Things To Do and Events in Fresno
Named for the ash trees lining the San Joaquin River, Fresno is near the geographical center of California. It lies approximately 220 miles north of Los Angeles, 170 miles south of the state capital, Sacramento, and 185 miles southeast of San Francisco. Most visitors use it as base for the nearby natural wonders in the California hills. Yosemite National Park is about 60 miles to the north, Kings Canyon National Park is 60 miles to the east, and Sequoia National Park is 75 miles to the southeast.
But Fresno is far more than a Route 99 refreshment stop! With a population of over 500,000 we are a thriving city but it shouldn’t be a surprise that there’s a strong nature theme when looking at things to do!
Top Tourist Locations for Families in Fresno
Fresno Chaffee Zoo is the third largest zoo in California. Beautifully managed with a wide range of animals and educational programs, the animal enclosures are carefully designed to replicate their natural habitats. You’ll see giraffes, meerkats, cheetahs and lemurs and much, much more. And it’s not just for kids! The Zoo also hosts the “Roar and pour” spring beer festival, and wine tasting events with the zoo’s own Conservation wines
Forestiere Underground Gardens https://goo.gl/maps/g3AeVkdaAxw is a beautiful Fresno treasure. It was originally built in the early 1900s as the home for Italian born self-taught artist/builder Baldassare Forestiere. Remembering the Roman catacombs of his native Sicily and using only shovels, picks and other hand tools, Baldassare was inspired to excavate an underground home for forty years, going as deep as 25 feet underground and spanning over 10 acres. He even grew fruit trees and grapevines underground!
Shinzen Friendship Garden in Woodward Park is a traditional Japanese style park. The Garden was constructed to honor Fresno’s Sister City, Kochi in Japan. The beauty, grace and calmness of Japanese design is present in the use of varied plant material, rocks and stones, and water throughout the five acre garden. And of course there’s a teahouse & a koi pond! The garden is designed around the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. It’s an ideal place to get away from it all without leaving the city!
But it’s not just the outdoors! Fresno also has a rich cultural history worth exploring.
Fresno Art Museum https://goo.gl/maps/uG4qGTvBsyw is the place to start! With a permanent collection of over 3,600 pieces or art with a focus on modern American, Pre-Columbian works from Mesoamerica and the Andes, and modern and folk art of Mexican origin. The collection includes Ansel Adams, Salvador Dali, Robert Ogata, Pablo Picasso, Diego Riviera, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and much more.
Arte Américas is a thriving Fresno cultural centre celebrating Contemporary Arts in Mexico, Latin America, the Southwest, and California. With three galleries and over 10,000 square feet of exhibition space there’s always something going on!
Meux Home Museum https://goo.gl/maps/Pjxao6DnQP12 is a perfectly preserved Victorian home. Dr Thomas Richard Meux’ 16-room Victorian mansion was built in 1888 and has been immaculately restored to its Victorian glory. An amazing reminder of the California’s gothic past!
In a similar vein, you will enjoy a visit to the Kearney Mansion Museum . The main building was originally part of the huge ranch estate run by M. Theo Kearney, who was once known as the Raisin King. After the impressive palm lined drive, a guided tour will tell you all about Kearney’s life and times and South California’s development in the 19th Century.
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