Published on February 11, 2023

Yosemite is like a living sound stage for the most romantic film ever made. With its dramatic rock formations and bucolic rolling hills, colorful history and thoughtful accommodations, the opportunities to celebrate love are endless.

A kiss in the swirling mist of a 2,400-foot waterfall. Wine around a crackling fire. A proposal on the edge of a granite outcropping. A massage for two in a steam-infused Sierra spa. Sharing all that inspires you on a serene mountain trail. A meadow picnic charmed by wildflowers dancing in the breeze. A cherished anniversary in a historic Gold Rush town. Ice skating outdoors in Yosemite Valley, hand in hand. The knowing face of Half Dome alight at sunset.

Couple hiking the Mist Trail with Vernal Fall in the background.
Delight in discovering new things together while exploring Yosemite Mariposa County.

Here, nature’s mysteries fill the mountain air, commitments are as strong as granite, and the roar of waterfalls provides a soundtrack of renewal and inspiration. In Yosemite Mariposa County, every season is its own love song, and every town its own love story.

Amorous Activities

Whether you’re venturing out for the first time with a promising match you met online, sneaking away while the kids spend the weekend with the grandparents, or celebrating a big anniversary, there’s a Yosemite Mariposa County frolic to match your mood and motivation.

Take a stroll through the most beautiful scenery in the world hand-in-hand. The celebration of moving forward together toward a grand shared destination forges memories and bonds that you’ll cherish for years to come. Experiencing a place so grand that its beauty brings tears to people’s eyes. Explore Yosemite Mariposa County hiking by region to find the right trail for you and your boo.

Couple enjoying a picnic with a view of Half Dome behind.
Find a scenic spot to unfurl a blanket so that you can enjoy a celebratory picnic with your beloved. What are you celebrating? Why, the two of you, of course.

You can make it an extra special journey with a thoughtfully prepared picnic lunch. Picnics are having a moment. With nearly 1,500 square miles of beautiful terrain to choose from, couples visiting Yosemite Mariposa can find just the right spot to spread out their comfy blanket for wine, cheese and whispered sweet-nothings. From Tenaya Lake in the Yosemite High Country to the dramatic Merced River Canyon and a Gold Rush ghost town, the perfect mood awaits.

For a change of pace, couples will forge forever-memories while horseback riding in Yosemite Mariposa County. The guided trails are rugged, the vistas never-ending and the feeling of empowerment is like an Old West fairy tale.

For those couples who crave thrills, Yosemite Mariposa offers several options to generate some relationship zip. Whitewater rafting on the Merced River is a rite of passage in spring, while the ultra-adventurous can take an elevated leap of faith with Skydive Yosemite. And, of course, where there are big rocks, there is Yosemite rock climbing.

Couple holding hands while ice skating on the outdoor rink at Curry Village
There is plenty to do together as two. Winter visitors love the outdoor ice skating rink tucked below Half Dome at Curry Village. Leave time to roast marshmallows at the fire pit too.

If you’re thinking about getting snuggled up together like two birds of a feather, start making your plans now for a winter visit to Yosemite Mariposa County. Slip on the Uggs, don your puffy jacket and enjoy romantic outdoor ice skating with Half Dome as your chaperone, skiing at Badger Pass, or snowshoeing through the silent woods. If your polar fleece isn’t keeping you warm enough, just scootch a little closer. Toasty. The simple things are free after all, and you’ll find many ways to enjoy Yosemite on a budget for travelers – both the young and young at heart.

Whatever the day’s explorations might bring, meta meets physical with soulful spa treatments in Yosemite Mariposa County. Couples grow closer as the wellness pro’s work their magic with such offerings as aromatherapy, massage, guided outdoor yoga and forest bathing. Slip into the spa at the Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Retreat for a relaxing dip surrounded by the natural world. Let om ring.

Taste of Paradise

Dinner and drinks are key ingredients when it comes to a memorable date. Yosemite Mariposa offers food lovers everything from fine dining to food trucks, as well as afternoon wine tastings and refined nightcaps beneath the twinkling Sierra stars. While the opportunities for a special dinner for two goes on and on, here are a few extra special dining options to whet your appetite.

Raise high the (34 foot!) roof beams at the Ahwahnee Dining Room, with its rustic romance, picture windows and vaunted history of movie stars and royalty alike. Take a walk after dinner and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Yosemite Valley. Love, actually.

Lavender martinis pair with elevated conversation and Osso Buco at Fredrick’s of Savourys in the Gold Rush outpost of Mariposa. Voted #2 in the country for Best Small Town Cultural Scene by USA Today 10 Best, Eureka.

Couple conversing over wine at at Jackalopes Bar and Grill
Make it a special night out with dinner and drinks at one of Yosemite Mariposa County’s restaurants. Photo: Courtesy Tenaya at Yosemite

As bar life comes into its own in Mariposa County, night owl hang outs are perfect for getting to know each other better. Many watering holes are in historic buildings and host tourists and locals alike. Cheers to a fun night.

Daytime sips are always a breezy diversion, and Mariposa has everything from local coffee to wine and cider tastings. Casto Oaks Fine Art & Wine pours its locally-grown cabs & zins surrounded by local art for sale, or head up to Sierra Cider Farm & Cidery to chill with some “Campfire Champagne” in their newly converted 40-foot shipping container/tasting room. If your relationship is less bubbles and more foam, hit the 1850 Restaurant and Brewery for house-crafted suds at the bar or outside on the patio.

