Benefits of Living in Merced, CA

There are many reasons why people are relocating to Merced, CA from larger cities. Situated in the stunning San Joaquin Valley, Merced is often referred to as the “Gateway to Yosemite”, due to its close proximity to the park.

Not only is Yosemite under two hours away by car, Merced’s valley location southeast of San Francisco also provides easy access to the central California coast, Sierra Nevada mountains, and other major cities.

Merced is currently rising in popularity, partly due to the new University of California campus that was built back in 2005, which has helped drive a youthful and vibrant community to the area.

However, Merced is much more than a community of students. There are many benefits of choosing to live in this diverse and dynamic city.


Cheaper cost of living in Merced

When it comes to cost of living, there is no getting away from the fact that some parts of California are expensive. However, compared to the rest of the State, the cost of living in Merced is around 26% lower.

The good news is that although prices are on the rise, the median home value in the city is still around $235,200. Nevertheless, as prices are predicted to continue to rise, it could make a property purchase in the city a wise investment. Demand for property is relatively high, particularly due to the number of students enrolling in University of California.

Merced schools

California has an open enrollment policy, which means that your children can attend any school in the district with enrollment availability. Merced has many schools offering a wide range of enrichment programs in addition to basic education.

In 2005, the University of California opened its 10th campus in Merced, providing exceptional higher education opportunities to young adults and more mature students.

Merced transportation and location

If you need to travel often, then Merced is excellent for commuting to other parts of the state and country. Freeways link to Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Not to mention, the Fresno airport is only an hour away by car. If you are looking for an international flight, the Sacramento airport is around a two-hour drive.


In the city itself there is a reliable and affordable bus system. There are around 20 busses on fixed routes, and the base fare is just $1.50 for all local rides within a single city or community, including Merced, Atwater, and Winton, or $3 from any city or community to another.


Restaurants in Merced

While there are plenty of other things to do in and around Merced, the options for eating out are often a talking point. Chinese, Japanese, Cambodian, Mexican, Mom & Pop restaurants, drive-ins, and street food are some of the mouth-watering choices available to residents. If you enjoy cooking, there are plenty of markets and produce stands packed with freshly picked vegetables and delicious locally-grown fruits.


Activities in Merced

Although Merced has a small-town feel, there is plenty to do within the area to keep you and your family occupied. The ocean and mountains are both under 90 minutes away by car. Yosemite National Park is also under two hours away, and it is a perfect getaway for a camping weekend, or activities such as birdwatching, biking, hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. If you want to visit Disneyland, it is around six hours by car, so another popular choice for a weekend away.

Nearer to your doorstep, Applegate Park is a definite favorite with residents with its miniature zoo, mini amusement park, large playground, and plenty of space for picnics. There are various parades throughout the year, includingJuly 4th and Veterans Day.


Merced, CA offers plenty of opportunities for all of its community from students to busy families and active retirees. Find out more about real estate in Merced, CA with our experienced agricultural consultant, Jason DurJava. Call us today and learn more at 209-431-0400.