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Things to Do in Fresno, CA

Located in the heart of Central California, Fresno offers much to see and do. While you are just a few short hours from the majestic Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, there is plenty to keep you busy in the city too! We're proud to be the home of the Bulldogs!

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    Fresno History

    The City of Fresno was incorporated in 1885. Before it became a city, Fresno was established in 1972 as a key stop along the Central Pacific Railroad. Surrounded by rich agricultural production, the station contributed to growing Fresno into the prime economic hub in California’s Central Valley that it is today. Today, Fresno is a key destination for agribusiness professionals, those looking to unwind, and nature-minded sightseers.

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      It’s not hard to get around Fresno! Like most other metropolitan cities, Fresno has multiple forms of accessible transportation. Fresno’s public transit system, the Fresno Area Express (FAX), has bus routes that cover all major destinations in the city. There are many competitively priced car rental businesses within walking distance of our Fresno airport hotel. Click here to view the locations closest to us.

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        Fresno is also considered the shopping district of the San Joaquin Valley. In northwest Fresno, Fig Garden Village features a variety of the finest upscale stores in Fresno. The Fashion Fair Mall, Sierra Vista Mall, and the Shops at Riverpark are just a few short miles away. Don’t forget to check out the antique shops of Old Town Clovis if you’re on the hunt for something unique!

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          With so much agriculture near Fresno, it’s no wonder that food is a major part of city life. Foods you should consider trying while in the city include bierocks (a round pastry filled with beef and cabbage), figs, raisins, Fresno State corn, and tri-tip. With large Latin American and Southeast Asian communities, the city of Fresno is also known for having many restaurants serving tacos and pho noodle soup.

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            California State University & The Save Mart Center

            Many prospective students stay at our airport hotel while touring the university. The Save Mart Center, located on campus, is a multi-purpose arena home to the school’s many fine sporting teams. You can also catch concerts performed by renowned touring artists. For more information on upcoming events at the arena, visit savemartcenter.com.

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              Fresno is the #1 agricultural city in the nation. The region is known for its export of grapes, almonds, tomatoes, pistachios, peaches, and plums. Every year, visitors to Fresno are invited to traverse the 62-mile loop drive through the pink and white colored blossoms. Click here for more information on the blossom trails, fruit trails, and farmers markets of Fresno.

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                Fresno is a haven for nature lovers, with vast areas of natural beauty both within and near the city. Woodward Park, located a short drive from the city center, is an ideal spot for outdoor activities with its extensive trail network and scenic views along the San Joaquin River. The park's Shinzen Japanese Garden offers a tranquil retreat with beautifully manicured landscapes.

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                  Woodward Park

                  A 21-minute drive from our Fresno airport hotel, Woodward Park takes up 300 acres along the San Joaquin river. The park boasts over five miles of trails, three playgrounds, and a Japanese garden.

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                    Yosemite National Park

                    Providing excellent views of the world-famous Sierra Valley, Yosemite National Park is a stunning destination for hiking year-round. See the majestic waterfalls, giant Sequoias, meadows, and more. Many visitors to Yosemite National Park engage in birdwatching, fishing, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding.

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                      Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

                      Visitors to the area are often most excited to see the groves of immense sequoia trees this location is known for, but there are many other things to see and do at Sequoia National Park. While visiting, you can choose to take the 45-minute walking tour of Crystal Cave, an underground marble cavern. The park also offers ranger and naturalist-led programs for public enjoyment and education. For more information on these adjacent parks, visit the National Parks Service website.

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                        Fresno Chaffee Zoo

                        Located in Roeding Park, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo is a favorite among families and wildlife enthusiasts. Established in 1929, it has become a respected institution dedicated to conservation and education. Visitors can explore diverse habitats that house over 190 species, including the immersive African Adventure, where elephants and lions roam. The zoo also offers interactive experiences like the Dino Dig and Sea Lion Cove, making it an educational and entertaining destination for all ages. With a strong commitment to animal welfare and environmental conservation, the zoo provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of wildlife and the efforts to preserve it.

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                          In the heart of Fresno’s vibrant sports scene, the Fresno State Bulldogs football team stands out as a centerpiece of local and collegiate sports culture. Playing their home games at the iconic Bulldog Stadium, they draw substantial crowds, energizing the community with thrilling game-day experiences. The atmosphere is electric, filled with the spirit of the Red Wave—die-hard fans known for their enthusiastic support. Tailgating events with BBQs and spirited music offer a festive pre-game ritual for families and fans. This team contributes to Fresno's sports identity and boosts local pride and unity through its exciting performances and community involvement.

                          Exploring Further: More to Discover in Fresno

                          Explore Fresno's Vibrant Culture and Entertainment

                          Fresno has many parks to visit, works of public art, professional sports, and more to provide entertainment for individuals and families alike. If you’re interested in culture, Fresno’s rich and diverse theatrical and entertainment sites are a great option. The Selland Arena, Saroyan Theater, and Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra are just a few choices available for your pleasure. Fresno’s downtown Tower District neighborhood is a good option for nights out and features restaurants, nightclubs, performing arts venues, and unique retail stores.

                          Museums and Educational Attractions

                          Fresno also boasts many excellent cultural museums, including the African American Cultural and Historical Museum, the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Arte Americas, and the Mennonite Quilting Center. You can learn more about Fresno’s museums on the Fresno County website. If you’re traveling with children, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo is an affordable destination for families! The zoo is home to many majestic animals including lions, kangaroos, and stingrays.

                          Seasonal Events and Historical Sites

                          If you visit the city in October, you may want to visit the Big Fresno Fair, known for its carnival, horse racing, and gigantic cinnamon rolls! Kearney Park offers a glimpse into the past with its historic Kearney Mansion and hosts educational tours that delve into the area's history. The San Joaquin River Parkway is a serene escape with miles of trails along the river and the River Center for Environmental Education.

                          Festivals and Community Events

                          Fresno’s vibrant culture is celebrated through events like the Fresno Greek Fest, Hispanic Heritage Celebrations, and the Fresno Art Hop, where galleries and art venues showcase local creativity. The Tower Theatre, a beautifully preserved 1939 Art Deco venue, hosts a variety of performances showcasing local and national talent.

                          Accommodations in Fresno

                          Looking for somewhere to stay in Fresno? Check out our latest offers for accommodations that enhance your visit.