in our community

Fishing in the lake in Merced county

Top 5 Places to Visit in Merced County, California

Merced County is most probably known for its military aviation museum called Castle Air Museum, although it also offers spectacular landscape and outdoor activities. Hence, we compiled a list of our top 5 places to visit in this charming county.

Merced Wildlife Refuge

The Wildlife Refuge in Merced covers 10,258 acres of wetlands, riparian areas, vernal pools, and native grasslands that attract wintering waterfowl such as Ross’ geese, Pacific Flyway, and Sandhill cranes. It also serves as critical breeding habitat for native bird species like burrowing owls, tri-colored blackbirds, mallards, cinnamon teal, gadwall, and marsh wrens.

The refuge was established in 1951 to minimize crop damage caused by the waterfowl and shorebirds from adjacent farmland.

Today, the refuge is visited by thousands of guests each year for wildlife viewing, environmental education (field trips), and nature photography.

Location: San Luis NWR Complex Headquarters and Visitor Center – 7376 S. Wolfsen Road, Los Baños, CA 93635
Contact: 209/826-3508
Hours: Natural trails are open every day 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes before sunset

Applegate Park Zoo

The Applegate Park Zoo currently houses 75 native California mammals, reptiles, and birds that mostly came from wildlife rescue centers. Unfortunately, these animals lost their foraging/hunting skills and survival instincts, so they cannot be returned to their natural habitats.

Since 1962, Apple Park’s zookeepers Donna McDowell and Josh Morena, together with a group of volunteers, provide daily care for their rescued animals.

Location: 1045 W. 25th street
Contact: (209) 725-3337
Thursday and Friday – 10 am to 3 pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10 am to 4 pm
Closed between Monday and Wednesday and during holidays

Castle Air Museum

The Caste Air Museum houses more than 70 restored vintage military aircraft dating back to pre-WWII, a vast collection of wartime memorabilia, personal military artifacts, and historical photos.

However, the museum’s most notable collection is its complete lineage of bomber aircraft from the West Coast, spanning nearly 70 years between pre-WWII and Cold War.

The museum also hosts educational outreach programs with different local schools, some of which offer courses in the fabrication of aircraft viewing stands and platforms.

Location: 5050 Santa Fe Drive, Atwater, CA 95301
Contact: 209/826-3508
Hours: Open year-round except holidays, between 9 am and 4 pm

Lake Yosemite

The Merced Irrigation District owns and operates Lake Yosemite, a man-made reservoir that provides water to local farmland, which is the region’s economic backbone. Meanwhile, the park at this lake houses facilities and amenities that include kitchens, barbecue, volleyball courts, tables and chairs, AC and heater, and horseshoe pits.

Additionally, fishing and boating are allowed in the lake.

Location: Yosemite Lake Recreation Area, 5714 Lake Rd. Merced, CA Amusement Places
Contact: (209) 385-7426
Hours: every day, between 8 am and 11 pm

Merced Fruit Barn

The Merced Fruit Barn is more than just a fruit store, but also a great picnic area with its shaded patio. Additionally, the fruit barn houses a cozy dining room where guests can enjoy fresh vegetable and fruit salad, scrumptious sandwiches, freshly squeezed orange juice, and gourmet dried fruits and nuts.

They also house farm animals like llama, chickens, mallard ducks, Pekin ducks, peacocks, doves, geese, donkeys, rabbits, cows, turkeys, ostriches, etc.

Location: 4526 E. HWY 140, Merced CA 95350
Phone: (209) 385-2222
Hours: (Winter schedule) Monday – Sunday, between 9 am and 5:30 pm
(Summer schedule) Monday – Saturday, between 8:30 and 6:30
Sunday, between 8:30 and 5:30

Final word

Are you looking for a beautiful and loving community in California? Then, head on to Sierra Portal Mobile Estates and experience our well-maintained facilities and enjoy the best of what Central California has to offer. Call us at (209) 722-3411 or send us a message here.

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