Los Banos is calling! Discover its food, entertainment, opera, and more.

Perched on the edge of one of California’s most significant wetland reserves, Los Banos is an excellent place to establish a home base as you explore the Californian desert. Enjoy the rich atmosphere of this small city of 35,000 residents. Mexican migrants originally settled Los Banos in 1840 and a large percentage of the town’s population remains Hispanic.

The town’s name translates to “the baths,” referring to the spring that feeds into the surrounding wetlands and the San Joaquin Valley. Visit the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge to see fowl and other game in their natural habitat.

Los Banos has a desert climate. If you’re hiking or enjoying other outdoor activities, be aware that temperatures are dry and hot during the day and can become incredibly cold once the sun goes down. Drive south to reach the San Joaquin Valley where you can hike and visit the river gorge.

Head back to Los Banos to explore the city streets. Many historic buildings date back to the early settlement years, when Los Banos was part of the “Wild West.”

Mexican, Basque and Portuguese communities host a number of lively festivals throughout the year, including the May Day Fair at the beginning of the month. With its large Mexican population, Los Banos is a great place to sample traditional Mexicali cuisine. Pick up a hearty burrito or a plate of tacos, coupled with a tropical-flavored soda or ice-cold beer.

While you can drive to Los Banos from major Californian cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, a regional airport also serves the city. Once you arrive, rent a car for the freedom to explore the natural landscape surrounding the city. Find accommodation in downtown Los Banos, close to many local restaurants and cafés.

Known for

Dining, Shopping and Family-Friendly

Top Hotels in Los Banos

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Hotel Mission de Oro
Hotel Mission de Oro
3 out of 5
13070 S Hwy 33, Santa Nella, CA
$119
per night
Sep 28 - Sep 29
4/5Very Good! (641 reviews)

"Under construction and still really nice and rooms are perfect"…"

Reviewed on Sep 15, 2019

Hotel Mission de Oro
Image for Motel 6 Santa Nella - Los Banos - Interstate 5
Motel 6 Santa Nella - Los Banos - Interstate 5
2 out of 5
12733 South Highway 33, Santa Nella, CA
$44
per night
Oct 20 - Oct 21
3.7/5Good! (373 reviews)

"Very friendly staff and the room was very nice and clean"…"

Reviewed on Sep 4, 2019

Motel 6 Santa Nella - Los Banos - Interstate 5
Image for Days Inn Merced / Yosemite Area
Days Inn Merced / Yosemite Area
2.5 out of 5
1215 R St., Merced, CA
$63
per night
Oct 13 - Oct 14
4.1/5Very Good! (240 reviews)

"Good value. Breakfast in lobby was "good enough" but Denny's is next door if wanted more. Gas station across the street, easy access to highway. Internet was weak/spotty and even when strong signal seemed to be throttled. Rooms not overly quiet, upstairs were better."…"

Reviewed on Sep 17, 2019

Days Inn Merced / Yosemite Area

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