Sure, you come to Yosemite and Mariposa because of the nature and outdoors, but especially during your first visit you should take some time to visit the many museums and walk around the visitor centers. In Yosemite, there are several interesting museums to enjoy. Most visitors stop at the Yosemite Museum to learn about Yosemite’s American Indian cultures, including incredible handwoven baskets. Wawona is home to the Pioneer Yosemite History Center where an authentic stagecoach can whisk you back in time to a pioneer village complete with living history volunteers in replica costume.

In 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 located just minutes outside the town of Mariposa.