The Ahwahnee on Christmas Day for special Yosemite Christmas celebration2. The holidays in Yosemite offer many opportunities to get your fill. While Yosemite Valley Lodge does not require a reservation for their dinner, Wawona Hotel does and The Ahwahnee highly recommends it, so call ahead! If you are planning to spend the holidays in the park this year, Christmas in Yosemite provides visitors and party-goers a phenomenal meal that is sure to make you feel right at home during the holiday season. 

Last but not least, don’t forget to stop by Wawona Hotel, Yosemite Valley Lodge or The Ahwahnee on New Year’s Eve, either! Experience an unforgettable celebration as you ring in the New Year at one of the world’s most beautiful destinations – Yosemite Mariposa County. From party favors to a decadent six-course meal, complimentary sparkling wine toast, live music, and dancing make this New Year’s your best one yet.

Categories: Family and Kid Friendly, Holiday, Winter