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27 Best & Fun Things to Do in Merced (CA)

Everyone who comes to Merced, needs to first know about the best and fun things to do in Merced. This ensures that you have the best vacation experience.

Merced is not a big city. When you travel here, you can choose to stay in hotels around the city center.

For those traveling for business and tourism, Merced Regional Airport is the preferred choice when visiting Merced.

There aren’t many hotels in Merced. Guests are advised to make a reservation in advance. Merced has high-quality and budget hotels.

You can spend one night in a nice hotel for only SGD 118. In Merced, chain hotels like the Ramada are one of the top choices among travelers.

Studio 6 Merced is one of the most popular hotels in Merced. Motel 6 Merced is also one of the most frequently chosen hotels.

Merced is a city in California located in the San Joaquin Valley, United States. According to the last census, the city has about eighty thousand inhabitants.

Merced, which was incorporated on April 1, 1889, has become a beautiful city with a well-organized council and administration.

The city is named after the Merced River. It is quite nice to know that the word “Merced” means mercy. This is a good sign for the city.

The city is also called the Yosemite Gateway because you must pass through Merced to get to Yosemite National Park.

You’ll find plenty of beaches in Merced, as well as adequately functioning rail service and a fairly affordable airline known as the Merced Regional Airport.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Merced, CA? Then you came to the right place. Here is a list of the best things in Merced.

Fun Things to Do in Merced

1. Merced Multicultural Arts Center

Things to do in Merced

It is very easy to love works of art and diverse cultural heritage when you see and learn about them.

The Merced Multicultural Arts Center is such a place.

The Multicultural Arts Center is responsible for preserving Merced County’s cultural history and heritage.

It does this by inciting and encouraging a love of the arts in Merced. The Multicultural Arts Center is located at 645 W. Main Street.

The Multicultural Arts Center consists of approximately twenty-eight thousand square feet of art center with a concert hall and gallery.

In the multicultural art center, you will see a variety of beautiful arts and crafts from local artists.

You can learn so much about Merced with your friends at the Multicultural Arts Center. It is also a great place to take unique pictures. It’s just a trip.

2. Laura’s Fountain

Things to do in Merced

The fountain is believed to be the perfect place to throw coins and wishes. Most wishes are considered true love wishes.

Here is a fountain in Merced that is well known for its coin toss and wishes to find true love and the tragic story of the fountain.

Mr Charles Huffman built the Laura Fountain in memory of his wife Laura after she passed away.

The fountain has been a tourist attraction ever since.

The fountain was moved from the El Capitol Hotel to Applegate Park in 1935. The fountain was built in 1888.

Laura’s Fountain is a great place to visit with your loved ones and admire its beautiful structure. You can also make a wish at the fountain.

The fountain is an excellent place behind which a good love story and its tragic origin are mixed. You will definitely enjoy visiting the fountain.

3. Partisan

Things to do in Merced

Partisan was created in the eighteenth century by the locals of Merced and has been in operation ever since.

The building was once used as a saloon between 1885 and 1888 and a furniture store. Rudy’s Jazz and Blues pub also rented it.

Since 2007, Partizan has been a venue for live music. It currently contains a bar that has a cocktail bar and major events.

Partisan hosts karaoke nights as well as parties and special theme nights. It’s a total place for fun and a good time.

This place is perfect for visiting with friends if you are looking for fun things to do in Merced, and you will definitely enjoy your stay.

Tasty cocktails, karaoke, and a proper party are all you need to brighten up the dark mood at Partisan. If you are in or around Merced, please visit!

Things to Do in Merced at Night

1. Toni’s Courtyard Cafe

Things to do in Merced

Toni’s Courtyard Café is a restaurant with delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

The Courtyard Cafe is the perfect destination for great food. The cafe is based on a Tuscan restaurant that serves American and Italian food. You will see a beautiful design in the cafe.

In addition to Mediterranean dishes, Toni’s Courtyard Café also serves regular dishes such as omelettes, bread, roasted pumpkin, and oatmeal to name a few.

The cafe has various excellent features, but its most admirable outdoor terrace is perfect for taking pictures.

If you are ever in Merced, you should visit Toni’s Courtyard Café and see their beautiful paintings used as interior design.

