Fresno is a top destination in California, located in the heart of the state’s agricultural region, but there’s a lot more to do here than just watch the crops grow. In and around Fresno, you can visit local farms to learn about the foods you love and also get active in the outdoors to explore the local scene. From locally crafted beverages to amazing animals, fun games, and much more, here are the top things to do in Fresno, California.
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Taste Local Olive Oil
Olive oil has so many uses for health and beauty because it’s great for the hair and skin and also delicious for cooking and dipping. When you’re in the Fresno area, you can visit an olive oil farm to learn about how it is made and taste unique olive oils that you don’t commonly find in stores. For example, the Bari Olive Oil Co. is located near Fresno and welcomes in-store visits on weekdays from 9am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. When you visit, you can taste products and browse the gift shop. Make sure to check out the flavor-infused oils that feature flavors like lemon and chipotle, as well as the gourmet vinegar, olive oil soaps, and premium stuffed olives.
Indoor Climb at MetalMark Climbing & Fitness
A fun way to explore Fresno like a local is to visit the excellent rock climbing gym in town. MetalMark Climbing & Fitness offers top-roping, lead climbing, yoga, and kids’ programs. There is 12,000 total square feet of climbing terrain at this large gym, 2,000 square feet of bouldering space, and a 48-foot high lead wall. The impressive gym is located on Cedar Avenue and open on weekdays from 5am to 10pm, Saturdays from 8am to 8pm, and Sundays from 10am to 6pm.
Tour and Pick Fruit at an Organic Farm
It would be a shame to visit Fresno and not get out on a farm to take a tour. While a majority of farms in the area are closed to the public, there are a few hidden gems that welcome guests and will actually take you through the farm fields to learn about fruits and nuts grown here. Take a tour of Naylor’s Organic Farm near Fresno that grows over 30 varieties of stone fruits, such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums. You can pick fruit between late-May and September and even stay overnight at the farm. Prices range from $1 to $3 per pound for stone fruit.
Play at the Oh Wow Nickel Arcade
Arcades are a piece of nostalgia that is fun for all ages and a great way to spend an afternoon or evening in Fresno. This is a place where a nickel will still actually buy you something, and it’s open every day of the year for family fun. All-day admission is affordable, and many of the games dispense tickets that you can redeem for prizes.
Visit the Fresno Chaffee Zoo
If you’re traveling with kids, make sure to carve out some time in your Fresno itinerary to visit the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. The zoo spans about 39 acres and has nearly 200 species of animals to see. Top attractions include the African Adventure, Sea Lion Cove, and Stingray Bay. It’s open daily from 8:30am to 4:30pm and occasionally hosts special events to provide fun community activities.
Taste Wines in the Countryside
The Fresno area is also home to some wonderful wineries that offer tastings, tours, and special events. For example, Engelmann Cellars is a Fresno winery that has a wine tasting every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm. It also hosts Friday night concerts, family movie nights, and live music on Sunday afternoons. Meanwhile, A. Nonini Winery has tastings and tours available from 10am to 4pm Mondays through Saturdays and has been in the winemaking business for over 75 years.
See Antique Farm Equipment at Simonian Farms
Another fun place to visit when you’re in Fresno is Simonian Farms, a unique attraction with antique farm equipment, produce market and a large collection of nuts and dried fruit for sale. There is no admission fee to come see the antiques, and the farm venue is open from 9am to 6pm daily. It’s also fun to do a wine tasting here to try the unique local wines.
Experience the Forestiere Underground Gardens
Don’t miss out on experiencing the Forestiere Underground Gardens when you’re in Fresno because this is a top attraction beloved by both tourists and locals. This California state landmark offers hour-long walking tours so you can learn about the citrus grower and visionary that created this place. Here you’ll see underground passageways, ancient architecture, and unique fruit-producing trees.
Bike on the Regional Trails
One of my favorite ways to get to know a new city or region is to hop on two wheels and pedal around to experience it on a bike. One great route is the Clovis Old Town Trail, which is a 5.8-mile paved rail-to-trail route between Sugar Pine Trail at North Willow Avenue and Clovis Avenue north of East Shields Avenue. Other recommended biking routes nearby are the Lewis S. Eaton Trail and the Goshen Avenue Trail.
Sip Beer at a Local Brewery
Fresno is also home to some excellent craft breweries, and many of them are kid and dog-friendly and host fun events throughout the week. For example, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co has a chill taproom, beer garden, food trucks, and scheduled events like yoga and trivia. Other recommended Fresno breweries are Full Circle Brewing Co. and Sequoia Brewing Company.
Explore the Nearby Redwood Forests
If you have a little extra time while you’re in Fresno, why not take a drive out to see the nearby redwood forests? You can take a day trip to Sequoia National Park from Fresno and see incredibly huge trees that will take your breath away. Fresno is also a popular home base to check out other top national parks in California, including Kings Canyon National Park, Sierra National Forest, and Yosemite National Park.