Fresno is a city located in the geographic centre of California, which is the sixth-largest and fifth-most populous in the state. However, like many other inland Californian cities, it is often overlooked in favour of those situated on the coast. For those who do decide to make the trip, though, Fresno is a city that has as much to offer as almost any other in California.
From the city itself to its incredible surroundings, there are plenty of attractions in this part of the state to appeal to everyone. From iconic landmarks and natural wonders to historic buildings and fun-filled entertainment attractions, here are the best things to do in Fresno.
- Fresno, California
- 20 Things To Do In Fresno
- 1- Admire The Exhibits At Fresno Art Museum
- 2- Have Fun At Blackbeard’s Family Entertainment
- 3- Meet The Animals At The Fresno Chaffee Zoo
- 4- Spend A Wet And Wild Day At The Island Waterpark
- 5- Learn History At The Clovis – Big Dry Creek Museum
- 6- Admire Architecture At Meux Home Museum
- 7- Taste Local Beer At Tactical Ops Brewing (Mission Control)
- 8- Get A Picture With The Van Ness Arch
- 9- Marvel At The FAC Water Tower
- 10- Stroll Down The Fresno County Blossom Trail
- 11- Step Back In Time At The Kearney Mansion Museum
- 12- Sample Local Wine
- 13- Test Your Nerve At The Raisin Hell Ranch
- 14- See “Where The Palm Meets The Pine” Marker
- 15- Relax In The Shinzen Friendship Garden Inc.
- 16- Relax In The Clovis Botanical Garden
- 17- Attend An Event At The Save Mart Center
- 18- Go For A Walk Down Christmas Tree Lane
- 19- Explore Sequoia National Park
- 20- Continue The Adventure In Kings Canyon National Park
- 20 Things To Do In Fresno
20 Things To Do In Fresno
1- Admire The Exhibits At Fresno Art Museum
The Fresno Art Museum is a fabulous attraction for those interested in the region’s art throughout the ages.
With pieces of ancient Mexican and Native American art and American works from the modern era, you can find out about the history and evolution of art in California while seeing examples of everything you hear about with your own eyes.
Fresno Art Museum is at 2233 North First Street, Fresno, 93703.
2- Have Fun At Blackbeard’s Family Entertainment
Blackbeard’s Family Entertainment is the premier amusement park in Fresno and boasts attractions to keep visitors of all ages entertained.
With options like arcades, go-karting, mini-golf, paintball, and more, plus a huge range of different concessions stands, it’s an excellent choice for families to spend a carefree, fun-filled day together.
Blackbeard’s Family Entertainment is at 4055 North Chestnut Diagonal, Fresno, 93726.
3- Meet The Animals At The Fresno Chaffee Zoo
Located in Roeding Park, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo is the premier place in Fresno for animal lovers to get up close to a wide range of species.
Interactive attractions like giraffe feeding sessions and stingray touch-pools allow you to interact with animals personally.
With a range of animals, including bats, bears, bison, cheetahs, and elephants, you could spend hours exploring the animal world.
Other animals at the zoo are elk, frogs, gorillas, sea lions, hippos, kangaroos, lions, meerkats, orangutans, otters, penguins, prairie dogs, rhinos, sloths, tigers, tortoises, warthogs, wolves and a wide range of birds.
You will definitely encounter something new and exciting during your visit.
Fresno Chaffee Zoo is at 894 West Belmont Avenue, Fresno, 93728.
4- Spend A Wet And Wild Day At The Island Waterpark
While only open during the summer, Island Waterpark is a great, family-friendly destination filled with pools, water rides and slides, kid’s play areas, and numerous concessions stands.
There may be no better place in Fresno to unwind and cool off with the family under the California sun.
Island Waterpark is at 6500 West Rialto Avenue, Fresno, 93723.
5- Learn History At The Clovis – Big Dry Creek Museum
The Clovis-Big Dry Creek Museum is a wonderful little museum in the historic 1912 First State Bank building.
With displays of historical artefacts, exhibits, and photos dedicated to American history, as well as a military room with memorials to veterans and examples of historic American, German, and Japanese weapons, it is an excellent museum to soak up some history.
Clovis – Big Dry Creek Museum is at 401 Pollasky Avenue, Clovis, 93612.