The artist-in-residence created artwork and paintings, making every part of the cafe a picturesque sight.

Visit with your friends!

2. Merced County Courthouse Museum

Things to do in Merced

This courthouse museum lovingly chronicles those who once lived in the Great Central Valley in the city of Merced.

The Merced County Courthouse Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. They are not open on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The museum has three floors and was the city court for about a hundred years. It was founded in 1875 and has been in operation ever since.

It can be located between W. 21st and N.

Albert A. Bennett built the site in the Italianate building style.

The building is one of the oldest buildings in California history and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

From the great stories of Merced County history to its picturesque view gallery, the courthouse museum is perfect for a visit.

3. Branding Iron Restaurant

Things to do in Merced

Branding Iron restaurant is an American restaurant named in celebration of California and its rich farming history.

At the Branding Iron Restaurant, you can enjoy fine dinings such as prime steak, seafood, and other delectable dishes.

This place is the perfect destination for those looking forward to some good steaks and seafood. You will eat in a charming environment.

The Branding Iron Restaurant has been in business for over seventy years and has been the choice of the people of Merced ever since.

Kara and Greg Parle own this place, and their top-notch maintenance of the Branding Iron restaurant has given it the excellent reputation it has today.

When it comes to great food, gorgeous surroundings, and prime steak, Branding Iron is the perfect destination to visit!

Things to Do in Merced For Couples

1. Jantz Café & Bakery

Things to do in Merced

No vacation is complete without a great place to eat; almost everyone likes pastries. That’s why Jantz Café and Bakery is on the list.

Jantz Cafe and Bakery is a lovely cafe and bakery offering great bread, pastries, and sweets throughout the week.

It is also convenient to have a light breakfast and lunch at any time. It’s more than just a bakery.

The cafe is known for its specially made strawberry shortcake with a dollop of cream and a triple scoop brownie that keeps customers coming back for more.

Breakfast isn’t too bad either, as they have items like oatmeal, omelets, biscuits and gravy, burritos, and sandwiches.

You can’t afford to miss a visit to Jantz Cafe and Bakery to try their homemade specialty triple brownie strawberry shortcake.

2. Merced County Fair

Things to do in Merced

There is always something interesting at the fairs, and Merced has its own county fair to raise money for its community and neighboring areas.

You can’t run out of things in Merced, especially at the county fair. The Merced County Fair offers a variety of entertainment, music, and racing games, among many others.

The regional fair is full of fun activities for its visitors. The county fair is also full of exhibits for many to see and admire.

The county fair also holds an auction of its displayed exhibits, and many visitors participate in the auction for the best set of products at the show.

The exhibits contain various topics of interest, from agriculture to horticulture to photography and even mechanical science.

The County Fair is held once a year every June and is a great place to spend the day and get some great stuff with friends and family.

You should visit if you are in Merced through June.

3. Merced Dog Park

Things to Do in Merced
Things to do in Merced

We all know that a dog is man’s best friend, and what better way to spend time with your furry friend than at the park?

Merced Dog park is perfect for dog owners who can’t be away from their pets for long or don’t have a sitter for them.

Most tourist sites and attractions have a “no pets” policy, so it’s nice to see a place where you can take your dog and have some fun with him.

The park has about eight acres of land and is well laid out for a good game of fetch with the dog.

There are also water fountains for dogs (low fountains) and their owners (regular water fountains).

The park also has plenty of seating available for visitors if they get exhausted retrieving their pets.

It’s a great place to visit!

Things to Do in Merced For Kids

1. Playhouse Merced

When the Playhouse is still running, you can’t run out of things in Merced, CA. It’s a great place to visit and spend the day.

The theatre is a performance theatre and was founded in 1994. It is one of the top-rated theatre organizations in Merced.

In the playroom, you will see dances, children’s games, comedy, and even masterpieces, all live performances.

This place is ideal for a family visit and with loved ones. It is a place that is focused on providing entertainment for everyone.

The Merced Theater is also a famous venue for epic performances and annual events. You may decide to catch a show or two with your kids.

There is nothing healthier than artists being good at what they do.

So visit with your friends and family and enjoy the show!

