Area Attractions

Ideally placed in Downtown Merced, El Capitan Hotel is your home base for easy trips to Mainzer, Merced National Wildlife Refuge, Bobby’s Market, UC Merced — even Yosemite National Park. Housed in a historic building on Main Street, this destination hotel offers a unique place to take in the fresh vibes of the valley.

El Capitan Hotel

609 W Main Street
Merced, California, United States, 95340



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Courtyard Lifestyle
Mainzer Gameroom Scramble
Native Son Tomato Soup

Weekly Drink Special

Every week our talented baristas and mixologists create special drinks at Native Son. Locals tip: Don’t forget to ask for the off-menu items


At our Mainzer theater we offer weekly movie, live entertainment, sports, games and so much more. Check out what’s new at The Mainzer. Locals tip: don’t miss the brisket nachos— they’re unforgettable.

Fitness Unbounded

Guests have access to our 24-hour gym featuring Peloton® bikes and virtual fitness classes with world-class trainers. Join one today. Locals tip: Try the lower body stretch machine, great for post-flight stretching.

Local Art Exhibit

Throughout our hotel you’ll find art from both local and global artists alike, every piece curated with you in mind. The art featured in Native Son is rotating and offers something special monthly. Locals tip: Ask the front desk for the art map and book (yours to keep) and take a self-guided tour of our hotel art.


Mainzer Cinema Seating
Mainzer Gameroom
Mainzer Theater Table Seating

Castle Air Museum

This well-known collection of vintage military aircraft, wartime memorabilia, and personal artifacts is a must-see for aviation and history buffs. The museum showcases the evolution of aircraft and aviation history using close to 25 acres of land, and is named after Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle.

Downtown Merced

Surrounded by popular shops, entertainment, and shopping, the downtown is the centerpiece of the city. Find places like Bella Luna Bistro, Toni’s Courtyard Café, the historic Merced Theatre, or Mainzer Theater with its award-wining architecture all near or along bustling Main Street.

Multicultural Art Center

Created in 1978, the Merced Multicultural Arts Center originally operated from an office on Main Street. Today the 28,000 square-foot Center is a modern and vibrant, three-story multipurpose arts facility providing support for world-class performances, arts education, training, tours, galleries, and so much more.

The Merced Theatre

The landmark theatre hosts symphonies, theatrical productions, and modern bands, like the Killer Queens in an 1,165-seat theater built in 1931. The self-supporting center is a hometown treasure providing entertainment for the city and Central Valley.

Yosemite National Park

Famed for its giant, ancient sequoia trees, stunning cliff height views and fire waterfalls— the park is one of our country’s national treasures. Located an hour and half by car, it’s a beautiful drive from El Capitan Hotel. Locals tip: Start your drive from the hotel at dawn. The drive is stunning while the sun rises and you’ll beat the crowds.

Sequoia National Park

Known for its huge sequoia trees and the Giant Forest, this park also has underground crystal caves featuring streams and stunning rock formations. Just a two-hour drive away makes El Capitan the perfect home base for your adventure. Locals tip: Be sure to check out the General Sherman Tree — the largest in the Giant Forest.

The Blossom Trail

Catch it while you can a finely curated map of the local farms, farm stands and wineries. If caught at the right time of year, you can enjoy the splendor of the almond blossoms. Locals tip: Ask for a self-guided tour map at the front desk.

Merced National Wildlife Refuge

The refuge spans 10,258 acres of wetlands, grasslands, vernal pools, and riparian areas. Established in 1951 as a wildlife and habitat reserve, the area features egrets, herons, cormorants and many species of raptors. Locals tip: Don’t miss the elk in October.

Playhouse Merced

A Main Street legend, this community theater hosts live plays, workshops and classes for audiences and students of all ages. A visit to this Main Street mainstay is an excellent place to connect with Merced’s artist culture.


Bella Luna Bistro

Sit down to classic pappardelle Bolognese, spicy angel hair primavera, crab ravioli and other authentic takes on Italian food at this lunch and dinner mainstay.


Enjoy this lively neighborhood restaurant and bar where the menu boasts homemade pastas and Italian classics served with festive cocktails and a smile. Specialty dishes include Destino's steak dinner, cioppino, and mushroom agnolotti.

Five Ten Bistro

Visit this spot to get your meat fix on, just walking distance from the hotel. Try the filet mignon medallions, bistro burger, flat-iron steak or rack of lamb. Salmon and fish are available for the non-carnivores.


Unapologetically delicious food and craft cocktails pair with games, movies, and live music from local and regional artists. Check their website for events like chef-led culinary nights, insightful presentations, trivia or ping-pong night, and more.