University of California, Merced - Opened for enrollment in 2005, the U.C. Merced campus is now home to students pursuing degrees in many fields, including natural science, math and engineering. The university offers 17 undergraduate majors and 16 minors. Because of its location in the rural agricultural area, students can investigate many environmental issues.
Lake Yosemite - Just a short distance from the campus of U.C. Merced is Lake Yosemite. This park offers water skiing, sailing, fishing, swimming, picnic shelters, barbecues and a pleasant place to spend time relaxing.
Merced County Old Courthouse Museum -The second and third floors of this historic building house 8500 feet of exhibits depicting the history of early settlers in the Central Valley. It is open to the public and hours vary. Books and gift items relating to the Central Valley and California are sold in the giftshop. Special group tours are avaliable.
Applegate Park & Zoo- Located in the center of Merced is a twenty-three acre park and zoo. Visitors will enjoy this beautifully landscaped area containing picnic areas, a skateboard park, tennis courts, an exercise course, and beautiful roses.
Hornitos- Just 20 minutes from Merced on Highway 140 towards Mariposa and Yosemite Park, is the former Wild West gold mining town of Hornitos. It was the home of the first Ghirardelli Chocolate store and at least 36 saloons. Several historic town buildings still stand in the town which at one time served 10,000 people and has dwindled down to a population of 75.
Mariposa - Primarily populated by American Indians prior to 1848, this town became flooded with thousands of miners when gold was discovered in the area that year. John C. Fremont founded the town and many historic buildings from the Gold Rush Era are open to visitors today.
Yosemite National Park- Plan to spend some leisurely hours exploring the beautiful natural surroundings in one of the most widely known parks in the world. Although 95 percent of the park is designated as wilderness, it contains over 200 miles of roads, and 800 miles of hiking trails. The park is home to hundreds of species of birds, mammals, and flowers along with over 30 types of trees.