2. Rockin’ Jump

Here’s another family-friendly place to visit if you’re looking for the best things to do in Merced, California. Rockin’ jump is perfect for sightseeing.

Rockin’ Jump is a trampoline park where a lot of fun awaits visitors. The park offers a variety of games and sports activities for everyone.

From dodgeball on a trampoline to a wall climbing arena to slam dunk and open jump arenas, Rokin’ Jump offers plenty of fun activities.

There is also space for stunt bags for children. So they can live their dream of flying like the famous hero superman and even do acrobatic stunts in the air.

The arena has many options and is suitable for those who do not want to split up when visiting. Plus, you can do a lot of these activities with friends.

There is also an elimination game where players can knock their opponents out of their respective beams called X-beam. It is a must-visit place.

3. Rahilly Park

Rahilly Park is a 2.9-acre community park for people to visit and spend time with friends and family.

The park has a children’s playground, a picnic shelter, and a bike path for people who come to the park on their bikes.

Located on Parson’s avenue, the park has great views and a slightly quiet environment with many exciting activities.

The park has a grill where many delicious grilled meals can be prepared and eaten in the covered picnic area.

There is also a horseshoe pit for those feeling a bit competitive and a football pitch.

The park offers healthy games.

Indoor Activities to Do in Merced

1. Vista Ranch and Cellars

Vista Ranch and Cellars is a pretty good ranch with a vineyard, picnic area, and many other great features.

Vista Ranch is located on Bear CreekRanch and is owned by George Fancher. The ranch has about twenty acres of land.

The ranch also has many acres of land used for agriculture, and its production is huge. From vegetables like broccoli to sweet corn, they’ve got it.

Fresh produce from this location is sold on various occasions at their farmer’s market. This area is perfect for visiting, and you can get good food at reasonable prices.

You can also find a small vineyard where wine is made on the ranch. The wines are delicious, and visitors can taste them.

So if you are interested in farm fresh produce at a reasonable price, an excellent tasting room, a great wine collection and a vineyard, visit sometime.

2. Merced Fruit Barn

The Merced Fruit Barn is the perfect place to visit in Merced, CA, because it’s a friendly environment for everyone.

The Fruit Barn sells an assortment of farm fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, and even honey.

There is so much to buy and see at the Fruit Barn!

The fruit farm is located towards Yosemite on East Highway 140. You will also see sweet and healthy treats like dried fruit and candied fruit at the fruit farm.

The sweet treats don’t end there. You will also see dried nuts, marmalade, homemade jams, preserves, and even gift baskets.

After you’ve bought all the cool stuff you want, you can try some of them out on the lawn, which has its own picnic tables.

Regarding tourist attractions, the Merced Fruit Barn is a great way to spend the day with your friends!

3. Merced Antique Mall

What’s not to love about fabulous antiques and one-of-a-kind items?

The Merced Antique Mall is a popular spot for visitors, residents, and tourists.

The antique mall is a place that includes antiques and collectibles that occupy about seven thousand five hundred square feet of its building.

The place also has a basement full of treasures to remind you of the good old days. What’s better is that the antiques change at intervals so you don’t have to get bored.

You don’t have to worry about being serviced because the antique shop has up to thirty antique dealers to choose from.

If you think you’ve seen it all, we highly recommend this antique mall as you’ll get to know a lot of limited collections of different items.

From toys to ceramics to books to rare cards, the antique mall is sure to have something to catch the attention of you and your child.

Romantic Things to Do in Merced

1. Merced National Wildlife Refuge

Merced National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1951 and covers about ten thousand acres.

The wildlife refuge has landscapes ranging from wetlands to grasslands to vernal pools and riparian areas.

The wildlife refuge is beautiful.

The site is made in such a way that its spring pools bring in frozen water that flows from the surrounding area in winter when it begins to melt.

Merced National Wildlife Refuge provides nesting sites for many wintering species, such as geese, waterfowl, and shorebirds.

A wildlife sanctuary doesn’t just care about the animals and species that live there; it also has some land for agriculture and pasture.

This place would be perfect for a tour and some great pictures, and is a family-friendly place.

You can also come with friends and have a great experience.

2. Yosemite Lake

If you love bodies of water, here’s a place with tons of fun in Merced, CA!

