Merced is in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
Located along State Route 99 which runs between the agricultural cities of the eastern San Joaquin Valley, Merced is also a gateway to Yosemite via State Route 140.
Merced is served by one major highway (CA 99).
Amtrak's Sacramento/Bay Area-Bakersfield San Joaquin  train line runs six times a day, which also offers bus connections between Merced and Yosemite National Park.
In addition to this Merced is served by Greyhound  bus via its downtown station.
The University of California's Newest Campus, UC Merced opened in September of 2005. The campus is open to the public.
- New Energy Yoga, 755 E Yosemite Ave, phone 209-384-9642, . Take a yoga class at Merced's only yoga studio and get ready for that Yosemite hike.
- Merced Fruit Barn, 4526 E. HWY 140, Merced, CA 95340 (Take E. HWY 140 Towards Yosemite), ☎ 2093852222, . 9. Beautiful property and store on the way to Yosemite! Petting Zoo, fruit & nut trees scattered around the grounds, picnic areas, fresh local produce and nuts, deli sandwiches, hot dogs, soups, ice cream parlor, and gourmet coffee and espresso drinks. Cute country gift items as well!
- Cafe Sol 3361 G Street. Free Wi-fi access for customers.
- Paul's Place Restaurant & Bkry 2991 G St, (209) 723-1339. Ethnic and American dishes at very reasonable prices; try the Portuguese linguisa sausage omelet.
- Sam Cafe 235 W 12th St, (209) 383-5350  Thai Restaurant. Try the highly rated Pad Thai. Free WiFi.
- The Partisan, 432 West Main Street, . Opens at 4, closing time varies. A Merced bar that is a favorite for both locals and UCM students and faculty. Open from Mon-Sat, drink specials every night. Live music from local/national independent musicians every Tuesday and Saturday, open mic night every Monday, Rock Band/Karaoke every Wednesday, and a DJ on Thursday and Friday.
- Best Western Inn, 1033 Motel Drive, ☎ +1 209 723-2163 (fax: +1 209 384-7272), .
- Courtyard Merced, 750 Motel Drive, ☎ +1 209 725-1221 (fax: +1 209 725-1222), .
- Days Inn Merced, 1199 Motel Drive, ☎ 209-722-2726, .
- Comfort Inn, 730 Motel Drive, ☎ +1 209 383-0333, .
- Motel 6 Merced North, 1410 V Street, ☎ +1 209 384-2181 (fax: +1 209 722-2152), .
- HI-Merced Home Hostel, +1 209 725-0407.
- Vagabond Inn Merced, 1215 R Street, Merced, CA 95340, ☎ 209-722-2738, . checkin: 2:00 PM; checkout: 11:00AM. Vagabond Inn Merced offers business leisure friendly rooms, complimentary continental breakfast, satellite TV, pet friendly rooms, free WiFi, and other services.
- Yosemite is less than two hours east along State Route 140 by car.