Last Updated on: 8th February 2024, 11:11 am

Santa Nella, a sunny census-designated place in central California, is an under-the-radar village that’s come a long way since its pioneering roots. Established initially as a ranch for raising horses and what was once nothing more than a singular, one-story adobe, moving to Santa Nella CA is now an enticing idea! This quaint village in Merced County boasts a rich history and community-centric spirit that curates a peaceful living environment for those seeking a quiet lifestyle and slower pace.

From the renowned Pea Soup Andersen’s restaurant, a beloved stopover along Interstate 5, to all the best things to do, welcome to your ultimate guide to living in Santa Nella California!

Where Is Santa Nella?

You can picture central California, but where is Santa Nella CA?

Santa Nella is a hidden gem in the heart of the Central Valley of California, tucked into the majorly agricultural Merced County. Located east of Interstate-5 off exit 407, the unique location of Santa Nella CA combines accessibility to nearby cities with scenic beauty.

Since it’s not part of a major metro, how far is Santa Nella California from larger cities? Santa Nella to Los Banos is just 12.2 miles away, Santa Nella to San Jose is 72.7 miles, Santa Nella to Fresno is 83 miles, and Santa Nella to Palm Springs is a longer 378-mile drive south.

The San Luis Reservoir and the O’Neill Forebay are minutes away to Santa Nella’s west, providing ample fishing and recreation opportunities, and other surrounding land is primarily fertile farmland.

Santa Nella Population & Demographics

The Santa Nella population is just 2,211 happy residents as of the 2020 Census, one of the smallest populations in California, so expect to get to know others living in Santa Nella Village CA by name!

Encompassing a land area of 4.7 square miles, this CDP has about 470 people per square mile, so it’s spread out and suburban. A majority (63%) of people living in Santa Nella own their homes, while the remainder rent. Notable to Santa Nella’s demographics is the median household income of $84,812.

Although that’s slightly less than the California average of $91,905, it’s 31.1% higher than the average household income in Merced County! In terms of individual incomes, Santa Nella boasts the 3rd highest average in Merced County at $31,143/year.

Additional Santa Nella Demographics:

  • Sex ratio: 42.61% women & 57.39% men
  • Median age: 35.2 years
  • Racial & ethnic composition: 49.34% White alone, 0.00% Black/African American, 3.0% American Indian/Alaska Native, 9.57% Asian alone, 66.42% Hispanic/Latino
  • Santa Nella median household income: $84,812/year
  • Education: As of 2021, 419 Santa Nella residents have a high school diploma, while 120 have attained a bachelor’s degree.
  • Foreign-born population: 32%

Is Santa Nella California Safe?

Yes, moving to Santa Nella CA places you in a very safe living environment! The crime rate in Santa Nella is very low, a comforting 34% below the national average, while violent crimes are 27% below.

In Santa Nella Village CA, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, led by Sheriff Vernon H. Warnke and located at 700 W 22nd St, Merced, CA 95340, is responsible for maintaining law and order.

Things to Do in Santa Nella

Although Santa Nella CA is small, this sunny CDP is a haven for those seeking a nice mix of tranquility and adventure, part of why moving to Santa Nella is so enticing. For shopping needs, Santa Nella is home to convenient spots like the Santa Nella Village Shopping Center, where one can find a range of stores and local businesses.

A few of the other best things to do in Santa Nella include:

San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery

The San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery is a landmark site in Santa Nella CA, and a perfect place to pay respects to our nation’s veterans. This dignified cemetery will curate a peaceful and reflective experience while honoring the service and sacrifice of veterans, a meaningful visit for history enthusiasts and patriots alike.

32053 W McCabe Rd, Santa Nella, CA 95322 | (209) 854-1040

Santa Nella Reservoir State Recreation Area

The Santa Nella Reservoir is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts living or visiting in Santa Nella, offering up a plethora of activities like fishing, kiteboarding, boating, and kayaking! This picturesque spot is perfect for a family outing or a quiet day in nature, offering an ideal location for picnics in the sun and a lovely day spent outside.


