English (UK)
John Walker/The Fresno Bee

Fresno Blossom and Fruit Trails

Fresno County’s agricultural bounty comes with both flavour and eye-popping colour, take this 90-mile drive to see for yourself.

Start:Fresno
End:Clovis
1 - 2Days,9Stops,91Miles
Fresno
JT Baskin Photo/Getty Images
Simonian Farms
Stockimo/Alamy
Sanger
Denise Taylor/Getty Images
Cedar View Winery and Minkler
Hal Bergman/Getty Images
Orange Cove and Orange Blossom Trail
Design Pics Inc./Alamy
Reedley
––––
Hillcrest Farm
David Gomez/Getty Images
Kingsburg
Alexander Spatari/Getty Images
Clovis
Claudia Totir/Getty Images
Stop 1

Fresno

2600 Fresno St, Fresno

Fresno 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 qualities.

But agriculture is king here. Check out the bountiful Vineyard Farmers’ Market on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. In early spring, drive or cycle along the 62-mile Blossom Trail, when the route lined with fruit and nut trees is in full bloom. In summer, it morphs into the Fresno County Fruit Trail and fruit stalls overflow with seasonal produce.

Back in town, explore the subterranean Forestiere Underground Gardens, hand-dug by an Italian immigrant who saw going underground as a great way to keep cool and comfortable during Central Valley summers. Children will love Chaffee Zoo, especially the frolicking pinnipeds in Sea Lion Cove. The monthly Art Hops are a great way to explore the Mural District, a hotbed of artists’ studios and galleries. After dark, restaurants and clubs light up the neon bright Tower District.

Plan your visit

SPOTLIGHT

Simonian Farms

2629 S Clovis Ave, Fresno

A fruit stall that’s been run by the same family for five generations. Its massive red barn encloses a model Western town complete with saloon and schoolhouse.

Stop 3

Sanger

1700 7th St, Sanger

Situated on the Fresno Blossom Trail, the small town of Sanger is flanked by rolling hills lined with rows of fruit trees and vineyards. Whether you’re here to see the orchards in bloom or travelling to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, pause for a while to savour the country life. Stock up on local preserves at Centerville Fruit Station or wind your way through the sunflower maze. Buy fresh peaches, nectarines and apricots at the Blossom Trail Fruit Stand. Feast on huevos rancheros at the Blossom Trail Café. Three local wineries are worth a visit—Ramos-Torres for Rhone-style wines, Kings River Winery for light and crisp whites, and Marechal Vineyards for hearty Cabernets and full-bodied Tempranillo. The Sanger Depot Museum features beautiful Native American artefacts plus a diorama explaining the history of logging in the Sierra Nevada (Sanger’s log flume played an important role).

Plan your visit

    Stop 4

    Cedar View Winery and Minkler

    9581, 1384 S Frankwood Ave, Sanger

    The tiny hamlet of Minkler sits on the Fresno Blossom Trail, where drivers and cyclists flock in February and March to see rose-coloured sprays of peach and nectarine petals, pink bouquets of apricot blossoms and white blazes of almond, plum and apple trees. At any time of year, Minkler’s Cedar View Winery is worth a stop to sample artisan wines. The winemakers are proud of their rare Alicante Bouschet grapes, which were popular among home winemakers during Prohibition. Cedar View uses the red-fleshed grapes to make highly fruity red blends. Located on the road to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, the winery’s on-site Sequoia View Bed and Breakfast offers three elegantly decorated suites surrounded by vineyards and farm fields. Just down the road, the Schoolhouse Restaurant and Tavern serves farm-to-table food and features live bands every Friday night.

    Plan your visit

      Stop 5

      Orange Cove and Orange Blossom Trail

      633 Sixth Street, Orange Cove

      In spring, it’s easy to know when you’re getting close to Orange Cove. You can smell the sweet aroma of citrus flowers (a scent known as 'azahar') for miles around. Home to the Orange Blossom Trail (an extension of the Fresno Blossom Trail) this Central Valley town is a major citrus producer, specialising in lemons and oranges. Its historic City Hall anchors its petite town centre. If you’re in the mood for Mexican food, stop at OC Taco Shop on Park Boulevard for freshly grilled meats topped with onions and coriander or drive a few miles south to La Catrina’s colourful dining room for chile rellenos, menudo and handmade tortillas.