For more California ideas, see:
- 40 Things To Do In Lake Tahoe
- 20 Things To Do In San Francisco At Night
- 21 Things To Do In Los Angeles At Night
- 23 Landmarks In Los Angeles
- 20 Landmarks In California
- 20 San Diego Landmarks
- 20 Songs About California
- Best Places To Visit in California
- 20 Things To Do In Santa Ana
- 20 Things To Do In Malibu
- Deserts In California Guide
- 20 Things To Do In Fremont
- 20 Things To Do In Berkeley
- 20 Things To Do In Monterey
- 20 Things To Do In Anaheim
- 20 Ghost Towns In California
- 20 Ways To Spend Christmas In California
- San Francisco Itinerary
- San Francisco Bike Tours
- San Francisco Go Cars
- Exploring Hearst Castle
- Yosemite National Park
- Lake Tahoe Snowshoe Adventure
- 20 Things To Do In Bakersfield
- 20 Things To Do In Redding California
- 20 Things To Do In Manhattan Beach
- 20 Things To Do In Fresno
- 20 Things To Do In Riverside
- 20 Things To Do In Long Beach
- 20 Places To Go Glamping In California
6- Admire Architecture At Meux Home Museum
The Meux Home Museum is a stunning 1800s mansion that has been perfectly preserved in all its glory.
Its elegant Victorian architecture demonstrates a regal side of California’s evolution, while the period furnishings and décor allow you to immerse yourself in the spirit and history of your location.
With guided tours of both the mansion and its scenic gardens, it is a great way to experience a different side of California.
Meux Home Museum is at 1007 R Street, Fresno, 93721.
7- Taste Local Beer At Tactical Ops Brewing (Mission Control)
Tactical Ops Brewing (Mission Control) is a fabulous craft beer brewery that offers a wide range of different beers for fans to stop by and try.
Combined with their incredible collection of military memorabilia and discounts for past and present United States military members, it is the perfect place to sit back and relax while enjoying the true spirit of American brewing.
Tactical Ops Brewing is at 1131 Railroad Avenue, Clovis, 93612.
8- Get A Picture With The Van Ness Arch
Located on Van Ness Avenue, the Van Ness Arch is the official Fresno entrance gate and is one of the famous landmarks in Fresno.
While there isn’t much around it, stopping for a photo beneath the iconic arch is a right of passage for anyone who visits the city of Fresno.
Van Ness Arch is at 2235 South Van Ness Avenue, Fresno, 93721.
9- Marvel At The FAC Water Tower
The FAC Water Tower is a historic structure in the city’s heart, erected in 1894.
Designed using Romanesque architecture and based on a similar water tower in Germany, it is one of the city’s iconic sights.
With a visitor centre, historical markers, gallery, and even gift and tea shops, it is a fabulous way to learn about Fresno’s history, appreciate its style, and relax in the heart of the city.
FAC Water Tower, 2444 Fresno Street, Fresno, 93721.
10- Stroll Down The Fresno County Blossom Trail
In the southeast of Fresno, each February and March, a stretch of South Clovis Avenue signals the arrival of spring in the city.
With fruit trees and wildflowers bursting into bloom, painting the area with colour, it is a fabulous place to stroll and appreciate the beauty of the region’s plant life.
Locals even make a fabulous collection of jams and candies from the fresh fruits for you to sample to make it an experience to remember.
Fresno County Blossom Trail is at 2629 South Clovis Avenue, Fresno, 93725.
11- Step Back In Time At The Kearney Mansion Museum
The Kearney Mansion Museum is a historic mansion built in 1903 by local rancher M. Theo Kearney.
It is a perfect stop for those who want to see and learn about the growth of the state of California first-hand.
Guided tours of the property let you appreciate its stunning architecture, beautiful grounds, historic décor, and a fabulous collection of antique furniture, ornaments, and art from the time it was built.
Kearney Mansion Museum is at 7160 West Kearney Boulevard, Fresno, 93706.
12- Sample Local Wine
Central California is one of the best wine-producing areas in the United States.
About a fifth of wine grapes in California grow in Fresno County.
With over a dozen wineries in Fresno, such as Fresno State Winery, E&J Gallo Winery, Cribari Vineyards and Engelmann Cellars and the nearby Madera Wine Trail, Fresno more than holds its own in a crowded market.
