Things to do

Exciting Things To Do In Fresno, California

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Fresno, nestled in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, holds a treasure trove of experiences waiting to surprise and delight you. Beyond the fields of blooming almonds and the image of an agricultural hub, lies a city brimming with unexpected delights.

From its rich agricultural heritage to its vibrant arts scene and stunning natural landscapes, this place is a gem of Central California ready to charm you. Here are the fun things to do in Fresno you should add to your itinerary.

Visit Forestiere Underground Gardens

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The Forestiere Underground Gardens are a marvel of engineering and horticulture, featuring a captivating blend of functional design and natural beauty. Visitors can explore the underground complex, which spans over 10 acres. It includes Citrus Orchards, gardens, and vineyards, along with courtyards, tunnels, passageways, and patios.

Visitors can marvel at this extraordinary fusion of art, architecture, and agriculture, experiencing firsthand the enduring legacy of one man's vision and his remarkable underground masterpiece.

Wander Through Woodward Park

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Spanning over 300 acres, Woodward Park is a place to escape the urban landscape, breathe fresh air, and discover a multitude of activities. One of the best places to go in Fresno California, you can walk or bike along the 5 miles of scenic trails, winding through lush grasslands, shaded groves, and vibrant wildflower meadows.

Take a moment to admire the shimmering expanse of Woodward Lake, home to graceful ducks and geese, and a popular spot for fishing and paddleboarding.

Attend Events At Fresno State University

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Fresno State University, known for its vibrant campus life and diverse community, hosts a wide range of events throughout the year. Fresno State Bulldogs compete in NCAA Division I athletics, offering thrilling games in football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, and volleyball.

The Department of Music hosts numerous concerts throughout the year, featuring performances by students, faculty, and guest artists. The university frequently hosts distinguished speakers who deliver lectures and talks on a wide range of topics.

Go Wine Tasting In The Fresno County Wine Region

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Home to over 50 wineries and diverse grape varietals, Fresno County offers a unique and unexpected wine-tasting experience, blending rich agricultural heritage with breathtaking scenery and award-winning wines.

A Fresno County wine-tasting adventure is more than just sipping delicious wines. It's about immersing yourself in the heart of California's agricultural bounty. Picture rolling vineyards stretching towards the horizon, quaint tasting rooms nestled amidst farmland, and passionate winemakers eager to share their stories and expertise.

Take A Day Trip To Yosemite National Park

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Just a two-hour drive from Fresno, taking a day trip to Yosemite National Park offers a remarkable opportunity to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of one of America's most iconic national parks. 

Start your exploration by visiting iconic landmarks such as Yosemite Valley, where you can marvel at breathtaking views of El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Fall. Depending on your interests and fitness level, consider embarking on a short hike to iconic viewpoints like Yosemite Falls or Sentinel Dome.

Experience The Fresno Philharmonic

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The Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra blooms as a vibrant beacon of artistic excellence. More than just a musical ensemble, the Philharmonic is a cornerstone of Fresno's cultural landscape, weaving threads of harmony and inspiration into the very fabric of the city.

From the timeless masterpieces of Mozart and Beethoven to the exhilarating works of contemporary composers, the orchestra's season offers a smorgasbord of musical styles to intrigue every taste. Add this activity to your things to do in Fresno at night list.

Enjoy Water Activities at Millerton Lake

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Millerton Lake offers a wealth of water activities for visitors seeking outdoor adventure and recreation. With its vast expanse of water and relatively calm conditions, the lake provides an ideal setting for water skiing and wakeboarding enthusiasts. 

The lake accommodates various types of watercraft, including motorboats, sailboats, kayaks, and canoes. This lake is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities, making it one of the free things to do in Fresno.

Learn about Fresno's History at Kearney Mansion Museum

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One of the things to do in Fresno CA is surely to learn about its past. Kearney Mansion Museum stands as a majestic testament to Fresno's remarkable journey from agricultural frontier to bustling Californian city. The mansion's architectural style blends Queen Anne elements with Craftsman details.

Entering the grand foyer, visitors are immediately transported to a bygone era of grandeur. High ceilings adorned with hand-painted floral motifs, mahogany wainscoting, and ornate chandeliers set the stage for a lavish lifestyle.

Experience Cultural Diversity In The Tower District

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Tower District in Fresno is an eclectic neighborhood known for its cultural diversity, historic architecture, and lively entertainment scene. Situated just north of downtown Fresno, the Tower District has long been a hub of arts, music, and community life. 

These fun places in Fresno are a culinary hotspots, boasting an eclectic array of restaurants, cafes, and eateries serving up everything from gourmet cuisine to casual comfort food. Diners can savor flavors ranging from Mexican and Italian to Thai and Ethiopian.

Attend A Fresno Grizzlies Baseball Game

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Things to do in Fresno with kids include taking them to watch the Fresno Grizzlies in action. Fresno is home to the Fresno Grizzlies, a Minor League Baseball team that electrifies the city with its exciting games.