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31426 Gonzaga Rd, Gustine, CA 95322 | (209-826-1196)

Camping at the Mediros Primitive Campground Santa Nella

The area’s natural beauty provides a perfect backdrop for a camping adventure, and whether it’s for a family trip or a solo escape into nature, there’s a top-tier Santa Nella campground nearby. A local favorite for primitive Santa Nella camping, which means tent-only, is the Medeiros Campground, while other options (including RV) nearby include:

Gustine, CA 95322 | 209-826-1197 (California State Parks Phone Number)

Additional Attractions in Santa Nella:

The Merced County Parks and Recreation Department manages the surrounding natural attractions and maintains their beautiful allure. Although it’s a small village, the close-knit community and beautiful outdoors ensure there’s always something to do in Santa Nella, regardless of your age or hobbies!

Santa Nella Restaurants

Explore the diverse flavors of this village at some of the best Santa Nella restaurants. Discover the culinary gems that make Santa Nella CA restaurants a must-visit for food lovers.

Pea Soup Andersen’s Santa Nella CA:

Experience the iconic Andersen’s Pea Soup in Santa Nella CA, a beloved local favorite known for its delicious pea soup and cozy atmosphere.


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12411 CA-33, Santa Nella, CA 95322 (209-826-1685)

The Kitchen Santa Nella CA: 

The Kitchen in Santa Nella CA offers a delightful fine dining experience, serving up locally sourced dishes with a new chef-curated menu each week that embodies the essence of food in Santa Nella CA!

13070 CA-33, Santa Nella, CA 95322 (209-829-7506)

Taste of India Santa Nella CA: 

Taste of India Santa Nella CA stands out as a premier Indian restaurant, offering authentic flavors and traditional dishes.

13289 CA-33, Santa Nella, CA 95322 (209-895-0213)

Average Rent & Homes for Sale in Santa Nella CA

Santa Nella real estate is unique, with 63% of owner-occupied homes, and there are often not many apartments for rent in Santa Nella CA. The cost of apartments or houses for rent in Santa Nella CA varies broadly, ranging from $900 to $2000+, often similar to nearby Los Banos’ average rent of $1,515/month.

The median price of houses for sale in Santa Nella CA is $566K, down 3.8% over the year, at $194/square foot. This market offers a blend of single-family homes, with price points of homes in Santa Nella 38.47% higher than the national median.

Jobs in Santa Nella CA

Jobs in Santa Nella CA are diverse, with a strong presence in hospitality, retail, roadside services, and agriculture, contributing to the average income of $31,875/year.

Employment opportunities for those moving to Santa Nella range from farming and agricultural management to roles in local businesses. A few major employers in and near Santa Nella include:

  • The County of Merced
  • Merced County School District
  • Foster Farms
  • Hilmar Cheese Co. Inc

As well as the available Santa Nella jobs on Indeed, many residents opt to commute to nearby cities for additional opportunities!

Santa Nella CA Schools

Schools in Santa Nella CA fall under the management of the Gustine Unified School District, providing quality education to the local community. Nearby schools include Gustine Elementary, Romero Elementary, and Gustine High School, each offering a range of academic and extracurricular programs.

Higher education opportunities are accessible from Santa Nella, with several colleges and universities located within a reasonable driving distance. Notable institutions include Merced College and California State University, Stanislaus, both offering a wide array of undergraduate and graduate programs.


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Santa Nella Statistics & Information

  • Santa Nella CA County: Merced
  • Area: 4.683 square miles
  • Santa Nella CA zip code: 95322
  • Santa Nella CA area code: 209
  • Elevation: 154 ft
  • Time zone: Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
  • Closest airport to Santa Nella CA: The Merced Airport (MCE) about 30.8 miles from Santa Nella.

Santa Nella California Map

Explore all the things to do, places to shop, and amazing restaurants with this interactive Santa Nella CA map.

Santa Nella is inviting and welcoming, to say the least. If you’re planning on moving to this mellow-paced village in Central California, trust Southbay Moving Systems to get you there with ease and no stress. Call the best Santa Nella Movers at 831-786-5537 for a free estimate and to discover our superlative service and top-rated customer service!