Nestled in California's Central Valley, Merced enjoys an idyllic climate and beautiful natural surroundings. The county seat of Merced County, the city is often dubbed the Gateway to Yosemite due to the access it offers to the nearby national park.
People looking for apartments for rent in Merced will love the outdoor options the city has to offer, but they will also find a lively, modern community with a growing student population.
Established in 1872, Merced has long been an agricultural hub. Fertile land and a great climate have made the region one the country's most productive farming hubs, and a convenient location between several of California's major cities has only helped the area grow. While crop production provided a source of livelihood for local residents, the arrival of the Central Pacific Railroad in town connected Merced to the wider northern California area. Once the home of Castle Rock Air Force Base, Merced maintains a high-tech focus, particularly with the recent opening of University of California, Merced, which drives area innovation.
Home to around 80,000 residents, Merced has been growing rapidly in recent years. Residents of Merced apartments will find a lively downtown with great shopping and entertainment, as well as expansive natural scenery and outdoor recreation both nearby and farther afield.
Home to UC Merced, the 10th campus in the University of California system and the first new American research university built in the 21st century, Merced is growing as a university community. Local students can also study at Merced College or head to WestMed College for nursing programs, while Cal State Stanislaus and Cal State Fresno both offer great education a short drive away.
As the county seat, Merced's principal employer is the County of Merced. Government, education and healthcare account for many local jobs, with UC Merced, Merced College and Mercy Medical Center serving as major employers. Home to a growing range of tech companies, Merced's business community includes a major QuadGraphics printing facility and the California offices of Malibu Boats, which was started locally.
The majority of Merced residents are renters, and a large rental stock keeps prices affordable. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed the median gross rent from 2008 to 2010 was $757, while additional research found one bedroom apartments renting for $425-$900 per month.
With access to Yosemite by bus or car along historic Highway 140, Merced is a great jumping-off point for outdoor adventure. The world-renowned national park provides endless opportunity for outdoor sports like rock climbing, hiking, rafting and skiing. Many more outdoor activities are right in Merced's backyard, too, with scenic wetlands, wildlife preserves and a number of lakes just minutes away. The local park system includes great facilities for walking, biking and more, as well as the Applegate Park Zoo, where residents of all ages can check out local fauna. Golfers can enjoy a number of area courses.
Downtown Merced is home to a number of major annual events that include a major cycling race, music festivals, aviation history events and the Merced Shakespearefest. Many other cultural draws, such as the Merced Theater, the Merced Symphony Orchestra, Playhouse Merced and the Multicultural Arts Center keep the local art scene humming along. Residents can head out to the Castle Air Museum, which celebrates aviation history with vintage aircraft on display, as well as check out great local shopping and dining options.
If you are looking for an apartment for rent or a house rental in Merced, Calif. search for rental properties at Rent.com®.