Mariposa, California is an adorable little old miners town outside Yosemite National Park. It was our first time visiting the charming mountain town and we fell in love with it in just an afternoon. The leaves still clung to some fall color and the air smelled like fall. We found Mariposa is the perfect start to a trip to Yosemite National Park!
When you come from the Bay, your maps may route you to the 120 entrance, but instead, take 140 so you can stop in Mariposa. If you have the time, make sure to spend a night here like we did! It’s a small town but has so much to do for an afternoon or evening. It takes about an hour to get to Yosemite Valley proper, so if for some reason everything is booked up in the valley, Mariposa is a good backup for a night as well.
Where To Stay
We stayed at the Adair House, which you can rent on Airbnb. It’s an entire guest house that is decorated oh-so-well. I personally loved the porch, which had comfy vintage couches and provided the perfect spot to open some wine and play cards in the evening. (See more photos from our visit to Adair House here!)
There are also a few really stunning Yosemite Airbnbs and cabins outside Mariposa that you can book if you are willing to drive.
Where To Drink
If you love beer like we do, beeline to The Grove House. They have usually around 11 craft beers on tap and just opened up a couple months ago. The couple who runs it are incredibly fun to chat with – the wife actually went to high school in Wisconsin (where we’re from!) so it was fun chatting about throwback things. It’s new, but plans for a stage and live music are in the works, so check back!
Where To Eat
For dinner, we recommend 1850 Restaurant. The owner also owns the Adair House, so it’s equally rustic chic in decor and atmosphere. Since we visited in late November, we sat inside, but we noticed great outdoor seating available that I bet is popular during the summer months. They brew their own beer here and has a wonderful menu. Try the revolt, the burgers or the salmon.
Where To Shop
The main street of Mariposa is full of adorable “mom and pop” stores. Make sure to spend some time wandering the stores and shopping local! Don’t forget to wander down to the Chocolate Soup, a charming gift shop surrounded by trees with multiple cabins outside with even more goodies. I have a feeling they swap out the cabin theme for the season – this time of year, it was Christmas and everything smelled SO GOOD, we couldn’t help but take home a candle. After, walk back up to the main street and stop by CostaLivos for a free olive oil tasting. The couple who own this are retired…then moved to Mariposa and opened up CostaLivos. I’ve done olive oil tastings before and they make amazingly tasty products. In the back they also have a small Italian restaurant.
For breakfast, we recommend Pony Expresso for coffee and bagels if you’re in a hurry. The outside looks like an old hitching post. We’re told Jantz Bakery is a local favorite with amazing baked goods, but they aren’t open Sundays and Mondays.
We didn’t know about Mariposa before this trip, but now we agreed that each time we visit Yosemite National Park, we’re stopping by Mariposa for at least an afternoon stroll on the main street and a cold beer at The Grove House.
Thank you to Yosemite Nation for hosting us on this trip.