Nestled in the heart of California’s most productive agricultural region, Fresno surprises and delights with its sophistication and vibrance. Its gorgeous gardens and parks blend with an eclectic creative community in a way that makes for a unique place to visit.
Here's our guide to a perfect day in this Central Valley hub.
WALK IN THE PARK
Explore Fresno’s 300-acre urban oasis, where trails connect to routes along the San Joaquin River Parkway. The park’s highlight is the Shinzen Japanese Garden, a serene escape with a thatched-roof teahouse and a landscape that changes seasonally. Don’t miss the bonsai garden, one of California’s best.
INTO THE COUNTRY
Fresno County Blossom Trail
Here in California’s agricultural heartland, there are two drives-in-one along a 62-mile loop. In mid-February, orchards of apricots, almonds, and plums burst into color on the Fresno County Blossom Trail. From May into September, the route morphs into the Fresno Country Fruit Trail, where you’ll find just-picked produce at farmstands.
POWER UP WITH BREAKFAST
Red Apple Cafe
A farm scene mural behind the counter and an inviting patio add to the appeal of this homey Fresno favorite known for its apple pie French toast and such inventive combinations as homestyle potatoes topped by chorizo, Ortega chiles, scrambled eggs, and cheese.
Forestiere Underground Gardens
It gets hot in Fresno, so Sicilian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere took matters into his own hands—literally. He spent 40 years digging this remarkable 10-acre network of subterranean tunnels and chambers. Chill out as you tour his verdant creation, where fruit trees still grow.
FRESNO AFTER DARK
The neon-lit, 1939 Art Deco Tower Theatre is this historic neighborhood’s hub and hosts performances by such stars as Graham Nash and Travis Tritt. Preshow, head to the trattoria Oggi Cosi Si Mangia for its authentic Italian cuisine. After the concert, choose from 45 beers on tap at eccentric Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen (which is actually neither).