Less than two hours from the renowned Yosemite National Park, Merced is often called the “Gateway to the Sierras.” Centrally located, it’s also just two hours from the ocean and the beautiful Pacific coast: Monterey, Carmel and Pacific Grove are all just a short drive away. Bike trails run throughout the city,... Show all »
Less than two hours from the renowned Yosemite National Park, Merced is often called the “Gateway to the Sierras.” Centrally located, it’s also just two hours from the ocean and the beautiful Pacific coast: Monterey, Carmel and Pacific Grove are all just a short drive away. Bike trails run throughout the city, stopping at locations like Applegate Park, a shady park that cozies up to a small creek. The park is home to a zoo that houses native wild animals, many of which can not be released due to domestication or physical issues.
With the recent construction and opening of the 10th school in the University of California system, U.C. Merced, the city has seen considerable change. The children of the area are served by the Merced City School District, considered “energetic and progressive” by the residents who know it best. High quality instruction and staff are among the district’s greatest priorities.
The city of roughly 85,0000 considers itself “young, diverse and friendly”; the description is accurate. Small cafes and boutiques attract window shoppers and coffee drinkers; Merced’s tree-lined downtown area remains the primary location for entertainment and dining. On summer nights, locals display the fruits of their land, small crafts and other unique items at the weekly Farmer’s Market.
Amid a variety of diverse local dining options, The Branding Iron remains a favorite. Marked by a fifty year old neon sign, now recognized as a historical landmark, the Branding Iron offers healthy servings a charcoal-broiled steaks. Merced has several quaint bed and breakfasts for residents’ out of town guests, like Serenity Gardens, a cozy bed and breakfast where home grown foods and hens allow for fresh, warm breakfasts.
Both small town and urban center, the city manages to walk the fine line between both with grace. The availability of expansive Victorian homes showcase the history of the city, while new residential developments celebrate its fast growth. Proximity to numerous shaded parks and activities ensure residents have plenty to do.
Residents enjoy the low cost of living without sacrificing quality of life; most locals commute less then fifteen minutes to work. The beautiful and historic Merced Courthouse now houses a museum, designed to celebrate the city’s history.
Agriculture remains the area’s primary industry, but the area continues to attract new industries daily; a local cheese company and nut company offer tours to visitors, an opportunity unique to this city. The city of Merced retains a vibrancy unlike other cities. With its central location and numerous educational opportunities, Merced offers residents small town charm and big city convenience.