It was the Greek playwright Sophocles who keenly observed “children are the anchors that hold a mother to life” but he forgot the other, funner part — they’re also the kites that make a mother’s spirit soar! And what better place to take familial flight than by celebrating Mother’s Day in Yosemite Mariposa County?
With tasty local food, inspired hikes, world-class spas and vast blue Sierra skies, Yosemite Mariposa County is the perfect Mother’s Day getaway, providing a fresh take and well-deserved break when it comes to honoring mom.
Skip the kitchen and treat Mom to a delicious meal at 1850 Restaurant.
There’s one thing mom isn’t doing on Mother’s Day, and that’s cooking. Whether you’re craving a casual brunch, foodie lunch or more formal dinner, Yosemite Mariposa County has a wealth of kitchens for mom to sample from.
For an eclectic and creative menu try the caramelized French toast or samosas with a mango turmeric spritzer at the Coulter Café. Served on a spacious outdoor patio, the café is the heart & soul (& stomach!) of the Gold rush gem Coulterville, which simply oozes an old west vibe – so much so that the entire town is a designated California historic district. Outdoor live music in the summer months make this spot worthy of a reprise!
The drive to Yosemite’s western Arch Rock Entrance along all-season Highway 140 is mostly at lower elevation as it follows the Merced River Canyon, but climbs steadily to Yosemite Valley after entering the park’s gates. Squire mom to establishments like the June Bug Cafe in Midpines, which serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring such dishes as carnitas breakfast burritos, handmade veggie burgers and house smoked tri-tip with garlic bleu cheese butter. Learn more about the owners of the June Bug Cafe and the Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort in the video below.
The town of El Portal tenders not only Rainbow Trout (The River Restaurant & Lounge) but also pizza and wine (Parkside Pizza) if Mom prefers to relax at the vacation rental after a day of sightseeing.
Not only is the town of Mariposa the historical hub of the county, it’s the gastronomic hub as well. Offering mom a tasty variety of mangia-ready destinations, Mariposa can plate up everything from three-egg omelets with house made biscuits and a steaming cup of joe (Sugar Pine Cafe) to Bootjack Burgers with a home-brewed Trail Blazer I.P.A. (1850 Restaurant) and wild mushroom ravioli with a hand-crafted cocktail (Savoury’s Restaurant).
* Due to COVID-19, please check current hours/seating for all restaurants.
There are so many places for families to explore together in Yosemite Mariposa County.
Natural beauty is the essence of Yosemite Mariposa County. Wildflowers, waterfalls and woods provide mom a bouquet of outdoor activities, especially in spring when the snowmelt thunders over the granite cliffs of Yosemite Valley and poppies dance in the breeze along the Hite Cove Trail. For a post-brunch birdwatching jaunt or for the trail less taken, try the Stockton Creek Preserve a few blocks from downtown Mariposa. Looking for a lesser-known area in Yosemite National Park? Head to the quiet northwest section of Yosemite National Park and visit Hetch Hetchy Reservoir with its own impressive waterfalls. Whether it’s sightseeing by car or lacing up the hiking boots, mom has options when it comes to enjoying this truly special corner of the globe.
Shopping in Yosemite Mariposa County runs the gamut, from fine art to home accessories and even thrifting. Mom can peruse the Gold Rush streets of old town Mariposa for deals on hand-crafted furniture and wearable works of Made in Mariposa jewelry art (Chocolate Soup), local flagship Cabernets (Casto Oaks Tasting Room & Art Gallery), and paintings by local artists (RummStudios Upstairs Gallery and Sierra Artists’ Gallery). On a budget? Go antique treasure hunting at Warehouse Thrift & Gift or search for that hidden gem at Class A Consignment. No matter what your price point, shopping Yosemite Mariposa County is the perfect complement to your Mother’s Day getaway.
Pamper mom with a massage or other spa treatment at The Ascent Spa at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite.
With its rejuvenating milieu of water, wind and earth, Yosemite Mariposa County lends itself to spas and wellness. Whether Mom has earned a day of pampering or thoughtful yoga practice while someone else looks after the kids, the choices are many. Try the Hiker’s Trek Treatment or Mirror Lake Skin Polish at Ascent Spa, located in the world-class Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. Go the more granola route for a hot tub and sauna at the Yosemite Health Spa, located in the Yosemite Bug Mountain Resort. If yoga is mom’s thing, the Balanced Rock Foundation has private and group classes, as well as custom sessions that take place on some of Yosemite’s most inspiring vistas. Want to reconnect with the big mama, Mother Earth? The Digital Detox at Whitefawn Wellness focuses on powering down devices and powering up your senses.
* Due to COVID-19, Spas may be closed or have adjusted hours. Call ahead to check availability and make an appointment.
Here at Yosemite Mariposa County we’d like to give a shout-out to all the moms who hold down the fort while teaching, feeding and inspiring us every day. Your love and hard work are irreplaceable, the beautiful legacy that continues from one generation to the next. Thank you!
A visit to the California Mining and Mineral Museum is truly worth its weight in gold for its fascinating insights into the CA geology that has shaped so much of the state’s history. If nothing else, be sure to stop in to view the largest mass of crystalline gold – 13.8 pounds.
Savor the sights, beat the heat, and add a splash of adventure on a rafting trip through Yosemite Mariposa County. Find flow while drifting quietly downriver past famous Yosemite landmarks on a scenic float trip. Or brace yourself for a thrilling ride through Class IV whitewater just outside Yosemite along Highway 140. Yosemite rafting is clearly the coolest game in town for summer fun.
Looking for an extended weekend visit to Yosemite Mariposa County with a four-legged family member in tow? You’re in luck! Perk up your ears for this 4-day itinerary that’s sure to set you up for a tail-wagging good time.