Travel Tips

The 10 Best Things to do in Merced

Best Things to do in Merced
Written by Eddie White

Merced is a county in California that was originally founded on agriculture, thus the natural world and the outdoors are still very important to the locals.

If you’re planning on visiting Yosemite, the county has a fantastic staging location off of Highway 140. However, Merced also has its own set of sights that visitors can enjoy.

Here are the 10 best things to do in Merced that you should try.

1. Merced Antique Mall

Both seasoned antique merchants and first-time bargain hunters will enjoy their time at the self-proclaimed shopping expedition.

More than 40 antique sellers fill 7500 square feet of space in the Mall.

The Mall is a fun place to kill a couple of hours, and the unusual wares on exhibit are interesting even if you don’t buy anything.

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2. Community Theater

It’s important to note that the community it serves is also involved in the management of this theater.

It serves a dual purpose as a place of learning and as a fantastic place to enjoy live theater.

The theater is one of Merced’s most popular destinations, visited by about forty thousand people annually.

Musicals, comedies, and even shows geared toward children are all on the schedule.

3. Wildlife Sanctuary of Merced County

More than 10,000 acres of native grasslands, wetlands, riparian regions, and vernal pools are protected in the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, which was created in 1951.

Originally established to redirect migrating waterfowl away from agricultural areas where they were wreaking havoc on crops, the Merced National Wildlife Refuge is now home to thousands of waterfowl, shorebirds, and other migratory birds and mammals, including large populations of arctic nesting geese that spend the winter there.

The Merced National Wildlife Refuge not only has natural habitats for local and visiting species, but also 300 acres of planted maize, and winter wheat crops, and over 500 acres of irrigated pasture for wildlife to use.

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4. Rancho Vista Winery and Vineyards

The Vista family owns and operates the ranch, which includes a tasting facility, outdoor picnic space, and event center in addition to farm plots, a stunning vineyard, and a modern tasting room.

Located on twenty acres of land owned by George Fancher, Bear Creek Ranch is home to a year-round farmers market and seasonal farm plots that produce a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for sale at the ranch’s farm market and special events.

Outside the tasting room, guests can enjoy the summer weather on one of two bocce courts.

The Vista Ranch and Cellars tasting facility is located in a vintage 1910 farmhouse surrounded by fruit trees and agricultural plots, and the vineyards on the property are primarily composed of Cabernet and Primativo varieties, from which they produce small-batch wines annually.

5. In the city of Merced, California, there is a place called Rockin’ Jump

Rockin’ Jump is a family-friendly trampoline park with a wide selection of exciting sports and recreational activities, including open jump arenas, trampoline dodgeball, a slam dunk arena, a climbing wall, and more.

Rockin’ Jump was founded to give people of all ages a fun, exciting, and safe way to get and stay in shape.

The facility offers a variety of activities, including the Stunt Bag Arena, where children can experience the thrill of flying, flipping, and jumping; the X-Beam, in which competitors must knock their partners off the beam with a padded lance; and the Open Jump Arena, in which friends can jump together and perform acrobatics.

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6. Located in beautiful downtown Merced, CA, Jantz Café & Bakery has delicious treats

Jantz Café & Bakery is a cozy local establishment that bakes and sells fresh bread, pastries, and sweets every day, in addition to offering a selection of light meals for breakfast and lunch (and occasionally dinner) from Monday through Saturday.

Famous for their Triple Chunk Brownies and homemade strawberry pie made with fresh strawberries and topped with a dab of cream, Jantz Café & Bakery has three locations in the area.

Favorites including omelets, biscuits & gravy, breakfast sandwiches and burritos, and oatmeal can be found on the breakfast menu, while fresh salads and homemade soups, sandwiches, and sides may be found at lunch.

7. The Courtyard Cafe by Toni in Merced, California

In a charming courtyard setting, Toni’s Courtyard Café offers Italian-American fare with a Tuscan twist.

The restaurant serves a seasonal menu of Mediterranean breakfast and lunch items, such as omelets and egg dishes, oatmeal and toasted pumpkin bread for breakfast, and fresh salads, soups, sandwiches, and more for lunch.

The cafe’s heart and soul is its lovely outside patio, which features a fountain, tables, and chairs and is always bustling with customers.

The walls of this café are covered in colorful paintings and other artworks by local artists, creating a warm and welcoming ambiance for customers.

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8. Fruit Market of Merced

The Fruit Barn is an offbeat attraction but an enjoyable one nonetheless.

Animals including lamas, macaws, peacocks, and even a ginger tomcat are kept in the barn.

The main incentive for a visit here however is the outstanding fresh food and dried fruits, which are possibly the best in California.

At the deli, you can get some fresh, tasty sandwiches that you can eat at a picnic table while looking out at the animals.

9. Lake Yosemite

Lake Yosemite is a beautiful spot, despite the fact that it is a man-made reservoir.

While still in the reservoir, the water is used by boaters and fishers in addition to the local farmers who depend on it for irrigation.

The lake’s natural splendor is complemented by the spectacular majesty of its man-made setting, the Sierra Foothills.

10. Applegate Zoo

Applegate Park Zoo has been around since 1962 and focuses on caring for birds, animals, and reptiles, many of which are local to California.

The majority of the zoo’s animals are from rescue centers, so it goes without saying that their well-being is the main emphasis, as is their rehabilitation.

The zoo is home to some magnificent animals, such as bears, cougars, and a coyote.

The Merced Zoological Society, which helps keep Applegate open, operates the gift store.

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Eddie White

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