Looking for a a little more California experience to add to your Yosemite vacation? How about a 1 hour day trip to historical Columbia and the town of Sonora.
Not far from the northern side of Yosemite are a few Gold Country towns that can add a little variety to the natural and majestic beauty of Yosemite. Yosemite is an incredible place to visit and the wildlife and natural surroundings can keep you entertained for a number of days, but there are also a number of other nearby sites to see. The Sonora area is the largest local town above Yosemite and has a number of large and smaller retail stores for shopping. Sonora is also home to a couple of quality theaters where the talent might just surprise you and productions take place year round. There are a number of food choices and restaurants but make sure to choose places where you see lots of people, we have had some mixed experiences dining in Sonora, if its half empty it’s a good idea to move on because the locals really know whats good up there.
The people are very friendly and there is a good sense of community in most of these towns. Just outside of Sonora is Columbia and home of the Columbia State park. This is a historical park like no other where you can walk the streets today as if you were there 60 years ago. There are no fees or charges to park or enter and food and shopping is quite inexpensive, they offer Gold Mining, gift shopping and sight seeing. Plan to spend a few hours to get the most of this little town but it is surely one to remember so bring the camera and have fun. Both of these towns are about 1 hour from the Big Oak Yosemite entrance and are well worth the trip to see a little more of historical and small town California.