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On the road to Yosemite, America’s Wonderland, Merced is surrounded by spectacular natural landscapes, lakes and wildlife wetlands. Home to off-the-beaten-path discoveries, the historic Main Street is dotted with cafés, vintage shops, book stores, and theaters. Under 90 minutes from Northern California’s most sought after travel destinations - Yosemite National Park, Monterey Bay, the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean.

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Events at Mainzer

  • Since we opened, our dedication to the Central Valley's local music, art, and food community has been represented with events like wine dinners at Rainbird, drag shows at Mainzer, and everything in between. Take a look at our upcoming roster of events + fun happenings on property.
  • Full Calendar Here


  • Some of our current faves:
  • Restored Thrift | 240 W Main St
  • Asia Verde Plant Shop | 950 W Main St
  • LunaStar Boutique | 1719 N Street
  • Modern Living Home Goods | 1733 Canal St.
  • Second Time Around Used Books | 524 W Main St.
  • Hi-Fi Wine | 629 W Main St.
  • Tigers & Daggers Records | 438 W Main St.
  • The Mainzer Theatre | 655 W Main St.
  • Branding Iron | 640 W 16th St


  • Explore all the Central Valley has to offer:
  • Merced Multicultural Art Center...0.1 MI
  • Playhouse Merced...0.1 MI
  • The Merced Theatre...0.5 MI
  • Vista Ranch...7.6 MI
  • Merced National Wildlife Refuge.....30.2 MI
  • The Blossom Trail...71 MI
  • Yosemite National Park...81 MI
  • Calaveras Big Trees State Park...86 MI
  • Sequoia National Park...132 MI
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  • To support our community, we partner with beloved local small businesses, vendors and individuals to bring you the best of the California Central Valley. El Capitan is committed to ensure we make a meaningful impact in our community through local partnerships, diverse events, and most importantly our inspiring team.

  • 'Always do what is right. It will gratify most of the people, and astound the rest.' MARK TWAIN



Our community partnerships:



Our local producers:

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Historic Boutique Hotels That Make Highway 99 a Destination All Its Own

  • The original El Capitan hotel was built in 1872 on 16th and N Street, but it was torn down to make way for a new railroad station in 1900 and rebuilt at its current location on Main and M Streets in 1912. The new El Capitan, which opened in 2021, incorporates new construction and a historically preserved annex wing reconstructed in 1936 following a fire...

Merced is getting a second Roaring ’20s as Bay Area travelers head east

Designed by architect Edward T. Foulkes, whose resume includes the grand Oakland Tribune office tower in downtown Oakland, El Capitan was a favorite in the 1920s of Mary Pickford, America’s sweetheart of the silent film era, and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks. Originally built in 1872, El Capitan was scooped up by the Austin-based hotel group New Waterloo this year...

Hey, Weekend: Merced—gateway to Yosemite

Much of the buzz surrounding Merced is squarely focused on the renovated El Capitan Hotel and its signature eatery Rainbird. The beautiful melding of a lovingly restored, historic hotel and modern addition, the El Capitan now boasts 114 rooms, including 12 suites. The rooms pay homage to nearby star attraction Yosemite with camp-chic style, earthy tones and local charm...

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