Want to explore Central California? Start in Fresno.
Like a lot of California’s inland towns, Fresno — the biggest city in the state’s Central Valley — gets overlooked by weekenders, many of whom gravitate to flashier cities on the Pacific Coast. Which is a shame. Situated halfway between San Francisco and L.A., charming Fresno’s got culture and great food, plus it makes an excellent base for exploring national parks, like Sequoia and Kings Canyon. But don’t miss the city’s cultural attractions, too, including the Shinzen Japanese Garden and Fresno Chaffee Zoo.
- River Park
- Old Fig Garden
- Tower District
- Old Town Clovis
- Downtown Fresno
River Park, 10 miles north of downtown, is a lively outdoor shopping center that plays host to the city's popular farmers market every Tuesday and Saturday. Go to catch the newest blockbuster, schedule a hot-stone massage at a spa or share a meal with friends.
Shopping, Entertainment, Restaurants
Old Fig Garden
Six miles northwest of downtown, Old Fig Garden is one of Fresno’s most desirable neighborhoods, with historic homes and parks situated nearby popular shopping and restaurants. Old Fig Garden also plays host to the city’s popular Christmas Tree Lane, where two famous miles of Van Ness Avenue are decked out with holiday lights and decorations.
Restaurants, Shopping, Parks
Fresno’s Tower District, originally established in the 1930s, is packed with dozens of restaurants, local businesses, record stores, galleries and bars. Known for its vibrant nightlife, this hip, walkable district is also beloved for its seasonal festivals and live music venues.
Nightlife, Restaurants, Bars
Old Town Clovis
From its antiques district and historic taverns to its hip boutiques and craft breweries, Old Town Clovis, originally a lumber mill town, seamlessly mixes Old World charm with modern pleasures within its tree-lined, cobblestone streets.
Shopping, Nightlife, Restaurants
The city’s hub for all things business and entertainment, downtown Fresno features vibrant street art, contemporary art galleries, live music venues, a major shopping scene and a wide range of culinary options, including restaurants that have been in operation for nearly 120 years.
Restaurants, Breweries, Shopping
Stay in The Center of it All
Immerse yourself in your destination at these centrally located hotels.
Explore Fresno, the Gateway to Central California
Visit the Top Cultural Sites in Fresno
Start your day at the historic Forestiere Underground Gardens before experiencing the magic of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. In the afternoon study contemporary and modern art at the Fresno Art Museum before finishing the night with an off-Broadway show downtown.
Check Out Two Iconic National Parks
Nearby Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks showcase rugged foothills, deep canyons, explorable caves and some of the world's largest trees. Set in a grove of giant sequoias, General Grant Tree Trail makes for a super-accessible day hike outside Fresno on your second day. Head back to town for a divine farm-to-table dinner at the Annex Kitchen.
Stroll Through Gardens Before Visiting A Local Brewery
Spend your morning strolling the Shinzen Japanese Garden and Woodward Regional Park. Grab a soul food lunch at Chef Paul’s Café before heading to visit the historic Kearney Mansion. At night, enjoy the city’s best craft beers in Fresno’s downtown Brewery District.