California Map

Request Free Visitor Guides

Merced, California Travel Guide

Complete Vacation, Recreation and Tourism Information

Set in Central California roughly two hours from Yosemite National Park to the east and Monterey to the west, the small city of Merced serves as a staging point for regional attractions, many of them natural. Billed the "Gateway to Yosemite," Merced acts as a convenient springboard for a variety of outdoor adventures, whether you've sandy secluded beaches or high Sierra peaks in mind. Home to a University of California campus, Merced also boasts a clutch of bars and eateries to keep travelers and its student population fed and watered should the occasion arise, between rafting trips, backpacking forays and scenic drives.

Fishing and water sports enthusiasts will be pleased to know that there are major lakes close at hand, including houseboating hot spots like Lake New Melones and Lake McClure; Merced River is popular with whitewater rafters, whether a leisurely float or some rough rapids are the order of the day. The area surrounding Merced is predominantaly agricultural, with the occasional vineyard to offset orchards, open fields and farmers markets. If you're of a mind to catch cultural sights, the local highligt is the Castle Air Museum in nearby Atwater, which showcases vintage military aircraft. And, of course, there is Yosemite National Park, which harbors a grand collection of waterfalls, meadows, and forests that include groves of giant sequoias, the world's largest living things.

Merced is located along old US Highway 99 130 miles east of San Francisco and about 60 miles northwest of Fresno. Merced is less than two hours by car from Yosemite National Park to the east and Monterey Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and miles of beaches to the west.

Email Page Link

Complete the form below to email this page to a friend or family member's email. You can send yourself an email as well. Your email and your recipient's email will NOT be shared with anyone. See our full Privacy Policy for details.
Copy Yourself on the Email Yes No


Select a Free Visitor Guide below


Complete the form to receive your guides by mail

Below are the Free Visitor Guides for Merced. More Visitor Guides are available in California. Click here to view them all!

Yosemite/Mariposa County Yosemite/Mariposa County Yosemite/Mariposa County
Order your free Yosemite / Mariposa County vacation planner now for all the information you need for a memorable journey to Yosemite, and also to encourage you to explore the rest of Mariposa County, both as a home base from which to appreciate the Park, and as a delightful setting for other outdoor experiences.
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.