      Plan your visit

        Stop 6

        Reedley

        100 Northeast Ave, Reedley

        The mighty Kings River flows through Reedley as it makes its long journey from the High Sierra to the Central Valley’s farms. Situated midway between Fresno and Visalia this agriculturally important town has been known as the 'Fruit Basket of the World' since 1946. With more than 30 fruit and vegetable packing plants, Reedley leads the country in shipping fresh, locally grown produce. Wander around the town centre’s turn of the century buildings and see the colourful fabric craftsmanship on display at the Mennonite Quilt Center. Pick a spot for a picnic on the Kings River’s sandy beaches. If you have kids in tow don't miss Hillcrest Farm. Set among the peach and plum orchards is a miniature steam train, with fanciful locomotives, train carriages and more than a mile of track built by the farm’s owners. Rides are offered every weekend.

        Plan your visit

          SPOTLIGHT

          Hillcrest Farm

          6943 S Reed Ave, Reedley

          The kids can ride a miniature steam train at Hillcrest Farm, which is dotted with peach and plum orchards. The owners design and build their own fanciful locomotives, train carriages and track.

          Stop 8

          Kingsburg

          1401 Draper St, Kingsburg

          Kingsburg wears its Swedish roots proudly. Its Swedish-coffee-pot-shaped water tower can be seen from the motorway and the city centre is lined with gabled Nordic architecture. Bakeries sell buttery pastries and Kady’s Country Kitchen serves Swedish pancakes with lingonberry jam. This Central Valley town’s Northern European heritage dates back to 1873, when two Swedes arrived at what was then just a railway halt. Believing the local soil was ripe for farming they stayed on. Before long, their Swedish cousins and friends had joined them and by the early 20th century, 94 per cent of Kingsburg’s residents were of Swedish descent. Today you can shop for Swedish gifts such as, colourful wooden Dala horses and Swedish crackers and preserves at Svensk Butik. In May or June, fill up on fresh berries at Berry Lady Farms. And if you love raisins, you must pay a visit to the Sun-Maid raisin market (just look for the world’s largest raisin box). Plus, with Rhône varietals produced from its foothills estate vineyard near Yosemite National Park, Ramos Torres Winery offers a surprising destination for wine lovers. With its rich woods and casual atmosphere, the tasting room is an appealing setting to discover the wines of San Joaquin Valley native Oscar Ramos-Torres, including Cabernet Sauvignons made with grapes from Lodi.

          Plan your visit

            Stop 9

            Clovis

            1033 5th St, Clovis

            Close to bustling Fresno but a world apart, Clovis is an authentic western town with brick pavements edging its Old Town streets, with more antiques and collectibles shops per square mile than anywhere else in California. Even if you’re not a collector, you’ll enjoy wandering its streets full of turn-of-the-century charm. Search through used, rare and out-of-print tomes at Clovis Book Barn (ask to see their collection of first editions). Munch on lemon or cranberry biscotti at Rosetti’s Biscotti House. Old Town Clovis also hosts a fruit-filled farmers' market on Saturday mornings year-round and on Friday nights in the summer. If you want to get some exercise, 26 miles of paved paths wind through the town - perfect for cycling or jogging.

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            Road Trip Snapshot

            Find out more about the amazing locations featured in this road trip. Ready to plan your trip? Print the itinerary or map your adventure to get started.

            Stop 1Fresno
            2600 Fresno St, Fresno
            Stop 4Cedar View Winery and Minkler
            9581, 1384 S Frankwood Ave, Sanger
              Stop 5Orange Cove and Orange Blossom Trail
              633 Sixth Street, Orange Cove

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