Bucket List: 20 Best Places to Visit in Fresno, California, USA
Looking for things to do in Fresno? You’re in luck! This great city has plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly activity or something more adventurous, Fresno has it all.
Fresno City sits in the center of the San Joaquin Valley and was named after the ash trees lining the San Joaquin River. The city was formed in 1856, just after the California Gold Rush. The city has temperate weather that suits Fresno’s urban and outdoor activities. Fresno has an only-in-Fresno attraction, Forestiere Underground Gardens, that visitors can experience to hide from Central Valley’s hot summers. In the spring, the Blossom Trail drives tourists into the city to see the blooming fruit and nut trees.
This blog post will provide 6 fun suggestions for places to visit in Fresno. So put on your explorer’s hat and get ready to have some fun!
Things To Do In Fresno With Kids
If you’re looking for things to do in Fresno with kids, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The city is home to many family-friendly attractions, including the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and the Forestiere Underground Gardens. For something truly unique, your kids will love exploring the Meux Home Museum, where they can learn all about early 20th-century life in Fresno. If your family enjoys being outdoors, there are plenty of parks and hiking trails to explore, or you can head to the Sierra Nevada Mountains for a day of skiing or snowboarding. There’s also no shortage of kid-friendly restaurants in Fresno, so you can rest assured that everyone will find something to their taste. Fresno is the perfect destination for a family vacation with so much to see and do.
Fresno Chaffee Zoo
The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and has several exhibits to offer its visitors, such as African Adventure and Wilderness Falls. The zoo takes care of over 190 species of animals, 94 of which are part of the Species Survival Plan that focuses on breeding and protecting rare animals. Visitors can feed a giraffe, touch stingrays, and stand nose-to-nose with a sea lion. The zoo also hosts special activities, like summer camps for children, educational programs, and behind-the-scenes tours. Visitors can also visit the Roeding Park nearby, a public space with picnic areas and vast greenery, or the Rotary Storyland Playland Family Amusement Park, a children’s amusement park.
Location: 894 W Belmont Avenue, Fresno, CA 93728
Fun Activities In Fresno At Night
Fresno may not be known as a hotbed of nightlife, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do after the sun goes down. Frog Leap Winery offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights for those looking for a little excitement. Or, for something truly unique, check out Mingei International Museum’s “Nights at the Museum” events, which feature everything from dance performances to wine tastings. And, of course, no night out in Fresno would be complete without a visit to one of the city’s many excellent restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for Mexican food or fresh sushi, Fresno has something to offer everyone. So don’t let the city’s reputation fool you – there’s plenty to do in Fresno when the sun goes down.
Things To Do In Fresno For Free
Fresno is home to several great parks; visiting them is a great way to spend a day for free. Our favorites include Woodward Park, a large lake perfect for fishing or picnicking, and Roeding Park, a playground, an animal farm, and various sports facilities.
Indoor Activities In Fresno
If you’re looking for things to do in Fresno indoors, we suggest paying a visit to the Fresno Art Museum. This museum features rotating exhibitions of contemporary art and a permanent collection of more than 12,000 works of art. Admission is free on Sundays!
Outdoors Activities in Fresno
There are plenty of outdoor things to do in Fresno, thanks to the city’s great weather! For those looking for a little adventure, we suggest hiking or biking through one of Fresno’s many trails. Or, if you’re looking to relax, you can enjoy a day at one of Fresno’s many parks or pools.
Things To Do In Fresno On A Budget
There are plenty of things to do in Fresno on a budget! One great option is to visit the Forestiere Underground Gardens. An Italian immigrant created this unique attraction over the course of 40 years, and it features underground rooms and courtyards adorned with plants and flowers.
The Forestiere Underground Gardens is a California Historical Landmark that was constructed in the 1900s by the Sicilian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere. Forestiere created a labyrinth of patios, passageways, and planters for several trees. Visitors can take a guided tour of the underground garden and learn about the methods used by Forestiere, the original trees he planted, and the catacomb-inspired architecture design. The Forestiere Underground Gardens is a feat of human engineering and a great escape from California’s hot and dry climate.
Admission is only $12 for adults and $11 for seniors 65+. Another great option for those on a budget is to visit the Fresno Chaffee Zoo on a weekday when admission is only $12 for adults and $11 for seniors 65+.
Location: 5021 W Shaw Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is one of the best ways to spend a weekend in Fresno. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the national park meets millions of visitors annually and occupies more than 700,000 acres of land. The multiple hiking trails, breathtaking waterfalls, and natural granite cliffs attract outdoor enthusiasts.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks have giant sequoia trees, diverse wildlife, and rugged foothills. It is the premier outdoor destination for rock climbing, hiking, and camping. The parks are every nature lover’s dream escape for a relaxing or challenging adventure. The outdoor destination has multiple hiking trails for hikers of all levels. One of the most popular activities is hiking the route to Moro Rock which gives hikers a panoramic view of California.
Woodward Park is the largest regional park in Fresno, occupying over 300 acres of land. The majority of this land was donated by a Fresno resident, Ralph Woodward, who wished that the park would be an oasis, a peaceful haven for the people who would visit the park. This wish was granted. Within the park grounds are an idyllic Japanese garden, an extensive bird sanctuary, pedestrian and bicycle trails, picnic areas, an exercise course, and a fenced dog park. There is also a BMX course, a disc golf course, and an annual Woodward Shakespeare Festival.
