The lively city of Fresno, California is nestled in the San Joaquin Valley. Famous for its agriculture, fresh produce, and entertainment scene, the city is truly unlike any other. In addition to its wide variety of shopping, dining, and culture, Fresno is located a little more than an hour from some of the country’s greatest natural attractions. Here are the best things to see when traveling in Fresno, CA:
Forestiere Underground Gardens
With a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, Forestiere Underground Gardens in Fresno is truly a unique and special place. Decorated with unique assets such as underground rooms, courtyards, fruit trees, and more, Forestiere is a tourist-centric, historical location.
The best way to see Forestiere is with a guided tour. This unique experience will take you through mysterious passageways and carved tunnels created by Baldassare Forestiere over the course of forty years. You’ll observe a series of underground living spaces as well as 100-year-old fruit trees blossoming below ground.
Fresno Blossom Trail
There aren’t many places in California like the Fresno Blossom Trail. While many tourists assume the park consists of plants and flowers, there’s much more to see here. The Blossom Trail produces organic fruits and nuts, almond orchards, apples, lemons, apricots, and more. However, the trail is only in bloom for a few weeks out of the year which is highly dependent on the weather.
The Fresno Blossom Trail is also a fantastic spot for photo opportunities. So if you’re into travel or landscape photography, stop here for some shots while it’s still in season! Another plus is that the trail is surrounded by wineries and charming farmer’s markets such as Cedar View Winery and Simonian Farms Farmer’s Market.
The Millerton Lake State Recreation Area includes a peaceful and picturesque lake along with 4,900 surface acres. Millerton is reputable for its outdoor recreation including swimming, fishing, waterskiing, and boating. Mountain bikers, horseback riders, and hikers also all use the numerous routes that surround the lake. You can access Millerton Lake about 20 miles northeast of Fresno via Highway 41 and Highway 145, making it the perfect escape without having to travel too far.
Fresno’s River Park Shopping Center
The minute that you enter River Park Shopping Center, you’ll notice it’s palm-lined streets, upscale shops, and trendy restaurants. Featuring more than 75 shops, the park is split up into three main areas. The Shops at River Park offers shopping, a movie theater and some restaurants. The Marketplace at River Park includes various big box stores, and River Park Plaza is where the restaurants and bars are at. The shopping center also regularly hosts events such as live music, festivals, farmer’s markets, and more.
As San Joaquin Valley largest cultural center representing Latino heritage, Arte Americas is the perfect place for those seeking cultural education. Established in 1987, Arte Americas has grown into a 10,000 square foot center that includes exhibits, art, and other work from Latino creators.
Yosemite National Park
About an hour drive from Fresno, Yosemite is a gem of California that can’t be missed. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite’s natural wonders are incredible. The park is famous for its glistening waterfalls, sky-scraping granite monoliths, vast valleys and giant ancient sequoias.
A hub for tourists, climbers, and backpackers from all over the globe, Yosemite is packed full of serene hiking trails and alluring views of the diverse landscape. There are several peak attractions that the park offers, such as The Yosemite Valley – a mile-wide, 7-mile-long canyon consisting of gaping granite walls and cascading waterfalls. The Valley is the most popular route at Yosemite, but there is plenty more to see here!
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
Mighty mountains, deep canyons, mysterious caverns, and more – Sequoia National Park is the place to go for some jaw-dropping views and a little bit of adventure. This national park employs some of the world’s largest trees and represents the diversity of landscapes. These giant trees are unlike anything else. In fact, the tallest tree at Sequoia is nearly 275 feet tall!
Not too far from Sequoia, you can spot Kings Canyon National Park. The two attractions are neighbors to each other located a little more than an hour from Fresno. Kings Canyon is one of the most majestic destinations on the West Coast. Here, you can see miles and miles of tall peaks, alpine forestry, and more. Visit Kings Canyon on one of California’s bright, sunny days, and you’ll experience true bliss.