Nestled among natural monuments, vineyards and historic Gold Rush landmarks, Mariposa County is more than just California’s gateway to Yosemite National Park. Alive with possibilities for group travelers, it’s a world-class destination for all seasons, with picture-postcard scenery, friendly locals, charming foothill communities and, of course, great outdoor recreation.

Spring comes early in Mariposa County and is an ideal time for group trips. There is nothing quite like watching Yosemite’s winter wonderland transform into the sights and sounds of spring. With three of the tallest waterfalls in North America and wildflowers unlike any others, Mariposa County beckons groups to witness the springtime splendor. Besides unmatchable scenery, the area offers endless activities, from hiking, golfing and rafting to fishing, cycling and horseback riding.

To see what Mariposa County has to offer, you really need a week to 10 days to take it all in. But groups can see and do a lot on a three-day/two-night spring itinerary that begins at lunchtime in historic downtown Mariposa, where the Butterfly Cafe is highly recommended. (Mariposa, named for the Spanish word for butterfly, is gearing up for the annual Mariposa Butterfly Festival April 29-May 1.)

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