While Yosemite is certainly a draw for the outdoorsy types, it also boasts an incredibly rich history. If you’re the type to pester everyone along on your trip with fun facts and historical trivia, you’ll want to make sure you give the museums a visit during your time there. Here are a few you’re likely to enjoy:
Yosemite History Center
Offering patrons a realistic picture of what life was like long ago, Yosemite History Center displays original buildings from the park’s history. The Yosemite History Center is a great place to let kids experience the history of the region. They’ll get to experience activities like riding a horse-drawn stagecoach or seeing blacksmiths molding iron. You’ll meet actors who will give you a glimpse into “their” lives long ago. And seasonally you may find exhibits like the Acting Superintendent’s Office and the Chinese Laundry, which tells the story of Chinese immigrants who came to California in the 19th century.
Guests will also get to experience a covered bridge as well as cabins of people who were instrumental in Yosemite’s history. This includes George Anderson, the first person to climb Half Dome, as well as Jeremiah Hodgdon, whose family opposed the preservation of the park as they were trying to homestead.
Completed in 1925, the Yosemite Museum displays what was, at the time, the newly emerging rustic style of the national parks. The Yosemite Museum can boast the title of first museum building in a national park. The museum has a varied collection, including geological exhibits displaying how the park was formed to very valuable American Indian baskets.
Across the street you can visit the Yosemite Cemetery, where you will find burial sites for individuals including Galen Clark, James Mason Hutchings, who hired John Muir, and George Anderson.
California State Mining & Mineral Museum
Budding geologists will enjoy the Mining and Mineral Museum, and historians won’t want to miss this museum that displays such an important part of California’s history. Located at the Mariposa Fairgrounds, the Mining and Mineral Museum contains over 13,000 mining artefacts, crystals, and gems. Children and youth will get to enjoy free activities, including their Junior Ranger program. If you’re interested in history about the gold rush of the late 1800’s, this is a great place to learn.
Whether or not museums are how you like to spend your time during a holiday, we can promise you that your accommodations can be top-notch. Enjoy cozy extravagance in our Yosemite cabin rentals, including resort-quality bathrooms, impossibly comfortable beds, and enough space for everyone you want to bring along – including the family pets!