15 Free Things to Do in Merced, CA
, 2023-01-05 05:35:29,
The city of Merced is the seat of Merced County, located in Central California.
Also known as the “Gateway to Yosemite,” Merced is less than two hours from the renowned park, making it an ideal stopover for those going to and from the national park.
Besides its convenient distance from Yosemite National Park, Merced offers fun activities, must-see sights, and more.
Even better, you can explore Merced with a budget-friendly itinerary!
Here’s a list of free things to do in Merced, California:
Walk around Downtown Merced
Downtown Merced serves as the city center and houses county courts, administrative buildings, and other places of interest.
It is also one of the best places to get an overview of Merced’s atmosphere, lined with local restaurants, boutiques, and even historic buildings.
Some of these buildings are also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
You can take a short walk exploring Downtown Merced and bring your cameras to take photos of this charming city.
Some must-see buildings downtown include the Tioga Hotel, El Capitan Hotel, Merced County Courthouse Museum, and Merced Theatre.
During the holiday season, the area also hosts the annual Christmas Parade and the giant Christmas tree lighting to kickstart the season.
See a Free Movie with Movies in the Park
During the summer months, Merced hosts a series of free film screenings for everyone in the family to watch.
Movies in the Park is a Merced City Parks and Community Services Department initiative to unite everyone and share the love of classic family-friendly movies.
Film screening locations vary, but they are usually held at McNamara Park or Joe Herb Park.
Regardless, Movies in the Park is one of the best free activities that Merced has to offer.
Head to the park, bring snacks, chairs, and blankets, and enjoy movies like Encanto, Space Jam, Harry Potter, and the like.
In some cases, Movies in the Park offers drive-in film screenings where you can watch the movie inside the comforts of your vehicle.
Bike along the Fahrens Creek Bike Trail
For casual and avid bikers, don’t miss Fahrens Creek Bike Trail, a paved biking trail traversing Fahrens Creek.
The trail is around 2.8 miles and can quickly be done on a warm afternoon.
Fahrens Creek Bike Trail is also a Class I Bike Path, meaning that it was built to keep the creekside environment natural while being…
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