Situated amid the gorgeous San Joaquin Valley with the San Joaquin River flowing by- Fresno is the perfect amalgamation of some of the best tourist attractions. Also, Fresno is pretty close to popular places like Los Angeles and Yosemite which makes it all the more interesting. But, what are the top things that you must check out on your vacation to Fresno?
Do you want to have a beer in Fresno’s very own beer garden or watch some cute animals in the Fresno zoo? Are you interested in discovering some unique underground garden or watch some Shakespeare play in a nice ambiance? Well, here in Fresno you can do everything and so much more. Let us have a look at the top 15 things to do in Fresno now!
Stroll through the Underground Gardens
The Forestiere Underground Gardens is the most iconic place in Fresno. Situated near the downtown region- Underground Gardens will make you exclaim- ‘Can engineering attain this level? Or is it something made by the Gods?’ But, let me tell you- it was made by a Sicilian man almost a hundred years ago single-handedly!
When Baldassare Forestiere left everything to come to the States, his only dream was to become the biggest citrus farmer. So, he designed an entire garden that is filled with herbs, shrubs, and other varieties of trees right from the Mediterranean region. Now, it is a labyrinth that is filled with passageways and various trees open for the public to look and wonder about the brilliant architecture.
Make friends with the animals of Fresno Zoo
Fresno Chaffee Zoo is a really cool place to hang out with your family during this trip to Fresno. A lot of wild animals, birds, and mammals have made their way to this zoo. This zoo also has a special feature where it welcomes any unwanted animals from anywhere in the world.
There are a lot of animals here- even tigers and warthogs. But, the best part about this zoo is that you can meet the animals personally as they have certain programs, walking tours, and other events too. The zoo also hosts summer camps for children.
Relax at Roeding Park
Roeding Park is a massive area that contains the Fresno zoo within it. Apart from the zoo, there are several other places where you can just sit and relax in the greenery. Also, there are a lot of migratory birds here. There are a lot of picnic spots and even an amusement park. The amusement park is just like a dreamland for children and the adults enjoy it too.
Spend an evening walking around Downtown Fresno
Downtown Fresno is the hub of all the liveliness. However, if you want to try out a new restaurant or a pub- Downtown is the place to check out. It is the main attraction of the city and is filled with tourist spots. There are a lot of buildings in the downtown area that have great historical significance. The City Hall as well as Chukchansi Park are all located in the Downtown region.
Some of them were even built during the 1800s and were almost broken down during the World War. However, they have been replenished by the government and now stand straight. The Fresno Water Tower is of great importance to the city’s history. As you walk along the Downtown, you will see a lot of food stalls and food trucks lines up which serve delicious food. There are also a lot of bands playing live music in some areas. Overall, it is a nice area if you want to breathe in the essence of Fresno.
Catch a play at the Warnors Theatre
Warnors Theatre also happens to be the biggest theatre in all of California. Not only a theatre, but the Warnors also has some historical significance too. It was the first common space built for theatre purposes back in 1928, and the legacy continues to this day. The theatre can accommodate almost 2000 people all together. Apart from shows and musicals, you can also watch dramas or just a regular movie here.
Do try to catch a movie while you are in Fresno visiting this historical theatre. There are also other lounges where you can host a private party or an event in this historical setting.
Witness the magic of Woodward Park
Woodward Park is the biggest park in Fresno comprising an area of 300 acres. Situated in the northern portion of the city, the park is filled with green trees, fresh flowers, and several birds. It even has a Japanese garden right within it apart from several bird sanctuaries, hiking as well as biking trails.
There are also picnic areas where you can enjoy a picnic or bike around the cobblestoned streets. The Shinzen Friendship Garden is an authentic Japanese garden situated within the park where there are several Japanese sculptures located. During the summer, you can enjoy one of Shakespeare’s plays sitting in the grass.
Learn about Fresno history at Meux Home Museum
What was once someone’s home sweet home now serves as a museum open to the public for learning purposes. Dr. Thomas Richard Meux who also served as a veteran during the time of the Civil War came back home to Fresno and decided to build a mansion of his own.
This was the origin of what now stands as a massive mansion comprising 16 rooms, built entirely in the Victorian style. After his death, this was opened to the public and is now maintained by the city government as a museum. It provides several tours where you can learn about the past, and several fundraisers are held here too.
Spend a day in Yosemite National Park
You can’t be in Fresno without paying a visit to Yosemite for a day! Yosemite receives the maximum footfall of almost 3 million throughout the year. The place is as beautiful as you can imagine. Words won’t be enough to talk about its beauty as it is just one of those splendid gifts of nature.
