The Central Valley’s largest city makes for a surprisingly lively getaway. Seven stadiums and a pair of arenas satisfy sporty types, and an annual Woodward Shakespeare Festival in lush Woodward Park reveals Fresno’s cultural bent. But make no mistake: Agriculture is king in this centerpiece city of the San Joaquin Valley, California’s most prolific growing region. In early spring, get a closer look by driving or biking along the 62-mile Blossom Trail, with the route lined with fruit and nut trees in full bloom. In summer, the route morphs into the Fresno County Fruit Trail, and fruit stands overflow with ripe seasonal produce.
Back in town, explore a subterranean living space at Forestiere Underground Gardens, hand-dug by an Italian immigrant who saw that going underground was a great way to keep cool and comfortable during the Central Valley’s hot summers. Kids love Chaffee Zoo, especially the frolicking pinnipeds in Sea Lion Cove. Find quality handmade gifts in Fresno’s Mural District, a hotbed of artists’ studios and gallery spaces; monthly Art Hops are a great way to explore. After dark, restaurants and clubs light up the neon-bright Tower District.
California’s heartland offers up one of the state’s most authentic and sensory-rich experiences, a chance to see—and taste—the state’s bounty at every turn. Follow oak-shaded country roads to farm stands overflowing with fresh produce, and meander along wine trails to some of the state’s most productive vineyards and low-key tasting rooms.
Peaches, plums, apricots, and tomatoes—just some of the ultra-fresh produce you will find at farm stands throughout the valley.
Throughout the broad valley, stretching for over 400 miles/644 kilometres down the middle of the state, are cities and towns rich with history, international culture, and “everyone’s welcome” charm.
This relaxed city has some secret gems that make a pleasing start to your trip. Start at Sundial Bridge, a functional work of art, the remarkable pedestrian bridge, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, spans the tree-lined, trout-filled Sacramento River in Redding’s Turtle...
This rapidly growing city in the southern Central Valley is full of pleasant surprises. Once known for oil and agriculture, Bakersfield is morphing into a Central Valley hub for arts, culture, and sports, while still offering a glimpse of the region’s past. One fascinating historical site worth...