The Ultimate Outdoor Adventure: Farms, Markets, and National Parks to Hit When You Visit Fresno
Smack dab in the middle of three national parks, Fresno County is brimming with exciting adventures and outdoor activities. Fresno’s stunning neighbors – Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia – offer world-famous outdoor experiences. There is nothing you can’t do in these great outdoors!
Explore the rising art scene, stroll through Shinzen Friendship Garden, wander through the plethora of farmer’s markets or hunt for antiques and locally made goods in Old Town Clovis. The list goes on for things to do in Fresno, you definitely won’t get bored!
Hike the many trails of Yosemite
Yosemite is gorgeous all year round. In late spring and early summer, when melting snow from the Sierra Nevada Mountains thunders down the valley, the waterfalls are especially spectacular. During Yosemite winters, the park becomes less crowded and offers fantastic snowy landscapes, skating, and even skiing.
Getting from Yosemite from Fresno is a fun road trip. With stops for snacks and roadside photos, you can expect to arrive in 3 hours. Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the USA, and it’s easy to see why. The three waterfalls, along with Glacier Point, Olmstead Point, and Tunnel View, offer unparalleled views of the Yosemite Valley.
Take a stroll through the Fresno Chaffee Zoo
If you are looking to get wild in Fresno, head over to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo! Home to over 1,000 animals from around the world, there is something for the whole family. It is open year-round and located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Pride of Fresno is open daily from 8 AM to 2 PM. Reserve tickets and explore all the Zoo has to offer here.
Have a picnic in the middle of an island in Roeding Park
You don’t need the tropics to have an island getaway! Lunch on the island is a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Grab your sweetheart and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the park, take the kids to burn off steam at the play at the playground, and set up shop at one of the many cozy picnic tables around.
Several restaurants in Fresno offer picnic basket meals for two people if you want something a little extra special! Though this is also a great chance to get the family involved in making something of their own to take along for an outing together!
Walk along the San Joaquin River Trail
Sweat it out as you walk along the San Joaquin River Trail. This 3.5-mile path follows the river through Fresno’s historic district, from Woodward Park to Chukchansi Park. It’s one of the top Fresno tourist attractions in California, with lush greenery along its length and several interesting bridges. The trail takes about an hour or two to walk at a leisurely pace, but if you want to go farther, there are extensions of the trail on either side of it.
Enjoy the beauty of Forestiere Underground Gardens
Take a guided walking tour of the underground rooms, courtyards, and passageways of Baldassare Forestiere’s creation. Located in downtown Fresno, Forestiere Underground Gardens is a historic landmark that offers a unique experience to visitors. The gardens were inspired by the underground tunnels Forestiere saw while working on the transcontinental railroad. He used these tunnels to create his underground wonderland and eventually opened them up for public viewing.
The tour of Baldassare Forestiere’s creation takes you on a tour through a hand-built network of underground rooms, courtyards, and passageways reminiscent of the ancient catacombs. You will find unique fruit-producing trees, shrubs, and vines growing underground — some over 90 years old! Schedule your visit here.
Explore a grove of sequoias in Kings Canyon National Park
The biggest trees in the world are sequoias, found only in California’s Sierra Nevada range. Sequoia National Park, located about five hours north of Fresno, protects more than half a million acres of land that can be explored by foot or using a bicycle. The park also has many lakes for fishing and swimming and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat mid-hike.
A bit closer, you’ll find Kings Canyon National Park, which has several groves of sequoias scattered throughout its vast expanse. You can spend all day wandering through these towering giants and then enjoy the night sky after dusk at Hume Lake Campground. It has telescopes for viewing stars overhead or planets too far away to see with naked eyesight.
Take a guided tour of the Clovis Botanical Garden
The Clovis Botanical Garden is another family-friendly places to visit in Fresno. It offers hiking tours that highlight a variety of geological and natural history phenomena, including plants, wildlife, and geological features.
Free admission is available to the garden for children and adults. Donations are welcomed and appreciated. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult, and dogs must always remain on leashes when in the garden. If you are planning a guided tour, schedule it two weeks in advance via email. Tours are available for groups of four to ten people. They can also host special celebrations such as parties, birthdays, anniversaries, receptions, work picnics, and more. Schedule your tours/events here.
Commune with nature and explore the great outdoors in Fresno – you’ll never run out of things to do here. As you are on your way to crossing off your bucket list, drop by Fresno City Inn to stretch out, relax, and sleep in our comfortable rooms. Whether you plan for a weekend trip, an extended stay, or a family vacation, our friendly staff and modern amenities await you. Save your spot now!