Yosemite Lake is a perfect example of a fantastic body of water. Yosemite Lake is located in the Sierra foothills outside of Merced. The lake was built in 1888 for irrigation purposes.

Yosemite Lake is a man-made freshwater body that makes water available to the surrounding farms in the city.

The lake is accessible to both adults and children and offers a variety of fun activities, including boating, water skiing, sailing, and kayaking.

You can also swim in designated swimming areas. There is a barbecue area, and you can have a picnic in the shade near the banks.

Everyone is welcome at Yosemite Lake. It’s a great place for kids because they have a playground.

Parents and dating couples can also visit and have lots of fun.

3. Applegate Park Zoo

Applegate Park Zoo was established in 1962 and offers many animal environments for the animals that live there.

Its visitors can safely observe these biotopes. Applegate Park Zoo is an animal center that is zoological in nature, featuring animals from various wildlife refuges.

The park also highlights various picnic areas suitable for family and friends to visit. They also have a playground to keep the kids entertained.

In the park, you will also see the gift shop run by the Merced Zoological Society where you can get lots of good items and events.

The Park is excellent for a family trip because it has a generally friendly environment and you can’t run out of something interesting.

Great views aren’t all you can get from a visit to Applegate Park Zoo. There is also a playground and a great place to eat.

Visit sometime!

Cheap Things to Do in Merced

1. Merced Flea and Farmer’s Market

There’s almost nothing you can’t find at a flea market, and if you’re after a bargain, the Merced Flea Farmers market is the place for you.

The Merced Flea Farmer’s Market was built in the 1980s by Merced County after it leased the land for a farmer’s fair.

One of the purposes of the market was to raise funds to maintain certain things in the county, and it continues to this day.

The farmers’ market has around four thousand customers a day, so its two hundred vendors are constantly active.

Customers never run out of things to make or buy, and it’s rare to see a farmer’s market merchant with slow business.

This location is perfect for those looking for the best things to do in Merced, CA. The market includes, among other things, a number of fresh agricultural products. Visit sometime!

2. Castle Aviation Museum

The Castle Air Museum is about thirteen minutes from downtown Merced. It was founded in 1981.

The Castle Air Museum has many World War II aircraft at other locations as well. Its first exhibit was a B-17 Flying Fortress in 1981.

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Merced, the Castle Air Museum should be on your list because it’s not too far from Merced.

The museum is an excellent place to visit with family and friends, as you can learn a lot about military aircraft and how they have helped humanity in various ways.

Castle Air Museum has a total of forty-nine aircraft in its collection and probably has the rarest collection of military aircraft in the world.

It’s a great place to visit with the kids and take great photos to show off to their friends. Do yourself a favor if you ever look at that place.

3. Henderson Park

There are many fun things to do in Merced, California, and Henderson Park is an excellent place for a healthy day out with family and friends.

Henderson Park is a few minutes from Merced and is located in an area bordered by tall trees, which creates shade in the park.

The park is excellent for outdoor experiences because it is a place where you can relax.

In addition to kayaking and canoeing, the park has a lot in store for its visitors.

The park is located in Snelling, California, and is considered the best park in the county. It is also a great place for amazing pictures.

Many county parks have a “no swimming” policy, but Henderson Park does not because its water is open for swimming.

The park is also an excellent place for a nice picnic with friends as it has beautiful fresh grass for a good breeze.

Come experience the fun for yourself!

Free Things to Do in Merced

1. Elmer Murchie Park

When you think of lush green grass and beautiful skylines, as well as picturesque surroundings, Elmer Murchie Park should come to mind.

Elmer Murchie Park, located on Jacob’s Drive, is about three acres in size and has an excellent variety of amenities for you to enjoy.

The park is a great place to walk your dog and play exciting games. You can spend all day playing catch with your dog in the park.

The place is perfect for a family day and a day with friends. There are benches throughout the park, as well as bike paths for children.

Adults can also ride their bikes on the trails if they feel like it. There is also a barbecue in the park, which is accessible to anyone who has an appetite.

Elmer Murchie Park has playgrounds, drinking fountains, and soccer fields for kids, among others, making it a great place to visit.

2. Fahrens Park

Fahren Park is another great place to spend the day with family and friends. The place is perfect for a picnic.