Perhaps nowhere represents that as well as the LoMac Winery.
With beautiful vineyards, wine tastings, events, and a shop selling their vintages, it is the perfect opportunity for wine fans to embrace some of the best wine in the country and enjoy it in stunning surroundings.
LoMac Winery is at 2674 North Westlawn Avenue, Fresno, 93723.
13- Test Your Nerve At The Raisin Hell Ranch
The Raisin Hell Ranch is a haunted house attraction that features a pair of heart-stopping mazes designed using the themes of a haunted hotel and the old west.
Open all year round and boasting talented actors to bring the experiences to life, it is a fun attraction for those who want to test their nerves or enjoy a good scare.
Raisin Hell Ranch is at 7409 Road 32, Madera, 93637.
14- See “Where The Palm Meets The Pine” Marker
“Where The Palm Meets The Pine” is a geographical marker located at the exact spot where the palm trees of southern California give way to the pine trees of the north.
It perfectly represents the state’s natural diversity and highlights your location at the very centre of California.
Where The Palm Meets The Pine is on California Route 99, Madera, 93636.
15- Relax In The Shinzen Friendship Garden Inc.
The Shinzen Friendship Garden is a Japanese-style garden located within the grounds of Woodward Park.
It is a fabulous location to take a relaxing stroll and embrace cultural diversity.
Opened in 1981, the garden covers five acres and contains a beautiful collection of bonsai trees and a koi pond, as well as its crowning feature, a teahouse that was built in Japan and reassembled in its current location by local Japanese carpenters.
Shinzen Friendship Garden is at 114 West Audubon Drive, Fresno, 93720.
16- Relax In The Clovis Botanical Garden
The Clovis Botanical Garden is a three-acre demonstration garden that houses a wide range of drought-resistant plants from both the surrounding region and further afield.
With an information centre, guided tours, and ample signage around the garden, it is a fabulous destination for people interested in plants to expand their knowledge and see some specimens in the flesh while in Fresno.
Clovis Botanical Garden is at 945 Clovis Avenue, Clovis, 93611.
17- Attend An Event At The Save Mart Center
The Save Mart Center is a 16,000 seater indoor arena on the grounds of the California State University, Fresno campus.
With something almost always going on, it is worth checking the listings to see if anything appeals to you during your stay.
The permanent home of the NCAA Fresno State Bulldogs, the arena hosts a range of events, including basketball and ice hockey games, boxing matches, concerts, and ice, rodeo, and wrestling events.
Save Mart Center is at 2650 East Shaw Avenue, Fresno, 93710.
18- Go For A Walk Down Christmas Tree Lane
While this is an attraction that only opens from Thanksgiving until New Year, Christmas Tree Lane is a Fresno tradition running since 1920 and is not to be missed if you are in the city during the festive season.
A two-mile stretch of North Van Ness Boulevard is decorated with hundreds of beautiful Christmas trees, while the houses along either side of the street are festooned in festive lights and ornaments.
A one-way street every night of the season, Christmas Tree Lane becomes a great place to go for a stroll or a slow drive to embrace the season.
Some nights, it even becomes a pedestrian-only zone, giving you plenty of chance to ensure you take absolutely everything in.
Christmas Tree Lane is at 3204 North Van Ness Boulevard, Fresno, 93704.
19- Explore Sequoia National Park
Located just over an hour to the east of Fresno, Sequoia National Park is the joint second-oldest national park in the united states, along with Yosemite, having been designated as such in 1890.
Known primarily for its giant sequoia forest, which includes the largest tree in America, the General Sherman, it is a fabulous place to explore for those who want to take in the area’s natural side.
A range of animals that includes black bears, grey foxes, marmots, mule deer, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, and over 200 species of birds also make it an equally exciting destination for nature lovers.
20- Continue The Adventure In Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park to its north are connected, so you can seamlessly travel between the two without ever leaving.
Much of the Kings Canyon landscape is identical to its neighbour, including features like its wildlife and forests.
However, two features make it distinctive and incredibly worthwhile visiting.
Much of the park is located in one of America’s deepest gorges, with walls over 8,000 feet high offering a unique aesthetic and fabulous caves to explore.
Then there are the park’s watery features.
With rivers, waterfalls, and rapids, surrounded by some beautiful meadows, it is a great spot to do some swimming or rafting or relax by the water.