So, head to Chukchansi Park, because a night at the Grizzlies game is an experience not to be missed!  Nestled amidst palm trees and vibrant green grass, the park exudes a laid-back California vibe. As you approach, the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd will instantly put you in the game-day spirit.

Learn At The Discovery Center

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The Discovery Center is a hands-on science museum dedicated to providing interactive learning experiences for visitors of all ages. Over the years, it has evolved into a dynamic educational institution, offering engaging exhibits, programs, and events designed to inspire exploration and discovery.

Some of the exhibits include Science Village, Dino Dig, BioLab, Tech Lab, Health and Fitness, and Space Exploration. It also hosts family nights and after-hours events featuring themed activities, demonstrations, and entertainment for families to enjoy together.

Catch A Show At The Tower Theatre

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Standing proudly at the corner of Wishon and Olive Avenues in Fresno's bustling Tower District, the Tower Theatre is a vibrant arts hub, a historical treasure, and a beating heart of the city's cultural scene. Its stage has witnessed classic theater productions, contemporary comedy shows, live music concerts, and world-class dance recitals.

From its captivating Art Deco facade to its versatile stage and lively events, the Tower Theatre promises an unforgettable experience for anyone seeking a dose of history, entertainment, and community spirit.

Shop At The Vineyard Farmers Market

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The Vineyard Farmers Market offers a diverse array of fresh produce, artisan goods, and community engagement. From juicy stone fruits in the summer to crisp apples in the fall and leafy greens in the winter, the market's offerings vary with the changing seasons.

Visitors can browse through stalls offering homemade jams, preserves, baked goods, cheeses, olive oils, honey, and more. Whether you're looking for a rare spice blend or a specialty cheese, you're likely to find it among the market's offerings.

Hike In Sierra National Forest

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The Sierra National Forest unfolds like a breathtaking tapestry of towering granite peaks, lush meadows, and whispering pine forests. Encompassing over 1.3 million acres, this natural wonderland offers a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, and anyone seeking solace in the embrace of nature.

Hike through meadows awash with wildflowers, explore ancient groves of giant sequoia trees, and wander through verdant forests teeming with wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, black bears, and foxes.

Roam The Fresno Chaffee Zoo

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What to do in Fresno? The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is a beloved attraction that offers a rich and diverse experience for visitors of all ages. Spanning 39 acres, the zoo is home to over 190 species of animals from around the world.

The zoo features a variety of meticulously designed exhibits and habitats that mimic the natural environments of the animals. From the African savanna to the rainforests of South America, visitors can explore different ecosystems and encounter animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, giraffes, primates, and more.

Attend The Big Fresno Fair

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California's San Joaquin Valley comes alive each October with the vibrant spectacle of the Big Fresno Fair. Held for 12 thrilling days at the Fresno Fairgrounds, this annual is a unique blend of agricultural exhibits, livestock shows, live music, thrilling rides, mouthwatering food, and endless entertainment.

Strap yourselves in for a thrill ride! The Big Fresno Fair boasts a dazzling collection of carnival rides, from heart-pounding roller coasters and spinning teacups to family-friendly Ferris wheels and bouncing bumper cars.

Sample Craft Beer At Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company

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Tioga-Sequoia's brewery and taproom are situated in the heart of Fresno's downtown district. In addition to the indoor space, it offers an expansive outdoor beer garden where patrons can enjoy their drinks under the California sun or stars.

It boasts an impressive lineup of craft beers, ranging from classic styles to innovative and experimental brews. Their rotating tap list features a diverse array of options, including pale ales, IPAs, stouts, porters, sours, and seasonal specialties.

Take A Stroll In Shinzen Friendship Garden

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Imagine a lush haven amidst the bustling city, a serene escape where koi weave through tranquil ponds and vibrant blooms burst with color. This is the magic of Shinzen Friendship Garden, a captivating Japanese garden.

Step through the traditional torii gate and enter a world of meticulously crafted landscapes. Stone lanterns cast gentle shadows on meandering pathways, while koi glide gracefully through serene ponds filled with water lilies and lotus flowers.

Explore The Fresno Art Museum

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The Fresno Art Museum is a cultural institution dedicated to showcasing contemporary and modern art. Founded in 1949, the museum has become a prominent hub for artistic expression in the Central Valley region.

FAM features rotating exhibitions that highlight a diverse range of artistic styles, mediums, and cultural perspectives. From paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed media installations, the museum offers a dynamic and thought-provoking visual experience.

Explore Kings Canyon National Park

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Kings Canyon National Park is a tapestry of towering granite cliffs, ancient sequoia groves, and cascading waterfalls. It offers a secluded haven for nature lovers and adventurers, beckoning them with its breathtaking landscapes and endless opportunities for exploration.

The centerpiece of Kings Canyon is undoubtedly the sheer grandeur of its granite walls. Take in their breathtaking panorama from the park's many viewpoints, or hike amidst their grandeur on trails like the Mist Trail, leading to the base of the iconic Grizzly Giant.