The park offers refreshments and many other activities for those looking for fun in Merced.

The park is located on Buena Vista Drive and has many visitors on weekdays. It is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fahren’s Park offers an exciting place for barbecues, as well as bike paths for everyone to ride. There are also playgrounds in the park.

You will also see the disc golf course at Fehren Park. It’s a great place to test your accuracy and compete with your friends or kids in the game.

It is impossible to exclude fun activities from Fahrens Park. They also have restrooms available, which some places don’t. It is a good idea to visit.

3. Spend the Night in an Art Deco Dream

Merced has its share of chain hotels, but it really doesn’t compare to El Capitan.

Opening in 2021, this 144-room boutique hotel is driving the revitalization of downtown Merced.

Most of them are newly built, with the exception of the wing, which was preserved and renovated from the original hotel from 1872.

The old neon tent has been cleaned and now hangs near the central courtyard, where guests can enjoy wine and cocktails under string lights – because drinks always they taste better with string lights.

The hotel offers a perfect balance between rustic and modern design.

The little things count: local artwork in the lobby, record players in the room, a Peloton machine in the gym, and amazing San Francisco Equator Coffees (featuring sustainably sourced beans) served throughout the property.

In addition, all children will receive a plush bumblebee, which the hotel will purchase as part of the bee saving program.

Cool Places to Visit in Merced

1. Stroll the streets and shops of Downtown Merced

Downtown Merced was a center of history, charm, and cute jokes long before the wine bars (more on that later).

The heart of Main Street is about seven tree-lined blocks (between O Street and G Street, give or take) with independent retailers front and center.

Buy a used book from Second Time Around, a new wardrobe from Kelli, or vinyl from Tiggers & Daggers Records.

Want to see a little bit of everything? Abracadabra is an eclectic boutique with local art and oddities, while the Merced Antique Mall displays antiques from a variety of vendors—almost like a flea market, but with a cleaner layout.

Some of the best stuff is in the basement and the garage, which specializes in rustic outdoor decor.

It’s like eating a forest.

2. Visit Restaurants That Make Potato Juice

A local Rainbird restaurant wouldn’t look out of place in San Francisco or Napa Valley.

The restaurant opened its doors in El Capitan in February, but it’s already making a huge impression on Merced’s dining landscape.

Food is served exclusively in five-course tasting menus, and guests can choose along the way.

It’s not unusual to see experimental dishes using seasonal ingredients, such as smoked cauliflower custard or white onion macarons with pork pâté.

Bella Luna has a similar but less dramatic commitment to local ingredients, serving traditional Italian cuisine like pasta and pizza in a cozy brick-and-wood space.

510 Bistro (named after its main street) offers a variety of classic and New American dishes on Merced’s best outdoor patio overlooking a grassy courtyard with a fountain and palm trees.

Branding Iron is a steakhouse with an Old West feel that dates back to 1952 and prides itself on prime rib.

There is also no shortage of Mexican restaurants and food trucks throughout Merced.

First, try J&R Tacos, which emphasizes fresh ingredients and healthier options, including vegan options posted on the wall.

3. Nuns Who Grow Cannabis

You can’t have a complete discussion about California’s “agriculture” without discussing cannabis.

Merced has its share of dispensaries, but Sisters of the Valley are the most compelling local businesses in this category.

This nunnery grows its own weed on its own property, promoting the herb’s health benefits while selling a range of CBD products, landing its own Rolling Stone article in the process.

To be clear – the Valley Sisters are not Catholic. Nor are they fans of organized religion, but the group is extremely spiritual, considering themselves servants of the poor, respecting the planet and growing their crops according to the placement of the moon.

These Nuns pray together and smoke together.

Their products are available online and ship worldwide, including their best-selling CBD ointment with coconut oil and vitamin E.

You may even see a few items around town.

For example, Smoker’s Blend Tea is sold at Bobby’s Market, which is on the same block as El Capitan and doubles as the hotel’s gift shop and convenience store.


We’re certain about the feeling Merced will leave you with. Endless ecstasy, an unexplainable excitement, and a wish that it never stops.

Get started as soon as the holiday starts. Wishing you a happy vacation.

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