Merced County Courthouse Historical Landmark

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

One of our favorite highlights to a visit to Merced, Gateway to Yosemite, in Merced County is the Merced County Courthouse listed the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can tour the courthouse with its museum that includes  exhibits that depict the history of Merced County. Located in California's Central Valley, farmbelt to the world, you'll also learn about the settlers of the Central Valley. Rotating displays of quilts, artists, dolls and more. Courthouse Park is located adjacent to the Museum, and features a Memorial to all the fallen Veterans of Merced County. Built in 1875, the Italianate structure stands an impressive three stories tall as one of the oldest historical buildings in California. State Capital Architect Albert A. Bennett designed this structure that bares a resemblance to the California State Capitol building. 

Location: 21st and N Streets, Merced, CA

Hours, subject to change, call firstt: Wednesday through Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.
Free admission.
Call (209) 723-2401 or email us at [email protected]

Finding Merced: U.S. Highways 140, 59 and California Highway 99

Merced Visitor Services & California Welcome Center
710 W. 16th Street
(209) 724-8104

Amtrak provides multiple daily stops in Merced along the San Joaquin line. From Merced there are direct rail connections to numerous cities along the line between Sacramento, Oakland and Bakersfield.
Station Information:
324 W. 24th Street

Merced Area Attractions

Agricultural Museum
4498 E. Hwy. 140
Open Tuesday to Sunday
10 AM to 4 PM
Free Admission
The museum includes antique farm equipment, gas engines and horse-drawn buggy displays.The featured display is a working blacksmith shop.

Applegate Park and Zoo
26th & R Streets
Zoo Open daily 10 AM to 5 PM March to April

The crown jewel of the City park system, Applegate Park meanders along the bank of Bear Creek and is a stopping point along Merced’s extensive bike trail network.The park boasts, picnic areas, a rose garden, Laura's Fountain and Kiddieland Amusement area with train (available on weekends June to September). Applegate’s Zoo is home to native wild animals that are non-releasable, many having come from wildlife rescue centers or being handicapped. These animals are at the Zoo to help visitors learn about California's wildlife heritage.

Buchanan Hollow Nut Company
6510 Minturn Road
Le Grand
(209) 389-4594
Open Monday thru Saturday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visitors can take advantage of friendly tours of the small nut processing/packaging plant.The company specializes in pistachios and other local nuts produced in the area. The tours end with free samples.Visitors may purchase specialized gift boxes and have them shipped any where around the world.

Castle Air Museum
5050 Sante Fe Drive
Atwater, CA 95301
Office (209) 723-2178
Museum Open Daily
Active Military: Free
The collection of planes includes the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 Liberator, the B-29 Super Fortress, the B-26 Marauder and the B-25 Mitchell Bomber, in a collection of more than 40 vintage military issue aircraft from World War II to present, an indoor museum, a gift shop and a restaurant the museum is a must see attraction.

Castle Science and Technology Center
3460 Challenger Way
Atwater, CA 95301
Open weekends.

The Center includes numerous hands-on exhibits teaching scientific principles while entertaining the students at the same time. Some of the favorite attractions include:

* 1492: Two World of Science from Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley
* El Nino Interactive Computer Display from Jet Propulsion Laboratories, Pasadena
* Planet Polluto Interactive Display from San Joaquin Valley Pollution Control District
* NASA Displays from Johnson Space Center, Houston
* The Blue Planet Globe
* Harmonograph
* Bubblemania
* Butterflies around the World

Downtown Farmer’s Market
Corner of “N” and 19th Streets
Open every Saturday 7 a.m.
Free admission

Come taste the bounty of the valley or take home a unique treasure from a local artisan.The food and merchandise is always new and always unique.

Permanent exhibits include a turn-of-the-20th-century classroom, a courtroom and a blacksmith shop. Time: Allow 2 hours minimum.

NO. 409 SNELLING COURTHOUSE - This, the first courthouse in Merced County, was erected in 1857. This monument commemorates the 75th anniversary of the organization of Merced County and is dedicated to the memory of our pioneers by Yosemite Parlor No. 24, N.S.G.W., Merced, May 20, 1930.
Location: Main St (Hwy 59) between Second and Third Sts, Snelling

NO. 548 CANAL FARM INN - This original San Joaquin Valley ranch headquarters of California pioneer and cattle baron Henry Miller (1827-1916) was established in 1873. His farsighted planning and development in the 1870s of a vast gravity irrigation system, and the founding of Los Banos in 1889, provided the basis for this area's present stability and wealth.
Location: 1460 E Pacheco Blvd, Los Banos

NO. 550 LOS BANOS - Los BaƱos (the baths) del Padre Arroyo, visited as early as 1805 by Spanish explorers, was a favorite place for padres from San Juan Bautista Mission during their travels to the San Joaquin Valley. Its name was changed to Los Banos Creek by later American emigrants. The town of Los Banos was established at its present site in 1889, after the post office of Los Banos was built near the creek in 1874.
Location: Los Banos Park, 803 E Pacheco Blvd, Los Banos

NO. 829 PACHECO PASS - On June 21, 1805, on his first exploratory journey into the San Joaquin Valley, Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga traversed and recorded this pass. Since then it has been trail, toll road, stagecoach road, and freeway-the principal route between the coastal areas to the west and the great valley and mountains to the east.
Location: Romero Overlook, San Luis Reservoir, 31770 W Hwy 152 (P.M. 8.0), 15 mi W of Los Banos

NO. 934 TEMPORARY DETENTION CAMPS FOR JAPANESE AMERICANS-MERCED ASSEMBLY CENTER - This was one of 15 temporary detention camps established during World War II to incarcerate persons of Japanese ancestry, a majority of whom were American citizens, without specific charges or trial. From May to September 1942, 4,669 residents of Northern California were detained until permanent relocation camps were built. May the injustices and humiliation suffered here as a result of hysteria, racism, and economic exploitation never recur.
Location: Merced County Fairgrounds, 'J' St at 7th St, adjacent to parking lot at entrance to fairgrounds, Merced

Where to stay: Hyatt Regency Sacramento, 1209 L Street, Sacramento, CA; and Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, 1230 J Street, Sacramento, CA