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Yosemite Gold Country High Sierra

FREE Fun In Tuolumne County

By Mackenzie Rodgers | 04/19/2019 | Casinos - art, Entertainment, Events, Exploring Tuolumne County, Farmers' Markets, Hiking, Outdoor Adventure, Parks and Public Lands, Stanislaus National Forest, Stanislaus National Forest, State Parks, Trails, Wine and Cider Tasting

Looking for big fun on a tight budget? Tuolumne County is full of FREE activities for everyone. Start planning a priceless memory making vacation with these 12 unique things to do around Yosemite, Gold Country, and the High Sierra.

Wander the streets of an authentic western town and take in views like a working blacksmith shop and a horse-drawn stagecoach along the Main Street of Columbia, California’s largest collection of Gold Rush-era brick buildings.

Sip the local flavor with a complimentary tasting of hard cider and spirits at Indigeny Reserve in the foothills of Sonora. Explore the onsite trails, picnic area, and seasonal events too.

In Tuolumne County on a Saturday this summer? Yes. Then see the sights and leave the getting around to the friendly and knowledgeable drivers of the Tuolumne Adventure Trolley. The ride is FREE and serves Historic Downtown Sonora, Columbia State Historic Park, Historic Downtown Jamestown, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, and East Sonora. Service runs from 8:30am to 10:00pm every Saturday May through September. The Trolley has stops at many hotels and attractions on an hour and a half loop. Hop on and hop off as you please.

Discover a historic gem while learning about the cultures that made up the Gold Rush at the Tuolumne County Museum, located in Downtown Sonora. Explore the nooks and cells of a historic jail as you learn about the beginnings of Tuolumne County. Donations are always welcome.

Best visited in the spring, Red Hills is a dreamy landscape of unique plants, trails, creek beds, and (if you’re lucky) the occasional bald eagle sighting. These public lands are begging to be explored. Bring your family, four legged friends, and maybe a picnic too.

Explore Pinecrest Lake, in the Stanislaus National Forest, and ignite your inner adventurer. Enjoy a barbecue on the lake’s shore, or trek along the highly recommended 4-mile Lake Loop Trail. Make memories basking in the National Forest sun, or find the perfect fishing spot to perch for the evening.

Gather in Historic Downtown Sonora, where it all happens, for a night all about local art. The participating local shops stay open to 8pm every 2nd Saturday of the month and most businesses host live music and feature authentic art.

Gather ‘round the bonfire and listen to live music at Inner Sanctum Cellars Base Camp in Columbia. Sip happy and dance the night away beneath the twinkly lights of the court yard. Free admission.

The seasonal Farmers' Market in Historic Downtown Sonora runs May through October and showcases local farms, merchants, and food vendors. Bask in the rural county culture and blend in with locals on Saturday mornings.

There’s no better way to end a High Sierra day than with a Concert in the Pines at Eproson Park. Centrally located, the venue is within walking distance to lodging, dining, and wine tasting. Bring snacks, bring a date, and bring a lawn chair for some Saturday night fun in this sweet little mountain town. Twain Harte concerts are every Saturday night at 6 pm June 15- August 31.

The Yosemite Wilderness, near Groveland, is full of wonder and natural beauty. Begin your hike in the Stanislaus National Forest and hike into the National Park to discover a hidden waterfall. Carlon Falls is a moderate 2.8 mile hike that showcases the forested beauty of Yosemite. Park on Evergreen Rd. at the Carlon Falls trail head and begin your hike into Yosemite.

Live entertainment every Thursday through Saturday night, year-round in the Willow Creek Lounge at the Black Oak Casino Resort in the town of Tuolumne. All you need is a players club card (available for free) and your dancing shoes. Must be 21+

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