|Round-trip from||$318||From Las Vegas to Merced|
LAS - MCE
$150 - $771
55.4 - 96.8 °F
0 - 1.18 inches
Killeen is a city in central California, located in the San Joaquin Valley. It’s the county seat of Merced County, home to the University of California, Merced; the first research university built in the United States in the 21st Century.
Merced is known as the “Gateway to Yosemite”, as it’s less than two hours from California’s world-famous Yosemite National Park. The city is 45 miles from Fresno, 110 miles from Sacramento, the state capital, 130 miles from San Francisco and 270 miles from Los Angeles.
Merced has a very small airport, the Merced Regional Airport. The airport is served by one airline, Boutique Air. Boutique Air connects with flights out of Sacramento International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport; both airports offer connecting flights into Merced Regional.
Flight lengths to Merced Regional Airport vary greatly, especially if connecting flights are needed.
Flights from California departure cities are plentiful, but also vary greatly. Sacramento flights can take just over a half an hour via Boutique Air to five hours with a connecting flight. Flights out of Sacramento can exceed 15 hours if two connecting flights are necessary; layovers are also common, which can dramatically increase flight lengths.
Flights from San Diego require at least one stop and average just under five hours; flights out of Los Angeles can take anywhere from 90 minutes to over 16 hours if a connecting flight is necessary.
Flight lengths outside California generally take longer. Flights from Phoenix to Merced average around 5h 30m. Flight lengths from Las Vegas can take six hours, but most flight lengths are just over seven hours. Seattle flights can take just over four hours, but most require at least one layover, which increases flight lengths from over 15 hours to 22h 29m.
Most flights out of Dallas-Fort Worth take between 6h 37m and 7h 32m. Houston flights average around 7h 30m; El Paso flight lengths are slightly shorter, taking as little as 5h 49m, but frequently require two connecting flights.
As you move further east, flight lengths increase proportionately. Chicago flights take between 8h 15m minutes to just over nine hours. Atlanta flights take around 10 hours; both cities require at least one connecting flight at Los Angeles International Airport. Detroit flight times are similar to Atlanta, with most averaging from 9h 22m to 10h 56m; all Detroit flights require two connecting flights.
Northeastern East Coast departure cities generally take the longest. Boston flight lengths vary from just over 10 hours to 14h 40m; New York flight lengths are a little shorter, averaging from just over nine hours to just under 12 hours.
Direct flights into Merced are only available from Sacramento International and Los Angeles International Airports.
The easiest way to get from the Merced Regional Airport to downtown Merced is by car.
The airport is close to the heart of the city, and takes just 10 minutes by car. The airport doesn’t have any onsite car rental kiosks, but taxi service is available curbside from Merced Taxicab Company and City Express. Rideshare apps, including Uber and Lyft, are popular ways to get around; travelers need to have the apps installed on their smartphones to access these services.
The Merced County Bus Transit system features bus lines that service the airport; Merced also features an Amtrak station and a Greyhound bus terminal, for easy transportation to the surrounding areas.
Merced features a vast and beautiful wildlife preserve, the Merced National Wildlife Refuge. It covers over 10,000 acres, featuring wetlands, grasslands and dozens of hiking trails. Lake Yosemite, a man-made reservoir, is a popular fishing and boating destination, set against the beautiful Sierra Foothills. Henderson Park, intersected by the Merced River, is another fantastic place for fishing, hiking, horseshoeing and picnicking.
The city is home to multiple museums, including the Merced County Courthouse Museum (listed on the National Register of Historic Places), the Merced Multicultural Art Centre, the Merced Agriculture Museum, the Castle Science and Technology Centre and the Castle Air Museum, located in nearby Atwater.
Applegate Zoo is a rescue center featuring animals native to California; visitors can observe bears, cougars, coyotes, giant condors and more.
Merced also features a wealth of interesting shopping and gourmet wine and cheese-tasting opportunities. The Merced Fruit Barn makes some of the best dried fruits in California and features farmer’s market-fresh produce; it also features a striking array of exotic animals, including a ginger tomcat, llamas, macaws, and peacocks.
The Merced Antique Mall features over 40 different dealers, with something fascinating for almost everyone. Vista Ranch and Cellars feature fantastic local wines and an onsite tasting room. The Hillmar Cheese Company, the world’s largest single-site cheese manufacturer, is also in Merced, offering factory tours and ample tasting opportunities.
Passports are not necessary for any flights within the United States. U.S. citizens only need a photo ID, typically a state-issued driver’s license, to board commercial flights.