Seductive Stays

Couple toasting in front of a cozy fireplace.
Rent a cozy cabin for two with a private fireplace, and enjoy a romantic moment together at the end of the day. It’s the perfect way to top off a day of exploring Yosemite Mariposa County.

From a rustic cabin rental in the woods to full-service resorts, Yosemite Mariposa County lodging hits just right when it comes to romance. A hot tub to put you in a soothing mood? Check. Onsite massage? Yep. How about a suite fit for an actual queen? Got that, too.

Tenaya at Yosemite makes a perfect setting for a storybook romantic vacation. Its Ascent Spa is guaranteed to soothe – couples massage, anyone? – while fire rings outside Jackalope’s Bar & Grill add mysterious shadows for sipping your adult Half Dome Hot Chocolate. In winter, Tenaya’s outdoor skating rink is a glide path to devotion, and in summer mountain bike rentals are available for exploring the surrounding Sierra National Forest. Book the Escape to Romance package and be greeted with chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne, then as the lights dim enjoy VIP turndown with rose petals and chocolate kisses.

Couple enjoying a spa day at the Ascent Spa at Tenaya at Yosemite
Settle into a spa day you’ll never forget at the Ascent Spa at Tenaya at Yosemite. You’ll love the couples’ massage and spa treatments. Photo: Courtesy Tenaya at Yosemite.

With its history, architectural design and idyllic setting, The Ahwahnee hotel has a timeless romantic appeal. Located in Yosemite Valley, The Ahwahnee takes commitment up a notch with its massive stone fireplace in the Great Lounge and its legacy of glamorous guests. Honeymooners and other affectionate types can experience the Mary Curry Tressider Suite, which is often called the Queen’s Room since Queen Elizabeth once stayed here. View of Yosemite Falls included!

If your romantic vision includes escaping to a secluded cabin and snuggling up around a fire with a glass of wine, Yosemite Mariposa County cabin rentals make for an intimate getaway to remember. Sip coffee on the deck surrounded by pine forest, toss another log on the fire, and relax mountain-side with just the rustling breeze to keep you company. Inside Yosemite National Park, the fascinating enclave of Foresta has just a handful of rentals but is close enough the Valley to see the sun setting on Half Dome.

If part of your romantic getaway includes sharing your experiences with like-minded travelers, Yosemite B&B’s are a great way to swap stories of your journeys while savoring some home cooking. Set on 36 forested acres in Northern Mariposa County and home to galloping Arabian horses, the Blackberry Inn offers tasty featured breakfasts not to mention its Special Occasions package with fruit, cracker and cheese plate along accompanied by a bottle of wine (or non-alcoholic Martinelli’s). For a more friendly small town setting, check out all B&B’s near Mariposa with easy access to all the whimsy this charming Gold Rush town has to offer.

Intimate Events

Wedding couple standing by the Merced River in winter with a snowy Half Dome behind.
Yosemite Mariposa County’s magical setting provides the perfect backdrop for your special day. Planning a destination wedding in Yosemite Mariposa County is easy with the help of local wedding vendors that know the area. Photo: Patrick Pike

Couples “heart” Yosemite Mariposa County for everything from engagements to anniversaries, and honeymoons to vow renewals. Promises are sweeter in such a fairytale setting, there’s room to roam and dream about the future, and most importantly? The champagne cork always pops a little louder at elevation!

Yosemite Mariposa weddings blur the line between ballroom and natural amphitheater, between garden arbor and campground hoedown. From local wedding planners and caterers to wedding photographers and friendly officiants, professional vendors stand ready to facilitate your magical day. Future generations will be wowed by artful pics in a natural backdrop unlike any other, not to mention your destination is easily reached from Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Destination, indeed.

Valentine’s Day is a perennial favorite in Mariposa County. Lovers cuddle up to watch sunsets and sip sweetheart cocktails around the fire during this quieter winter season in Yosemite National Park. For the nature buffs, frazil ice and the natural Yosemite firefall are two amazing phenoms you might be able to witness together. Be sure to check for special offers that honor lovers worldwide. Wine & roses forever.

Couple snuggling up together while looking toward Half Dome.
When romance naturally fills the air in a place like Yosemite Mariposa County, sometimes its enough to just sit together and quietly enjoy the landscape.

Mountain Magnetism

The romantically-inclined have a gazillion reasons to visit Yosemite Mariposa County: fresh mountain air and breathtaking views as you navigate ridge & valley of the Sierras; twinkling stars to wish upon, unbothered by city lights; gushing waterfalls that signal spring renewal; a multitude of trails that take you to a festival of rock and forest. The author (and noted French Romantic) Victor Hugo once wrote “life is the flower for which love is the honey.” If that’s the case, then Yosemite is definitely the land on which that flower grows wild.

To explore lodging options, things to do and places to eat, visit, the #1 trip planning site for vacations to Yosemite National Park and historic Mariposa County. To stay up to date, follow @YosemiteNation on social media and subscribe to our newsletter, “The Wanderer”. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for great videos on the people and places of Yosemite Mariposa County.

Categories: Couples and Romance, General Travel Tips