Location: 7775 N Friant Road, Fresno, CA 93720
Shinzen Friendship Garden
The Shinzen Friendship Garden, or the Shinzen Japanese Garden, is located in the northeast section of Woodward Park. The garden was created to honor Kochi, Japan, and promote cultural and educational awareness. Visitors can stroll through the landscaped pathways and cross the decorated bridge. The garden features a ceremonial teahouse, the Ume Grove filled with waterfalls and walking paths, the Double Moon Bridge that goes over a Koi Pond, and the Clark Bonsai Collection donated in 2015, where rotating potted trees are on display. A Toro Nagashi celebration is held in the garden annually, where floating lanterns decorate the garden.
Location: 114 W Audubon Drive, Fresno, CA 93720
Fresno County Blossom Trail
Every February and March, Fresno County explodes in the beautiful colors of orchard trees. The Blossom Trail is 70 miles of self-guided motorized/pedestrian trail that begins from the Simonian Farms, runs through the neighboring communities of Kingsburg, Clovis, Selma, and Reedley, and ends in the Kings River Winery.
Fresno County Blossom Trail Map (via visitfresnocounty.org/things-to-do/attractions/blossom-trail/)
Location: 2629 S Clovis Avenue, Fresno, CA 93725
Kearney Mansion Museum
The Kearney Mansion Museum is a museum that used to be the personal residence of the “Raisin King,” M. Theo Kearney, California’s agriculture pioneer. The museum covers 225 acres of parkland and is well-known for its French Renaissance design. Inside the museum are the original furnishings, art nouveau light fixtures, and Victorian-style fireplaces. Visitors can tour the mansion and visit the Ranch Kitchen/Museum Store.
Location: 7160 W Kearney Boulevard, Fresno, CA 93706
Meux Home Museum
The Meux Home Museum used to be the personal residence of Dr. Thomas Richard Meux, a medical physician and veteran of the Civil War. The 16-room Victorian Mansion was constructed in 1889 as a tribute to Gothic Victorian architecture. Visitors can take guided tours and look back in time to see artifacts and furnishings from the 1880s. The two-story mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Location: 1007 R Street, Fresno, CA 93707
Fresno Discovery Center
The Fresno Discovery Center is a science museum founded in 1954 that provides interactive and hands-on learning experiences. The museum occupies 5 acres of land and features outdoor attractions, like the Deutsch Cactus Garden, Miwok Indian houses, a historical barn, and a tortoise enclosure. The museum displays artifacts on various topics, like Native American history, natural science, electricity and magnets, paleontology, and space exploration. Children and adults can learn about botany, dinosaurs, and space through engaging and stimulating exhibits.
Location: 1937 N. Winery, Fresno, CA 93703
Rotary Storyland Playland Family Amusement Park
Rotary Storyland Playland first opened to the public in 1962 and started as a theme park for young children. After multiple renovations, the park reopened to the public and added several attractions. These include Fairytale Exhibits that take visitors through the worlds of Humpty Dumpty, Alice in Wonderland, and The Three Little Pigs. Other attractions are the Willis B. Kyle Express Train which takes visitors through castles and cottages, and the Daniel R. Martin Children’s Theater, where magicians and musicians perform.
Location: 890 W Belmont Avenue, Fresno, CA 93728
Oso de Oro Park
Oso do Oro Park is operated by the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District and covers 9 acres of land. The park is home to a wetland habitat and aquatic landscape that was engineered to serve as a stormwater retention reservoir. The park’s main attraction is the padded playground areas for toddlers and older children. The main appeal of the park is that it is wheelchair accessible, as the park was specifically designed to be accessible to the wheelchair-bound.
Location: 5550 N Forkner Avenue, Fresno, CA 93711
The Island Waterpark is located near the Forestiere Underground Gardens. This popular aquatic destination has pools, slides, play areas for children, and cabanas. The Island Waterpark also has solo-raft and family-raft attractions, as well as wave pools and a lazy river.
Location: 6099 W. Barstow Avenue, Fresno, CA 93723
Big Fresno Fair
The Big Fresno Fair is Central Valley’s largest annual event, with carnivals for children and adults, horse racing, multiple stalls of fair food, and concerts, along with the Big Fresno Fair Museum and the Fresno County Historical Museum. The event takes place every October for two weeks and attracts more than 600,000 local residents and visitors. The Big Fresno Fair reflects the county’s agricultural heritage and farming livelihood. The Agricultural Building boasts fresh produce from the neighboring cities, and the Livestock Pavilion lets visitors meet farm animals up close.
Location: 1121 S Chance Ave, Fresno, CA 93702
Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company
The Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company was founded in 2007 and has since produced world-class beers. Each craft beer, created by award-winning brewmaster Kevin Cox, reflects the culture of Southern Sierras and regularly rotates its beer selection. The beer company has been raising awareness about preserving and conserving the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, located between the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park. The Tioga-Sequoia has a Beer Garden that features live concerts, art shows, and food truck festivals.
Location: 745 Fulton Street, Fresno, CA 93721
How to get there
The busiest months in Fresno are from June through August and October and December when festivals are held. Visitors can take the bus or train to enter Fresno. Tufeso Bus has routes bound for Fresno, and Amtrak Train has railroad services to Fresno. To get around the metropolitan, the City of Fresno’s Transportation Department provides a fixed-route bus via the Fresno Area Express and Handy Ride Paratransit Service.
There are plenty of things to do in Fresno, no matter your interests! We hope our list has given you some ideas for things to do in this great city. So, get out there and explore Fresno! You’re sure to have a great time. Thanks for reading!
Do you have any other suggestions for activities to do in Fresno? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out our blog for more lists of things to do in cities worldwide. Happy exploring!
Our Top Hotel Picks for Fresno CA
Fresno CA Travel and Tour Packages
Check out our list of cheap Fresno, CA hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.
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