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Best things to do in yosemite

You’ll never hear anyone visiting Yosemite Mariposa County say, “There’s nothing to do today.” In fact, there’s such an abundance of things to do in Yosemite that we’ve compiled many of them in this handy guide to events, activities and more. From Yosemite fishing, hiking, gold panning, arts and culture to spas, shopping and more, this is your guide to the best things to do in Yosemite National Park and surrounding areas. And it doesn’t matter whether you visit in Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. In Yosemite Valley and beyond, there’s always the perfect activity for every type of visitor. Here’s a sampling of some things to do in Yosemite on your vacation:

North America’s largest floating, inflatable Water Park

Create Memories at Splash-n-Dash Aqua Park

Located just one hour from Yosemite National Park, Splash-n-Dash Aqua Park offers a fun and cooling activity for the whole family. Spend an adventurous day climbing, sliding, and dipping in the water at the largest inflatable water park in North America!

Woman relaxing near water scenic

Easygoing Exploration

Not every activity in Yosemite Mariposa County has to be adrenaline-fueled. In fact, there are plenty of low-key leisure activities you can participate in while you’re here. From strolling through easygoing valleys to observing wildflowers to driving tours that let you meet the local wildlife from a distance, there’s plenty to experience.

In addition to sightseeing in Yosemite Valley, where Yosemite’s iconic scenery is on full display from the comfort of your car, take a leisurely drive to Tuolumne Meadows, a high elevation meadow with the Tuolumne River running nearby. You’ll find plenty of peaceful settings for fishing, picnicking, or just soaking it all in.

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Man standing near scenic lookout

Go All Out

Tap into your more adventurous spirit and kick things up a notch on your next Yosemite getaway. Climb sheer granite cliffs, summit Lembert Dome, peer over the edge at Taft Point, or go whitewater rafting along the Merced River. Find these and other adventure activities listed on our adventure page.

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Late Summer/Autumn Gold

You’ll find pure gold in Yosemite Mariposa County’s late summer and autumn seasons. Golden hillsides and fall foliage complement the array of autumn activities that extend from the foothills to the high mountain peaks. Explore the richness of late summer and autumn in Yosemite Mariposa County.

Fall color in the Tuolumne Grove

Upcoming Events

Yosemite events? We got ‘em. From the Mariposa County Fair in September to the Mariposa Butterfly Festival  in the spring and live music year-round, you’ll never lack for things to do.

Then, get away from it all on a backcountry biking excursion or sit back and enjoy a guided tour with professional tour guides. Whatever you choose, it’ll be a trip you’ll never forget.

Gold Rush BBQ Event
Gold Rush BBQ Annual Event
Dining restaurant couple enjoying wine and charcuterie

Eat & Drink

It’s pretty easy to get tired out at the end of a day exploring Yosemite Mariposa County. When you’re ready to take it easy, it’s vital to fuel up and wind down at local eateries and bars. From brewhouses to luxury lodges to restaurants offering simple American fare, there’s enough food and drink to keep you satisfied for your entire visit.

Yosemite Restaurants
Woman staring at half dome mountain range landscape
Mariposa Grove Sequoias

Iconic Locations

These locations are so instantly recognizable that they’ve become woven into the fabric of scenic America. Yosemite landmarks run the gamut from El Capitan to Yosemite Falls, Tunnel View and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Every corner of the park — and for that matter, Mariposa County — surprises and delights with iconic locations

Pack the camera and bring your sense of wonder and curiosity as you explore these top attractions. Perhaps you’ll find the same inspiration artists like Ansel Adams and John Muir found while exploring this unique corner of California. 

Legendary Landmarks
Arts culture guided scenic painting class

Arts & Culture

Arts and culture have a welcome home in Yosemite Mariposa County, with a variety of galleries, museums and history centers for you to explore on your next visit. Dig into the past at the Mariposa Museum & History Center and revel in the stories of the California gold rush at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa. Scale virtual walls and meet the early rock climbing pioneers who put this place on the map at the Yosemite Climbing Association Museum and Gallery, also located in Mariposa. 

Arts & Culture

100 Ideas of What to do in yosemite Mariposa County

The list of things to do in Mariposa is a long one and it keeps growing. It expands daily as more cultural events are added to the calendar and as new businesses set up shop in the area. Still, you can’t beat sticking to the good, old-fashioned nature exploration our area is best known for. From marveling at the mist of Nevada Fall to spotting critters and wildflowers on the valley floor, this nook of the Sierra Nevada offers an abundance of opportunities for everyone in your group.