Merced is home to a campus of the University of California, where you can study academic programs in everything from engineering to medicine in a beautiful, progressive environment. Options abound for those who do not mind a commute. California State University in Fresno, California State University in Stanislaus, and the University of the Pacific are all within an hour radius. These academic institutions give you additional options for bachelor’s through doctoral degrees. Of course, big university life is not for everyone. If you want to start with something smaller, Merced has a community college in the city limits as well.
Yosemite's Tranquil T
Yosemite National Park is less than two hours away from Merced. This amazing park is home to some of the most beautiful scenic views you will find in the west. Giant sequoias, vast wilderness, and shimmering waterfalls are all waiting here, in nearly 1,200 square miles of natural splendor. Bike, hike, or horseback ride your way around, breathing in the breathtaking view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the winter, enjoy cross-country skiing, ice skating, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Yosemite is a place where you could spend weeks and still not do everything you wanted, so odds are you will keep going back for more.
Almost everyone loves a good fair, and Merced does not disappoint. The Merced County Spring Fair is held the last of April every year, and has more to do than can be done in a single visit. Swifty Swine is a pig race (yes, a pig race) where the winner gets the coveted prize of an Oreo cookie. Jugglers and balloon men entertain the crowds inside while local bands take the stage outdoors to play everything from country to Latin dance music. Go early to see the parade and stay late, and be sure to enjoy some delicious fair food.