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On location: Mariposa County

Sept./Oct. 2012 California Bountiful magazine

What makes it distinctive? Find out!

Known as the Home of Yosemite, Mariposa County annually welcomes millions of visitors to the national park. But you'll be hard-pressed to find a traffic light in this county; residents take pride in their small-town feel (the entire county has fewer than 20,000 people) and the thousands of butterflies that cluster in the area.

Charles Phillips, photographer
Originally from Salinas but a longtime fan of Mariposa County, Charles Phillips says he was welcomed into the tightly knit community with open arms when he moved there a decade ago. Phillips was 9 years old when he took his first photos of ranch life, and since then has kept history alive by documenting the region's family ranches and their traditions.

Blazin' Hog BBQ Competition and Zydeco Festival, Mariposa
Zydeco music blends Cajun and rhythm-and-blues styles. Stop by the music and food festival to help raise funds for the local John C. Fremont Hospital Foundation. This year's event will be Sept. 22 at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.

Mariposa Museum & History Center, Mariposa
Outside exhibits include an operational five-stamp mill that dates to 1874 and other mining and farming implements. Volunteer docents assist visitors, and guided tours are available by appointment. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Food with a view
Café at the Bug, Midpines
The Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort is a place where you can relax surrounded by some of the region's breathtaking natural vistas. The Bug's café serves "California Mountain Cuisine" in a family-style setting.

Butterfly Creek Winery, Mariposa
The winery and vineyards are set on 200 acres adjoining the Sierra Nevada foothills and are only a 45-minute drive from the entrance to Yosemite National Park. When visiting the winery, plan a picnic lunch next to the bubbling Butterfly Creek.

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