With several waterfalls making the park look prettier, Yosemite also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spreading across a vast area of 747,956 acres, it extends to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The granite cliffs found at Yosemite are a natural wonder too. There are a lot of hiking as well as trekking trails where you can easily spend a day without realizing it.
Enjoy a beer at Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden
Are you a beer lover? Do you particularly enjoy craft beers? Fresno has some of the best local beers that you can enjoy while sitting in the middle of a garden.
A place that started serving in 2007, Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden grew up to be a lovable place. There is always music playing, a lot of food trucks are lined up so that you can pair your beer with your favorite snacks. Also, the backdrop of the place is quite mesmerizing too as it is set in the bosom of the Southern Sierra Mountains in the San Joaquin Valley. Not only is it famous among the people, but beer experts from different breweries have also praised Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden on many occasions.
Admire the art of Fresno Art Museum
The Fresno Art Museum had its origin from somewhere during the 1940s and is still going strong to date. It is filled with more than 3500 pieces of art and craft and houses many unique pieces from some of the most talented artists. Apart from paintings, there are a lot of sculptures too that are appealing to the eyes.
The Museum hosts many events every year. Tourists mainly flock to the museum during the times of such events. The museum is a pretty famous one and has been claimed to be one of the most diverse museums in all of the USA.
Go on a shopping spree at Riverpark
California means shopping! Here at Fresno, we have our very own paradise for shoppers, and that paradise goes by the name of Riverpark. Riverpark is a complex that is made up of 75 unique branded shops as well as boutiques.
You can shop till you drop, check out some unique crafts at random boutiques or just buy a souvenir for your friends and family. Tired of all the shopping? Try to have dinner at one of the many luxurious restaurants available. There is also a movie theater available in the shopping complex where you can catch a show on any one of the 21 screens available.
Feel the luxury at Moravia Wines
Are you more of a wine person? Did the beer not fill your heart with joy yet? We have some classy wine here in Fresno for you! There are few places where you can experience wine tasting, but Moravia Wines is an award-winning location. The place opened its doors back in 2021, but it kicked off in a couple of years and quickly became one of the major attractions in Fresno. Making great use of luscious grapes of the San Joaquin Valley, Moravia makes some of the most delicious wines you have ever tasted in your life It is open to locals and foreigners all week round and is available on the weekends too if you want to host a fabulous party along with the combination of the lovely wine.
Experience a spring amidst Fresno blossoms
Are you lucky enough to plan a Fresno trip during spring? If not, then try to time your next trip during the charming season when Fresno is all decorated by nature!
Spring is particularly colorful in Fresno, or should I say it’s rather pink? Fresno already has a variety of orchards on its southern end. But, when spring comes it is gifted with a Blossom trail. And, for us, it is a blessing as the Fresno Blossom Trail stretches for a good 62 miles. Imagine biking or just walking through a pink getaway. This path that indeed looks like a highway to heaven is available from late February to early March.
Catch a live game at Chukchansi Park
Are you a baseball fan? Want to watch a live game in one of the liveliest stadiums? Fresno has the solution for you. The Chukchansi Park is the home ground of the Fresno Grizzlies. Though they are a minor league, a lot of players from the Grizzlies have made it to the major league as well.
It is a lively stadium and is always filled with folks during a game. Cheer along with them and have a merry time. Also, did we mention the views of this stadium? Though the stadium overlooks the entire downtown, the main attraction is stolen away by the Sierra Mountains that are just beside the stadium.After a game, grab a bite to eat or a few beers at the infamous Phoenix Club.
Feel like a child again at the Fresno Fair
The Fresno Fair is a special fair that happens every year. It attracts hundreds and thousands of people each year as they flock to the fair. It takes place in the venue of the Central Valley and goes on for almost 2 weeks. Essentially the largest festival of Fresno, the Big Fresno Fair occurs in winter and stays through Christmas and New Year’s eve too.
There are a huge number of attractions that go on at this fair. The main points of interest are different unique live shows, live music plays, races. It has several programs that teach locals as well as foreigners about the history and agriculture of Fresno. Also, it earns a lot from the ticket fare- a part of which goes to the city’s revenue system. Overall, it is a fun way to spend an evening if you are there during the winters.
We, hereby, end our refreshing tour to Fresno, California. If you are planning a Fresno trip during the weekend, try not to miss out on any of these activities. Of course, there are special attractions added to the already existing ones during the winter or spring. But, a visit to the zoo, underground gardens, and the theatre is a must-visit no matter when you visit the place. Fresno is a place that has at least something to do for people of all ages.