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Nestled in the rocky foothills of Sierra Nevada, the quiet community of Mariposa, California, offers residents a peaceful, slow-paced lifestyle. Known for its national parks, Mariposa has been a popular tourist town since first being settled in the 1800s.
Located 294 miles outside the downtown area, Mariposa, which means butterfly in Spanish, still resides within the greater Los Angeles region, 287 miles from Glendale.
A strong commitment to preserving the bountiful flora and fauna has helped create an atmosphere of respect for nature and small-town living.
While not your typical urban town, this unique community still has plenty of choices when dining out.
For classic American comfort food, try Sugar Pine Cafe on Highway 140. Originally built as a dairy diner in the 1940s, this cafe now specializes in fresh, homemade breakfasts, burgers, steaks and desserts. With the look and feel of an old-fashioned diner, from the black-and-white checkered tile floor to the red leather booths and counter stools, you take a step back in time when you pass through the cabin-like exterior. With dishes such as ahi tuna, Jamaican jerk chicken and pasta primavera, you soon realize this diner has more to offer than standard fare.
If you're in the mood for a hearty steak and a glass of fine wine, Charles Street Dining House welcomes you with open arms. Begin your meal with the loaded potato skins topped with applewood-smoked bacon before ordering a 14-ounce rib eye topped with sauteed mushrooms from one of the friendly and knowledgeable servers. Their signature New Zealand rack of lamb with mint glaze served with a glass of Merlot from the Butterfly Creek Vineyard provides an elegant dining experience in this cozy, lodge-style restaurant. End your meal on a high note with a chocolate mousse torte topped with real whipped cream.
A beautiful modern design and warm, inviting atmosphere add a touch of class and simplicity to Savoury's Restaurant, also located on Highway 140. Often the first restaurant locals show their out-of-town visitors, you understand why from the moment you are seated. Offering something for everyone, including vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, Savoury's takes care of its guests. The diablo shrimp skewers with apricot sauce pair nicely with the filet mignon with cracked peppercorn sauce. Child-friendly items such as fish sticks and chicken fingers keep the little ones happy while expert service and decadent desserts guarantee this won't be your only visit.
In this small town, nightlife consists mostly of friendly bars and lounges where you often run into someone you know. The Alley has a trendy vibe with good music playing in the background to set the mood for a laid-back night out with friends. The owners of this beer and wine bar introduce themselves to you, thank you for stopping in and invite you to come back any time. The eclectic decor, including refurbished church pews, barn-wood walls and an antique slot machine add a unique flair to this popular night spot.
For a true dive-bar experience, Hideout Saloon on Highway 140 has you covered. Live music, dancing and great drink specials make this hidden gem a must-visit. Stop in to find out why every customer leaves a one-dollar bill on the wall on their way out, and delight in catching a glimpse of Mariposa's "unofficial mayor" Walter.
Both a sports bar and live music venue, Bett's Gold Coin Sports Tavern has karaoke, live music, a dance floor and games broadcast throughout the bar. Even the bartenders get in on the action, pausing to belt out their favorite karaoke tune before mixing the perfect martini or filling your glass with an ice-cold beer from the tap. If you love to laugh, meet new people and have an all-around good time, you belong at Bett's.
John Charles and Jessie Fremont purchased a 44,000-acre Mexican land grant known as Las Mariposa from the last Mexican Governor of California in 1846. Fremont petitioned the Supreme Court to accept his land grant under American law to receive mineral rights, which they did in 1856. Fremont had prior knowledge of gold in the area, with over 300,000 men arriving in search of riches during the Gold Rush. Unfortunately, only one in six men survived.
Today, Mariposa holds a proud spot as an integral part of American history. Annual spring rides from Eastern Mariposa over Chowcilla Mountain to the county seat cover historic wagon and horse routes.
The Mariposa Museum and History Center celebrates the area's history with a display of artifacts depicting life in Mariposa since it began, while the Northern Mariposa County History Center has numerous items from the past pertaining to that particular area.
Mountain roads, heavy traffic and limited parking lead most residents of Mariposa to travel by bus. The Yosemite Rapid Transit (YARTS) provides daily routes from surrounding communities all the way to Yosemite. Access to Highways 140, 132, 49, and 41 allows commuters to travel by car, while Uber services remain an unlikely choice due to the difference between the price of hiring a driver and riding the bus.
Cycling in town remains a safe option, but commuting to areas outside of Mariposa can be unsafe because of the lack of bike lanes and potentially dangerous mountain roads, while a need for public parking garages doesn't really exist in this quiet mountain town.
The cost of living in rural Mariposa can be considered moderate, with plenty of leasing and rental opportunities available. A typical one-bedroom apartment costs about $1,200, while a pint of beer at the local tavern averages $5.
Depending on your destination, a ride on the YARTS costs around $15, and the price of gas sits 0.9 percent lower than the national average.
Being such a small town means limited options when it comes to high-end shopping malls, though plenty of boutique stores carry a variety of merchandise.
Find everything from antique trinkets, home decor and unique handmade crafts from 33 different artists at the two-story Mariposa Marketplace. If you like vintage accessories and reasonable prices, visit Chocolate Soup on Highway 140. Browse through a great selection of books and souvenirs before finding that perfect vintage toy for you or your little one.
Clothing stores like George's Fremont House carry a wide variety of fine leather goods and shoes, while Second Time Around Your Favorite Store lets you choose between hats, clothes, jewelry and furniture.
For fresh farmers' market produce, you have to look outside Mariposa as the town itself does not have any local spots. Plan a trip to Merced to visit Passion Fruit Farms; just be sure to check the dates and times of operation before making the trip.
Local grocery stores carry your everyday nutritional needs, with Pioneer Market & Pharmacy on Coakly Circle providing fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and a wide variety of grocery items. For your convenience, this store also has a pharmacy that lets you take care of your health and wellness needs all in one place.
Mariposa may be most recognizable as the town people visit on their way to and from historic Yosemite National Park. Best known for its numerous waterfalls, this national park has been protected since 1864 and remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. You can camp, hike, sight-see or just stand still to take in the breathtaking beauty that surrounds you. Don't be surprised if you find yourself overwhelmed with emotion simply by being there. The $20 admission fee per car is worth every penny.
If you consider yourself a hiking enthusiast, grab a water bottle and strap on your gear for a trek up Yosemite Falls, located within the greater Yosemite National Park. As the tallest waterfall in North America and fifth-tallest in the world, you feel like you're on top of the world if you can make it all the way up. Stunning views of half dome and a bird's-eye view of the falls make for a truly unforgettable experience.
Apartments for Rent in Mariposa, CA
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