A short drive from Las Vegas, Fresno or San Francisco, Mariposa, Calif., offers a charming slice of American apple-pie history that’s fun for the whole family. Home of the real ’49ers (i.e., the 1849 Gold Rush ’49ers), there is a friendly, Norman Rockwell/Saturday Evening Post kind of vibe and Main Street Americana scenery at every turn.*

* For reasons only Rod Serling may know, visitors who’ve stopped at the gas station tend to become residents. Fill up beforehand if you don’t want to stay permanently.

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The faithful flock to this healthy eatery for fresh salads, burgers and grilled-fish specials — and the added delight of an outdoor patio with a foliage-filled courtyard where hummingbirds and monarch butterflies frolic.
5027C Hwy. 140, (209) 742-4114, www.thebutterflycafe.com

Built in 1854 and still in use, the quaint white clapboard structure boasts an authentic coal stove in the tiny courtroom and a bell-tower clock imported from London.
5088 Bullion St., (209) 966-2005, www.mariposacourt.org

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Treasures of heirloom and one-of-a-kind home accessories are for sale in 12 differently themed rooms.
5009 Highway 140, (209) 966-5683, www.chocsoup.net

The county’s pristine water makes for outstanding locally microbrewed ales and lagers available to taste in flights or to purchase by the glass, pint or growler. Make sure to greet Steve, the very loquacious, gregarious owner.
4996A Seventh St., (209) 966-7044, www.mariposabrewing.com

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An eclectic, locally inspired menu and a smooth mocha-hazelnut pot de crème make this a must for dinner.
5034 Hwy. 140, (209) 966-7677, www.savouryrestaurant.com